Mike Jones explained earlier this morning that the Redskins are more than comfortable relying on multiple tight end sets this year. While the Redskins want all three tight ends to play a role in their passing and running games, it will be interesting to see who emerges as the featured tight end in the weeks to come.
Whether it was because of injury or some other reason, that person was clearly Fred Davis last Sunday. Both Chris Cooley and Davis started, but it was Davis who was used more often and in more critical situations.
On third downs, Davis was usually the lone tight end. Cooley was on the sidelines, and it was usually Davis lined up with three receivers on the field. (Three of Davis’ five catches Sunday came on third down.)
When the Redskins neared the goal line, Davis was usually the lone tight end on the field. Cooley was on the sidelines, in fact, for all three offensive touchdowns.
And while Davis was the lone tight end for 20 offensive snaps on the day, there were only a handful of times in the third quarter when Cooley was in the game while Davis was on the sideline.
So what does it mean?
Maybe nothing. Maybe coaches were giving Cooley an easier afternoon because of his sore knee, because he missed the entire preseason and because had just one full day of practice last week. Cooley said after the game, though, that his knee felt fine and he wasn’t on a snap-count. Cooley was listed as questionable on the injury report, and it might’ve been difficult to gameplan around him in practice without knowing his exact availability on Sunday.
Or it could mean that Davis was simply the better option for that particular opponent -- that coaches liked how Davis matched up with a certain linebacker or specific nickel corner.
One game probably isn’t enough to make any definitive statements. But it was clear from that one game that the Redskins think Davis is at least capable of being a featured tight end. And after hauling in 105 yards, he did little to shake their confidence in him Sunday.