Parker set a career high with 57 catches in 13 games, although that was just one more than he had in 2016 and his yards per catch and touchdowns were down from his first two seasons in the league. That didn’t stop the team from picking up the option on his contract for 2019 and it hasn’t stopped them from pushing the idea of a breakout year.
During an appearance on a team podcast, Gase pointed to a high ankle sprain as part of the reason why it didn’t come together for Parker last year and to Parker’s experience as a reason for why it can come together this year.
“This is his fourth season,” Gase said. “Sometimes it takes a second to be like ‘OK I know how to do this. And I’ve been doing it. And I don’t need someone to tell me I need to do this.’ He is doing things on his own. And trying to find ways to get better on the field. I think he has more of a purpose when he comes out on the practice field.”
While Gase believes Parker doesn’t need anyone to tell him how to play receiver, he also said he thinks the presence of Danny Amendola will be a positive as they work together in the months to come. If that doesn’t lead to a leap in productivity, it will be harder to keep selling the idea that one is right around the corner.