Second-year tight end Fred Davis — one of the high points of a low evening — pretty much established his reputation with Redskins fans when he overslept his alarm clock and missed the last day of his first minicamp: nice guy, affable, but bit on the carefree side for an NFL player. And in my encounters with him, that’s about how he came across.
He got a bit more serious heading into this year, but by the time the season started he still seemed — not to go all Brett Favre on you — like a kid out there.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him quite as focused as he was in the locker room after tonight’s game, the best of his career. Playing in relief of Chris Cooley (out for an undetermined amount of time with this), Davis caught 8 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. So naturally his locker room demeanor was mild shellshock.
“People make gameplans around him. Without Chris, they’re gonna think, ‘Oh, we don’t gotta gameplan,'” Davis said. “Without him, this is definitely gonna be different.”
Someone asked Davis to describe what when through his head when Cooley came to the sideline. His response was blunt, and not transcribe-able on a family blog. “‘Oh, [shoot],'” he said (more or less). “Like, ‘[Darn], you gotta get yourself READY.’ You never expect stuff like that to happen, you know? You think of him like Superman, like, ‘Oh, he’s okay, he’ll be fine.’ And then they’re like, ‘I think he broke something.’ That changes things. You gotta get ready right away.”
And, yes, before you ask, Davis knows EXACTLY what his major shortcoming was during Monday night’s game. “I had a good game,” he acknowledged, “but to me I didn’t feel like I did. I gave up a couple sacks, so … I think [Cooley’s] gonna help with that. I talked to him a bit, he’s gonna give me some tips.”
This was only one way that Davis attempted to downplay his first impactful evening as a pro. Here’s another. “This is what I’m supposed to do,” he said. “I’m SUPPOSED to catch the ball. This is what they got me for. I’ll continue to do that and keep working hard on my blocking to be ready for the next one.”
And he’s already changing his plans in order to get more work in. “[The bye week]’s gonna help me,” he said. “I was gonna go somewhere, but now I decided I’m gonna stay here, gonna watch film on the stuff I need to do. That vacation stuff can wait until after the season.”
Davis shrugged. “That’s how the league is,” he said. “One guy goes down, you gotta be able to fill his shoes. Or try, at least.”
Another guy suffering mild collateral damage from Cooley’s injury is Todd Yoder. Not only because he’ll have to help Davis fill Cooley’s Pro Bowl shoes, but because he had to repeatedly answer the question of if the blonde dye-jobs he and Cooley got on Sunday contributed to Cooley’s injury. “No,” he said, three times just while I was earshot, “I don’t think the hair had anything to do with it.”
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