The Jets added wide receiver Jamison Crowder last offseason and throughout the tough season for his team, the wideout quietly shined.
In his first season with the Jets, Crowder led the the team in receptions (78), receiving yards (833) and touchdowns (6). His receptions was also a career-high for him personally.
Things got off to a very quick start.
In the Jets' season-opening loss to the Bills, Crowder was the team's MVP with 14 catches, 99 yards and a touchdown. Then, disaster... of sorts.
Shortly after that loss, the Jets announced the next day that quarterback Sam Darnold had contracted and played through mono in Week 1. He went on to miss the next month and three games from Week 2 to 5, with a bye week sprinkled in there.
While a profitable season for Crowder, he said on Monday that the time missed by Darnold put a hamper on the personal chemistry growth between the two and the Jets offense as a whole.
"We laid a solid foundation as far as the chemistry. Once he kind of got sick at that point of the season, it kind of was at a halt. It was tough for all of us as a team and as a unit," Crowder said. "Once he came back, I thought we continued to build that chemistry."
Crowder also admitted there were some "tough" times for himself early in the year while learning a new offensive system with a new team, but he thinks more chemistry building and time in Adam Gase's offense will only help as Gang Green heads into the offseason early.
"There was some similarities but some differences as well," Crowder said. "I think going into Year 2 it's going to be better, not only for myself but for everybody."
The 26-year-old wideout's feelings about Darnold are ones shared by many observers of the team this year. What could have been for the Jets if Darnold played for the team that went 6-2 in the second half of the season with him healthy?
But Darnold himself wouldn't play that game during the Jets' locker cleanout day.
"You can't get caught up playing the what-if game, if we do that, I feel like we'll all be going crazy," Darnold said.