RICHMOND — After the Washington Redskins’ first training camp session ended on Thursday, Jamison Crowder retreated to the far corner of one of the practice fields and meticulously ran his routes.
He caught passes from an assistant under the watchful eye of Josh Doctson, the Redskins’ rookie wide receiver who began camp on the physically unable to perform list because of a left Achilles tendon strain he sustained in organized team activities.
Nearly 20 minutes later, after the Redskins two-hour practice in the hot sun, plus a walkthrough earlier in the morning, Crowder finally called it quits.
This time last year, when Crowder was a fourth-round pick out of Duke trying to transition to the NFL, he felt jitters. He feels them now, too, but only because he’s excited his second season is approaching.
“Even this year I’m nervous because you transition and get that much closer to the season,” Crowder said. “I feel a lot more confident compared to last year. The guys know what I’m capable of. I want to sharpen up my skills even more, be the player I can be and they know I can be.”
That confidence stems from what Crowder was able to accomplish last season, when he hauled in 59 catches — a franchise record for a rookie — for 604 yards and two touchdowns. At times, the season felt like it was moving fast for Crowder, who was ticketed to be a punt returner and then supplanted former Redskins receiver Andre Roberts for the starting slot role.
The game still feels as fast as it did for Crowder when he was rookie. The only difference is that he said he feels more comfortable within the Redskins system, something the coaches have also seen as Crowder enters his second season.
“I think it’s a little bit of confidence and common sense but when it’s your second year and you caught as many passes in your first year you come in a little more confident and sure of yourself and you know what it means to be a pro now,” coach Jay Gruden said of Crowder earlier during organized team activities.
“So, all of that lends itself well to taking another step forward although he did so many good things for us last year he is another guy that I get really excited to talk about.”