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Davis appears to have been supplanted by rookie Jordan Reed in Washington's plans.
Tight end Fred Davis has gotten limited time for Washington in the first two games of the season.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
ASHBURN — Fred Davis is learning that it’s tough to have a breakout season from the sideline.
Davis, a veteran tight end, was supposed to be a central piece of the Washington Redskins offense this year as he returned from an Achilles injury, but instead his snaps have been going to rookie Jordan Reed.
Washington drafted Reed in the third round despite already having three tight ends. During training camp, coach Mike Shanahan said he wanted to get all four involved, but through two games, Reed has been the workhorse.
Saturday against Green Bay, he was on the field for 48 percent of the team’s plays. Davis participated in just 26 percent.
“It’s tough to get a perfect equal rotation,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “What we try to do is what’s best for the team. Every guy has his pluses and minuses.”
Davis and Reed are both pass-catching threats, but Shanahan mostly has stayed away from putting both on the field at the same time.
During a radio interview Monday on 106.7 the Fan in Washington, Davis was asked by host LaVar Arrington if he felt like he was being phased out of the offense.
“I feel like personally, I did everything I was supposed to do for it not to be that way,” Davis said. “I went through the whole training camp. I didn’t ask for days off, I played every preseason game. I did everything I was supposed to do. I don’t know what the situation is.
“I don’t know if it can change, or what the situation is, but they’ve got us all mixed in a rotation right now, and everybody is getting playing time. I don’t feel I’m getting as much as I want to.”
The urgency is increased for Davis because he is in a contract year. Given the team’s infatuation with Reed, it’s possible Davis will need to find a home elsewhere next season.
Davis has caught just three passes this season, compared with eight for Reed.
“Every ball we threw to him, he separated, caught the ball, and got up the field fast,” Kyle Shanahan said of Reed.
The rookie also excelled in helping quarterback Robert Griffin III out on the blitz by changing his routes to get open.
Some of that chemistry, Reed said, came from going through a rehab program with Griffin. Reed suffered a quadriceps injury before the draft and wasn’t able to fully practice until training camp.
“I know RG’s an athletic guy, so he’s going to get out of a lot of stuff,” Reed said. “When the play breaks down, you just pay attention and try to get open for him.
“[During rehab] I could see how the ball comes out of his hand and where it’s going to be at — the type of touch and how hard he’s going to throw it in certain situations. That helped a lot.”
The coaching staff now will try to keep all the tight ends happy in the face of evidence that there may not be enough catches to go around.
During his radio interview, Davis said he approached the coaches about becoming more involved.
“I definitely feel I can help more,” he said. “Whether it’s blocking or anything extra, I just want to be out there playing, helping my team.”
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