Offense led the way for the Redskins in 2016, and despite some additions to the defensive side of the ball, the same should be expected in 2017. Jay Gruden's track record suggests that his unit will move the ball at a solid clip, but the team lost a number of offensive weapons, and that could slow the 2017 pace.
DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon left the franchise via free agency, and took more than 2,000 receiving yards with them. Jackson and Garçon accounted for more than 40 percent of Kirk Cousins' franchise record 4,917 passing yards, and their loss will be tough to overcome.
But don't think the 2017 squad won't try.
"I think it can still be very explosive like the previous two years I have been here," Redskins wideout Jamison Crowder said Monday on a conference call.
At first blush, it could seem Crowder is just spouting the company line. The 'Skins offense ranked 12th overall last year, second in passing yards.
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Then consider what Washington has to replace the departed Garçon and Jackson, and Crowder could be right. Terrelle Pryor went for more than 1,000 receiving yards last year on an awful Cleveland team catching passes from many awful quarterbacks. In Gruden's system, catching passes from Cousins, Pryor's yardage total could pop.
Josh Doctson remains a total mystery, but there is a reason the 'Skins drafted him 22nd overall in 2016. He has big talent, and if his health is there, he should produce. A humble guy, Crowder proved he can be a major factor in the 'Skins passing game in his first two NFL seasons, and looks poised for a breakout third season in 2017. Add in tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, and perhaps more firepower via next week's draft, and certainly it's possible the 'Skins offense can keep the production up in 2016, and maybe improve.
"I feel like the offense can still be explosive, if not more than it was last year," Crowder said.
Bold claim, but it's the right mindset. Crowder and company will have a chance to prove it this fall.
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