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Monday, February 22: Meet The Coaches – Jon Embree, Tight Ends

Posted by Matt Terl on February 22, 2010 – 9:20 am

Over his coaching career, new Redskins tight ends coach Jon Embree has worked with some of the best the game has had to offer: he coached Marcedes Lewis to his best college season, worked with Daniel Graham when he excelled at Colorado, and — most notably — worked with Tony Gonzales for three productive years in Kansas City. Now he gets a chance to add not one but two more talented tight ends to his resume, and he’s understandably enthused.

“I think what you try to do as a player, or as a coach, you gotta get your best players on the field,” he told Larry Michael of Redskins Broadcast Network on Inside The Redskins. “And if there’s two of them at the tight end position you find a way to do it. Chris Cooley gives you, I think, a lot of advantages and mismatches against defenses as far as how they cover him. He’s good in the run game, so he can do some things to help you in the run game. You can line him up in different places and move him around to help create mismatches for other people. And then Fred [Davis], Fred’s a guy that got to play a lot last year because of injuries to Chris and I think Fred’s a guy that’s just kinda scratching the surface of what he could be. So I think you’ve gotta find a way to get both of them on the field at the same time and help your offense.”

That’s a pretty good challenge for a coach to face, I’d think.


Full transcript after the jump. Read more »

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One More Part Of The Trick Play

Posted by Matt Terl on December 23, 2009 – 3:55 pm

Okay, one more dip into the well on this failed trick play thing.

In the yellow circle and over the yellow arrow above is Fred Davis, the second option — and eventual target, sort of — on the play. Davis is not, as some people have suggested to me, just standing around wondering what the heck is going on. What he’s actually doing is acting; because of the shifted offensive line, the defense is meant to believe that the ball is coming quickly to Davis with an entire offensive line of blockers in front of him. (This is, in fact, one of the most common ways that the swinging gate formation is used.)

Meanwhile, Hunter Smith is dropping back while being rushed by three Giants, Malcolm Kelly is running across the formation away from us, theoretically taking a couple of the defenders with him, and Todd Yoder is about to — again, theoretically — come open and unnoticed into empty space from the long snapper position. But we’ve heard from Yoder at length on this already, so let’s leave him frozen in time, with the play not yet a complete disaster, and get Davis’s point of view.
Read more »

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Fred Davis Likes A Challenge

Posted by Matt Terl on December 10, 2009 – 2:38 pm

Since Chris Cooley suffered what turned out to be a season-ending injury against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 26, Fred Davis has done an impressive job of filling his shoes. Over that span, Davis has 25 catches for 274 yards and three touchdowns; 16 of those catches went for first downs.

And Davis knows that, awkward as it is to admit, it was the injury to Cooley that let him show what he could do. “It’s all about opportunity,” Davis said today. “You will never know what I can do, period, if I didn’t ever get to play. I already knew that. Lot of people, you know, ‘Oh, he’s a bust,’ lot of people saying that. I don’t let it bother me, because I know that once you get an opportunity ….” He trailed off.

“I’m doing okay right now, I feel,” he continued. “I’m not doing great; I’m doing all right, and I think I could do better.”

It’s going to be a surprisingly difficult task for him, though. Read more »

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A Positive Thing From The Saints Game: Fred Davis

Posted by Matt Terl on December 6, 2009 – 8:19 pm

One thing that differentiates this loss from most of the other losses during this frustrating season is that there were a lot of legitimate bright spots. Not little things like “Jason Campbell didn’t burst into flames” or “Malcolm Kelly caught the ball without his legs exploding,” but real, actual numbers that speak of an offense competing with the best in the game.

Campbell, for example, completed 30 of 42 passes for 367 yards, 3 touchdowns, and the one fatal late interception. Even with that pick, that’s a QB rating of 111.9. Devin Thomas had 100 yards receiving with 2 TDs, and another 159 yards returning kicks. Those are good things.

And Fred Davis continued his recent string of quality play in place of the injured Chris Cooley, catching 5 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. The downside is that all those catches came in the first half, but it’s still another solid performance from a young player starting to come into his own.

Right, Fred? Read more »

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Tuesday, November 3: Time For Young Guys To Step Up

Posted by Matt Terl on November 3, 2009 – 8:55 am

Last year, as the 2008 season wound down and the Redskins seemed unable to get themselves back in the win column on a consistent basis, head coach Jim Zorn was emphatic about playing his starters to the very end. Every week, reporters (and emailers, and blog commenters) would ask about getting more playing time for the then-rookies, and every week Zorn stuck to his guns.

As Sunday’s game against the Falcons approaches, it appears that this year will be different; this next game is shaping up to be a flashpoint for this year’s rookie class AND the largely-underachieving crew from 2008.

In some cases, such as rookies CB Kevin Barnes, LB Robert Henson, and FB Eddie Williams, this is because of injury, not by design. With H.B. Blades and Byron Westbrook out this week following surgeries, Barnes and Henson are getting more work in practice, Zorn said yesterday.

“I know Henson and Barnes are both getting reps,” he told the media after practice. “There is going to be a lot of conversation before I make the final decision on inactives this week. It will be because of Eddie [Williams] coming up, Quinton [Ganther] still developing … Barnes, Henson, with two tight ends, less offensive linemen and more defensive linemen, I am not really sure where I am headed yet. I couldn’t put it together for you but they will be under consideration for sure.”

At this point, all of this year’s draft picks that remain with the team are currently signed to the active roster, and they all have a chance to be active on Sunday. (And, before anyone asks, I haven’t heard any news about more playing time for Marko Mitchell this week.)

But it’s not just this year’s rookies that find themselves at a potential crossroads; the big three from last year — Fred Davis, Devin Thomas, and Malcolm Kelly — also need to represent in Atlanta.

Read more »

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Wednesday, October 28: Someone Else Doesn't Know Why Fred Davis Jumps

Posted by Matt Terl on October 28, 2009 – 4:51 pm

When Fred Davis made a catch during the game Monday night, I mentioned on Twitter that he “really loves to jump in the air for no discernible reason, doesn’t he?” A couple of people agreed with me, and that was that. But the question sort of nagged at me: why DOES Davis seem to jump in the air every time he catches the ball, regardless of field position, down, distance, or any other details like that.

On Tuesday, I finally bit the bullet and asked him, and I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Read more »

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Fred Davis Will Be Rescheduling His Vacay

Posted by Matt Terl on October 27, 2009 – 1:24 am

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.
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Fred Davis Is Much More Serious

Posted by Matt Terl on May 8, 2009 – 1:03 pm

Let’s be honest: last year didn’t work out quite the way Fred Davis wanted, right from the start. Between the whole oversleeping-his-alarm-clock-and-missing-a-practice thing and the three-receptions-for-27-yards-in-2008 thing, this was not the mark that the 2007 Mackey Award winner was hoping or expecting to make in the NFL.

In just a few short practices this offseason, Davis appears (to me) have completely turned things around. He’s looked fast and athletic in practices, and he’s appeared focused while working.

I talked to Davis about minicamp and the first week of OTAs, but first I talked to head coach Jim Zorn about if he had seen the same differences in Davis that I had.

“Oh, he’s very different than last year when he came in,” Zorn said. “More explosive. He looked powerful, caught the ball well.”

Read more »

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