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Fred Davis is the lead in a positional group with depth, experience and playmaking abiltiy.
Washington tight end Fred Davis is the Redskins' starting tight end and a true all-around player.
Tight end Fred Davis has gotten limited time for Washington in the first two games of the season.
Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul (84) and safety DeJon Gomes (24) run on passing drills in training camp. Paul said the Redskins' tight end position "is growing more and turning more into a wide receiver, so that's exciting."
Washington veteran tight end Logan Paulsen (82) and safety Phillip Thomas (41) work on passing drills in training camp.
Washington tight end Logan Paulsen is a strong blocker.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Early returns indicate the tight ends will play a big role in Washington’s offense this season.
While that correlates to fewer passes for the wide receivers, they’re not upset in the least.
“It makes it more fun for us,” receiver Josh Morgan said. “The safeties have to pay more attention to guys like Fred Davis, which leaves us in one-on-one battles outside, and that’s fun for us.”
Davis is the headliner in a positional group that has depth and experience. Redskins veterans Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul, as well as rookie Jordan Reed, all have playmaking ability that offensive coordinators love.
“I feel like a lot of plays, the tight end might be the number one or two target sometimes,” Davis said, adding the offense is “very tight end friendly.”
Coach Mike Shanahan said the best part of the depth is the ability to use different formations to cover for injuries that will occur during the season.
If the team’s running backs and receivers go down, he said he wouldn’t have a problem running a three tight ends package.
Many NFL teams use a tight end as a glorified offensive lineman, one who provides a last-ditch option on pass plays.
The Redskins regularly send theirs out as wide receivers, leaving opposing defenses guessing as to what will happen on a play-by-play basis.
“Last year we ran three tight end sets at times, and all three were running routes,” Paul said. “The position is growing more and turning more into a wide receiver, so that’s exciting.”
Davis dismissed any concerns that there might not be enough passes to go around.
“I think it’s all going to be shared,” he said of the yardage. “And I think that’s the way championship teams win. When you’ve got one guy always getting all the balls, it doesn’t mean they’re winning or a good team. I’d rather it just be everybody making plays.”
Practice has reflected that thus far.
Each of the tight ends bring slightly different skills to the table. Davis is the starter and a true all-around player, while Paulsen is a strong blocker and Paul and Reed are capable pass catchers.
For Paul, who is entering his third season, his offseason goal was to bulk up from 225 pounds so he can do his part on blocking assignments.
“I’m all the way up to 239 pounds,” he said. “I didn’t even believe I could get there. And it’s not a sloppy 240. It’s a healthy 240.”
Davis’ offseason was filled with rehab. He missed last year with an Achilles tendon injury but has been a participant in all drills during camp.
He’s hoping to stay healthy so he can play a full season alongside receiver Pierre Garcon.
“He demands attention in the middle of the field,” Garcon said of Davis.
“I try to do my part on the outside. It’s a lot of weapons for our offense. We have to capitalize on that, and it will be a great thing when we’re both out there together making plays.”
That’s Shanahan’s top preference, too. But the coach knows that injuries are a reality in the NFL and is developing a deep group of tight ends to compliment the receivers.
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