Tarik talks training camp, Skins' receiver and o-line depth
By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler
Twenty questions No. 10—What should be expected from Fred Davis?
The 2013 Redskins are loaded with storylines. Between now and the start of training camp, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will be examining the top 20 questions the Redskins face as they get ready for the season.
Fred Davis was the Redskins’ leading receiver when he felt something pop in the back of his lower left leg last October. The 27-year-old was running crisper routes, had shown improvement as a blocker and, by all accounts, was en route to a career year. All that progress, though, came to an abrupt halt because of a torn Achilles’ tendon. After briefly flirting with the Bills and Jets this offseason, Davis signed a one-year contract to return to the only NFL team he’s known. Now the pressure is on. A big year can cement his future in Washington. But an ordinary season (or injury-plagued one) could ultimately lead to his departure, particularly if Jordan Reed is as good as advertised. So which will it be?
El-Bashir: I like Davis’ chances of having a monster 2013 campaign. Achilles’ injuries used to be dicey. Now they're routine. Nine months ago, Davis used the same specialist (Dr. Robert Anderson) that operated on Ravens star Terrell Suggs, who returned to the field in just five months. Davis’ leg shouldn’t be much of a concern. I also like the fact that he spent every day of the team’s offseason program running routes and catching passes from Robert Griffin III. The tight end and quarterback had chemistry before; now it should be even stronger. But what I like most is the fact that Davis will have two constant motivating factors: the security of a long-term contract and the fear of Reed stealing his spotlight (and possibly his job).
Tandler: The first challenge for Davis is to play 16 games after his 2011 season was cut short by bad judgment (a drug suspension) and 2012 was shortened by bad luck with the Achilles problem. If he can get in a full season he will play well but I’m not going to go as far as Tarik and say he’ll have a “monster” season. I’m not at all concerned about the Achilles; medical technology has advanced to the point where he should be as good as new by the time the season starts. The issue with Davis could be opportunity. The Redskins were 30th in pass attempts last year and that isn’t going to increase much in their run-first scheme. The aforementioned Jordan Reed will take some of the limited tight end targets away from Davis. But even if he doesn’t put up huge numbers he could be a very valuable offensive weapon. One thing he could do is score more touchdowns. He posted six touchdowns starting for half a season after Chris Cooley was injured in 2009. In the three seasons since he has a total of six TD’s. If he can score more and make more impact plays he could still earn the big contract he’s been looking for without posting big numbers.
Upcoming on 20 questions
- Question 9 Tuesday: Is defensive line depth a concern?
- Question 8 Wednesday: Is Leonard Hankerson poised to have a breakout season?
- Question 7 Thursday: Will Kai Forbath continue his magic?