WASHINGTON — Pierre Garcon is set to hit free agency for the first time since signing with the Redskins five years ago, and if there’s anything he wants fans to know, it’s that he’s not simply a “possession receiver.”
“And I definitely want people to stop thinking I’m a possession receiver because they gave me a job to do,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I can’t go deep and I can’t run fast, because I ran fast and went deep this year more than I probably ever did. Every year is different from the play calling, but I want people to stop thinking that I’m a slow guy, and I’m not slowing down any time soon. I think I’ve gotten better this year than I have in the previous years.”
On being labeled a possession receiver: “I’m a football player, not a categorized football player. I’m not one thing. I’m not a one-trick pony. I do it all, so it’s not, ‘Hey, you’re a possession receiver.’ I can go deep, I can go short, I can break tackles, I can block, I can make plays — big plays, short plays, crucial plays. It’s what I do on the field, not what box they try to put me in. Especially when I was coming out of college, saying, ‘Hey, you’re a D-III player.’ Especially when I was coming from Indy, saying, ‘Hey, you’ve never been a No. 1 receiver.’ Especially when I led the league in catches and they’re like, ‘Hey, you just got lucky because you were on a bad team.'”
“It’s my job in D.C. Because we had DeSean [Jackson],” he said. “I didn’t have to go deep as much, but I can go deep and I think I showed it a few times, but it is what it is. But I don’t want people to think ‘hey, he can’t run fast’ because they didn’t tell me to run fast or make my plays run fast. That’s what I do want to get out there and get clear and stop people putting me in a box and saying I’m a possession receiver.”
Garcon also emphasized, despite his protestations about being labeled, he will continue to do whatever’s asked him him wherever he winds up.
“I’m not against anything that the team asks me,” he said. “I just don’t want them to put me in a box and say ‘he can only do this,’ because that’s never been my play. I can do whatever a team wants me to do. You understand what I’m saying?”
“In Indy, I was going deep all the time,” he added. “I come to D.C., it was like, ‘Hey, we need you to catch the ball, get these yards, 10 yards.’ It’s like alright, cool. Whatever you ask me to do, I’m gonna do. It’s not who I am. I’m a football player, not a possession receiver, not a speed receiver. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”
The Redskins are facing an offseason of high turner. Already, defensive coordinator Joe Barry has been fired, offensive coordinator Sean McVay has accepted the Rams head coaching position, and on the offense, Garcon and fellow wide receiver DeSean Jackson are both free agents. A decision on what to do with quarterback Kirk Cousins — who’s also free agency bound — looms as well.
Garcon says not to worry about who replaces McVay as offensive coordinator, though, agreeing that head coach Jay Gruden, or any of the other in-house options, are more than capable of running the Redskins offense.
“I think [Gruden] can do a lot of things,” Garcon said. “He can definitely handle all the responsibility. Like you said, it is his offense. He is an offensive coordinator. He was an offensive coordinator. He’s the coach so it doesn’t go far away from him, but he definitely can take care any duty and like you said.”
“[Quarterbacks coach Matt] Cavanaugh could be the offensive coordinator,” he said. “We have a lot of great guys on staff that can take over the offense and get us in the right position because the quarterback has been around for the longest, so that’s the easier part where you’re not reteaching it all over to a new quarterback. So it’s definitely one of those things where it’s easy for someone to transition into because those guys have been around for a long time. So that’s definitely an easier transition for those guys to make offensive coordinator.”
Asked who was in charge of the play-calling last season, Gruden or McVay, Garcon said, “It was all both of their offense combined. Sean has his plays, Coach Gruden has his plays. We ran plays that we were very successful at that we did well over the past years. It was a mixture of all, but at the end of the day, it’s really what we feel that we can attack on that defense, where we think we can be successful on different plays that defense shows.”
Garcon was also asked what the Redskins should do with Cousins.
“Kirk’s a great player. He definitely wants to be in D.C.,” he said. “He’s definitely grown over the few years that he’s been leading the team. He’s only going to continue to get better with the experience and with the guys that he’s built that camaraderie around. Hopefully they keep him. Hopefully he continues to get better. It’s good to have stability at the quarterback instead of shuffling guys through every year, every so often.”
Even if Garcon does go elsewhere, he assures his pizza business, SpinFire — of which he has two locations — will remain in business.
“They’re not going anywhere,” he said. “We’re trying to open up more stores. I’m looking for franchisees. But I’m not leaving the pizza business. D.C. has been very good to me in the pizza business.”
“Just happy to play and just happy for the opportunity that the Redskins gave me, man,” Garcon concluded the interview.