Always regarded as promising during his four years in Washington, Crowder never had a true breakout season. Could it be coming in his first season with the Jets?
“He has an explosiveness after the catch that you don’t see a ton of,” coach Adam Gase regarding Crowder, via Mehta. “A lot of the slot receivers, historically have been not guys that are threats down the field. He’s a threat down the field, but at the same time he can catch it and create, which is going to be interesting for us because we’ve never had a guy who can really juice it up.”
It’s obvious that the slot receiver position means a lot to Gase’s offense.
“That spot is important to us,” Gase said regarding this specific job. “[It] really kind of creates the tempo of the offense. If you want to be on the ball and go fast-paced, that guy is the guy who moves all the time. . . . He has to understand the game like a quarterback does. The best ones I’ve been around, they naturally have that understanding of the flow of the game. They know how to set the tempo of the game. I feel like he’s kind of a guy who fits that role.”
When considering the potential impact that Crowder can make in Gase’s offense, consider the impact that Albert Wilson made last year in Miami. In his first year with the Dolphins, Wilson had 26 catches and 391 yards and four touchdowns in only seven games, due to injury. (In Week Three, he caught a 74-yard touchdown pass and threw a 52-yard touchdown pass.)
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold already realizes what Crowder can do for the Jets, even if he’s not throwing the ball like Wilson did.
“On certain option routes, you can tell that he has a really good feel of leverage and how to use it against defenders,” Darnold said, via Mehta. “I think being able to find him in good matchups against a nickel [corner], a linebacker or even a safety coming down, it’s going to be hard to guard that dude.”
Making “that dude” harder to guard will be the presence of Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa. And the running/receiving threat that running back Le'Veon Bell provides. Although the there’s-only-one-football vibe make keep Crowder from having huge numbers, he helps diversify an offense that surely won’t be all about Bell.