ASHBURN, Va. – There is a positive outlook toward the future of the Washington Redskins offense despite losing two key receiving threats in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson via free agency.
With the acquisitions of Terrelle Pryor, Sr. and Brian Quick as new facets to the wide receiver sets, Washington still has confidence in the returning corps of Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson.
“I’m still learning what they can and can’t do,” Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden said about what roles Pryor and Doctson will have in comparison to what Jackson and Garcon did for the team previously. “Jordan hasn’t been here, and he’s obviously a big part of what we do offensively. Once Jordan gets back here next week, we’ll start to implement him more in the game plan.
“Obviously, Crowder looks good. We’ve just got to figure out the best way to utilize Pryor and Josh, and Ryan Grant still. We have enough weapons along with the running game. I think we’ll be fine. Still, we’ve got to hone up the details with the new guys.”
Pryor had a breakout year for the Cleveland Browns last season. The 6-foot-4 deep threat hauled in 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns while averaging more than 13 yards-per-catch. The Redskins hope he will have another stellar campaign this season as the first option for quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“Once he gets his feet churning, he’s fast, so they’ve got to trust that he’s going to go get it,” Gruden said about how Washington’s quarterbacks will have to adjust to Pryor. “They’ve got to understand, they’ve got to really stick that back foot in the ground and launch it for him because he will go get it. He has been good, and he’s been good to work with.”
Even though there has been an adjustment process with some new faces, Cousins will be able to rely on the services of Crowder, who has been one of his most reliable receivers since joining the team in 2015. Crowder improved his game in nearly every statistical category from a year ago, as he pulled down 67 receptions for 847 yards and seven touchdowns – all career-highs.
“I’ve said all along Jamison can play anywhere,” Gruden said. “He’s an excellent player, dynamic player. He just continues to prove every day, that’s why we like him so much.
“He can run just about anything you ask him to run. He gets himself open because he’s got a great feel. Sometimes he plays bigger than a taller receiver because he uses his height and he’s got great jumping ability and times the jumps extremely well.”
Doctson may still be the wild card with his limited playing experience. The former TCU standout only played in two games last season, totaling two receptions for 66 yards on seven targets. Dealing with nagging injuries as a rookie, the second-year player has come into camp with fresh legs and has shown explosion in and out of his breaks.
Only time will tell how his role expands and if he can stay on the field, but he has the potential to make plays. Despite all of the changes, Cousins feels comfortable with the guys he will be throwing to moving forward.
“I like playing with those guys,” Cousins said. “It’s just in-process. It is a really good thing we have OTAs and minicamps and training camp and preseason games to get ready for Week 1, so we are building to when it really matters.
“I just feel good about the raw ability that they have, and now it’s just a matter of getting to understand one another and getting to learn the offense so we can execute at a high level. If anything, we take another step forward as an offense.”