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Fred Davis: 'This Is The Year'

Posted Apr 23, 2013

Redskins TE Fred Davis reveals the reasons he returned to Washington this offseason, including playmakers on offense and the healthy return of QB Robert Griffin III.

For the first time in his NFL career, Redskins tight end Fred Davis had a decision to make this offseason.

After five seasons in the nation’s capital, his rookie contract plus one year of the franchise tag, Davis had to decide whether to return to the Redskins on a one-year contract or seek a longer and richer contract elsewhere.

Ultimately for Davis, the decision was not all that difficult, thanks to the young talent assembled in Washington.

“Playing with [quarterback Robert Griffin III] takes a lot off of me, because the defense has to worry about him, [running back] Alfred [Morris] and [wide receiver] Pierre [Garçon],” Davis told NFL AM. “We have a lot of weapons, and I feel like if I stay here with the one-on-one coverages, I think I could do a lot of damage, which I started doing before I got hurt.

“Me and [Griffin III] really feel like we didn’t get to do what we could’ve.”

Fred Davis was Griffin III’s top target through six games last year, averaging nearly four receptions per game for nearly 55 yards.

After Davis ruptured his Achilles in Week 7, Griffin III diversified his targets more, which should create more opportunities for Davis against an opposing secondary.

“You saw what [Griffin III] did last year as a rookie, there’s no doubt he’s a good player,” Davis explained. “He came in with all of this adversity, he’s in a city like D.C. where a lot of people were skeptical.

“We haven’t done well in the past, and he came in with all the hype and showed what he can do. He’s a gamer and he’s a great player.”

With veteran Chris Cooley no longer on the roster, Davis understands that the pressure is on him to prove he can produce at a high level over the course of a season.

“To be honest with you, I’m in a competition. I’m in my veteran years now, and if you look at it stats-wise for the last couple years, when I’ve been able to get the ball, I think it would show for itself,” he said of his elite status. “I haven’t really had a full year to show, coming off the suspension two years ago and getting injured last year, I think that’s what I’m doing.

“Any team signing tight ends [this offseason], I’m going to make them regret that deal. This is the big one for me. This is the year.”

Dating back to late last season, Davis has been a mainstay at the team’s facilities working out and rehabbing his Achilles to get back into playing shape.

He was joined midway through the process by Robert Griffin III, who Davis has confidence will be fully recovered from offseason ACL surgery by the time the games matter.

“I can tell you right now, he definitely looks really good,” Davis said of Griffin III. “You can barely even tell that he’s hurt. He’s doing every drill and it looks comfortable and normal to me.

He continued: “When he first got back, I was surprised, like, ‘Did you just have surgery?’ He’s one of those guys, he works hard. Whenever he says he’s going to do something, he does it. I think he’s going to be back, definitely sooner than people expect. Knowing what I know about him, he might be ready right now.

“[Robert Griffin III is] such a workhorse. You saw how hard it was to take him out even when he was hurt, and he’s got six-seven more months to go. I can tell you now, they’re not going to push him, but he’s pushing himself. I definitely know that he’ll be ready.”

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