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The Redskins Are Ready For Slot Receiver Trey Quinn To 'Dominate The Position'

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The skillset, production and durability of wide receiver Jamison Crowder has been well documented since the Washington Redskins drafted him in 2015.

"There is really not anything that Jamison can't do," head coach Jay Gruden said in January, citing his quickness, crisp route-running, pass-catching ability and physicality in the running game. Crowder missed one game over his first three seasons. He's racked up 221 catches for 2,628 yards and 14 touchdowns over his four-year career.

This season, Crowder will be suiting up for the New York Jets, who signed him to multi-year deal in March -- leaving the Redskins without a starting slot receiver for the first time in half a decade. But as has been the case since the start of free agency, Gruden has more than enough confidence in Crowder's replacement.

"Obviously losing Crowder hurts, hurts quite a bit," Gruden said during a media session at the NFL Annual Meetings in Phoenix on Tuesday. "But I'm ready to watch Trey Quinn jump in that slot role and dominate the position. I'm excited for him."

For Quinn, that's some high praise based on his draft stock coming out of SMU in 2017. After two largely unproductive years at LSU, Quinn turned himself into a pro prospect as a redshirt junior with the Mustangs, hauling in more than 100 passes for about 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns. Shortly after his breakout campaign, he forwent his final season of eligibility and declared for the 2018 NFL Draft, where the Redskins made him "Mr. Irrelevant" by taking him with the 256th and final selection.

Quinn also dealt with an injury throughout his rookie campaign. He suffered a high ankle sprain in the regular season opener that landed him on Injured Reserve. The Redskins activated him off IR about two months later, but he played in just two games before reinjuring his ankle in Week 12, which ended his season.

When healthy, Quinn proved serviceable, catching nine passes on 10 targets for 75 yards and scoring his first-career touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys last Thanksgiving. He just could not stay on the field.

"I did enough last year I guess to get that comment [from Gruden], but I haven't done anything this year," Quinn told on Thursday at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park. "As far as I know, I've played two-and-a-half games, and that's not enough to be a starting slot receiver. So I'm going to take this offseason pretty seriously."

Quinn said his ankle "feels great." He's been testing it as much as possible the past few months, performing the same football drills back home in Louisiana that he would have done if he worked out at the Redskins Indoor Training Facility. He's also made sure to decompress during his first NFL offseason by training at his convenience and spending quality time with his family. "I appreciate that part of the job," Quinn said, "because once it gets going, it gets going."

It's at that point that Quinn will look to prove himself worthy of a starting spot.

"I always say that what separates a lot of people are the details, and I've always been a detailed-oriented guy," Quinn said. "I've sat with Jay [Gruden] before and there's a couple things that could change just from experience. And then I want to get in and still have the chemistry with the quarterbacks, maybe build some more and not get comfortable, but strive in any position that I'm put in."

While Quinn has never spoken to newly-acquired quarterback Case Keenum, he quickly developed a bond with veteran Colt McCoy. Last summer, he made the five-hour drive to Austin, Texas, and spent a few days catching passes from the Redskins' signal caller. In a lot of ways, him and McCoy are similar.

"What's most important is that he's a competitive son of a gun and wants to win," Quinn said, "and that's what builds a relationship right there despite the age difference."

The free agency departures of Crowder and fellow wide receiver Maurice Harris, who signed with the New England Patriots in March, have been difficult for Quinn, who cherished being teammates with Crowder -- "I literally love watching him practice" -- and viewed Harris as a role model.

As for the Redskins' current wide receivers -- which include Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and Brian Quick, among others -- Quinn sees a talented group of players decimated by injuries last season but primed to showcase their potential this fall.

"If we stay healthy, I think we're a damn good squad," Quinn said. "I'd go on the field with them before anybody."