Could Fred Davis Be Just The Right Prescription for RGIII?
By: The Football Girl | Posted: March 29, 2013
Fred Davis played the free agent market looking for a long-term deal, but when all was said and done he re-signed with the Redskins for one-year. For the Skins, the contact is rooted in the risk of retaining a player coming off an Achilles’ tendon tear. Yet Davis may also have been one of the biggest bargains on the free market.
Robert Griffin III, coming off his own severe injury and seeking prevention against a future one, needs a reliable tight end. And Davis, despite his own injury history could be just the guy.
In 2011, before The RGIII Show overtook the D.C. Area, Davis was the team’s biggest offensive weapon. In 12 games as a starter, Davis caught 59 passes for 796 yards. His most telling stat, though, was the 15 plays he made of 20 yards or more. Factor in the fact that most of those passes came from Rex Grossman and Davis’ numbers look even more impressive.
It is hard to ascertain Davis’ full potential. When he’s been healthy, he has a similar style to San Francisco’s Vernon Davis, a physical beast with very good hands who can catch balls in tight windows. (OK, maybe a poor man’s version of 49ers’ Davis, but you get the point.) The Redskins’ Davis has all the traits of a modern tight end – in other words, he can also play receiver.
Despite his San Francisco roots, Mike Shanahan doesn’t run a West Coast offense with RGIII at the helm, nor should he. But incorporating the tight end more into the offense has to be a priority headed into next season. Griffin is that rare talent with unbelievably scrambling ability and upper echelon accuracy. But he has to fine tune the latter for any chance at a long career. All the top tight ends – Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez – all have quarterbacks who have largely avoided the injury bug. It’s probably coincidence, and sure none of these quarterbacks have a style similar to Griffin, but having a reliable tight end hasn’t hurt. If Davis can be that guy who gets open for the 8-12 yard gains, especially in third-down situations, the pressure on Griffin to run will diminish and the Redskins offense could be one of the best. That is, if Davis and Griffin enter 2013 healthy.