Washington’s plans for receiver Jamison Crowder don’t simply include making him a full-time starter. The team also intends to deploy him in multiple different ways.
“I’ve said all along Jamison can play anywhere,” coach Jay Gruden recently said, via Mark Bullock of the Washington Post. “He can play outside, inside. He can play running back probably if he wanted to. So we’ll utilize Jamison and try to get him more involved, not just in the passing game and the running game.”
Ultimately, whether Crowder plays running back depends on whether Gruden wants him to. If he does, things could get very interesting.
Crowder primarily has played in the slot for his first two seasons, with DeSean Jackson (gone to the Bucs) and Pierre Garςon (gone to the 49ers) on the outside. Starting this year, Crowder will be all over the place — despite being only five feet, eight inches tall.
“He just continues to prove every day why we like him so much,” Gruden said. “He’s great on option routes, he can run vertical stems. He can run just about anything you ask him to run. . . . He gets himself open because he’s got a great feel. He’s got quickness in and out of his breaks. He plays a lot longer than his size. He has got really long arms. He goes up and gets balls. Sometime 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. Some tall guys you see, they misjudge it and they don’t jump. But Jamison, he times them perfect and makes big plays.”
Crowder caught 67 passes (second on the team) for 847 yards (third) and seven receiving touchdowns (first) in 2016. With both a full-time role and the opportunities that may come from being on the outside, in the slot, and in the backfield, Crowder could make Washington fans quickly forget the two high-priced receivers that got away. And he could be on his way to becoming a high-priced receiver.