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Fred Davis Focused On Final Two Games

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Washington Redskins Fred Davis got the Redskins going on Sunday, catching a 23-yard touchdown, his first score since Week 12, 2011 at Seattle.

It had been 749 days since his last end zone appearance, but sixth-year tight end Fred Davis ended his touchdown drought on Sunday in impressive fashion.

In the first quarter of the Washington Redskins’ 27-26 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, quarterback Kirk Cousins found Davis clearing traffic near the side of the end zone after the defense bit on play action just enough to create open space for the former second round pick to record his first touchdown since Week 12 of the 2011 season.

Set up by running back Alfred Morris’ defender-dragging, 37-yard run on the previous play, the Redskins penetrated Atlanta territory where they took advantage of a shift in momentum.

With the Falcons winded and expecting another zone keeper from Morris, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan befuddled the defense when he called for play-action rollout.

The end result was a beautiful touchdown connection that showcased Davis’ high-level playmaking ability.

“It’s one of them things that you just [have] to focus in on, because when you want it so bad sometimes you could drop a ball like that,” Davis explained to CSNWashington after the game. “I felt I was wide open for a little while, too.

“I was hoping he would get it there, and he did. He floated it right there. It was an easy catch and an easy pass.”

Cousins extolled Davis’ effort postgame, admitting that only a select few could have made that play.

“Outstanding catch by Fred,” the quarterback told the media. “That’s a tough catch to make with your hands and he did a great job as the defensive back was closing on him, concentrating and making a catch.”

It’s been an unusual season for Davis to say the least.

After testing free agency waters during the offseason and flirting with the idea of leaving his only NFL hometown, Davis returned to Washington.

One of the main reasons he chose to stay was the rapport he built with quarterback Robert Griffin III in 2012, before his season was prematurely cut short due to a torn Achilles tendon.

Through seven games last year, he was the team’s leading receiver with 24 receptions for 325 yards and cherished the role of security blanket as for his freshman gunslinger.

This season, however, he has only six catches for 61 yards and has been inactive on numerous occasions after dropping to No. 4 on the depth chart.

With rookie tight end Jordan Reed still dealing with concussion symptoms from Week 10 though, Davis has reemerged in recent weeks and appeared in various pass-heavy packages.

Admitting that being inactive is a new challenge, Davis said he put the trying season to the side and focused on aspects of his game that will help kick-start an anemic offense.

“It’s tough,” Davis inferred of his 2013 season. “You have expectations and things you want to do, and it doesn’t go the way you want it to.

“It’s just staying professional, putting the film on whenever you get a chance to, blocking, and catching; whatever it is.”

Head coach Mike Shanahan has noted on several occasions this season that the players that perform best during practice are usually the ones that see the most action on gamedays.

In recent weeks, Davis’ production during practice has steadily improved. Subsequently, he’s seen his snaps increase and was on the field the most of any game this season against Atlanta.   

“I’ve seen more production this week,” Shanahan told ESPN 980 last Friday. “I’m hoping he can take it out there and play.

“Sometimes you can, but if you haven’t been getting enough reps, you’re not as polished as you’d like to be. He seems like himself this week and hopefully he keeps on growing and makes some big plays for us.”   

With only two games remaining in 2013 season and his future unclear, it’d be easy for Davis’ thoughts to drift to his offseason and beyond.

The tight end, however, still has his focus on the next two games against the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

For his career, Davis has a combined 27 catches for 362 yards and two touchdowns against these division foes.

“As of right now, I just think about we’re here right now, these last two games,” Davis said unequivocally. “Because when you start thinking about that stuff you’re thinking ahead.

“I just want to think about playing these last two games as hard as I can.”

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