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Kyle: 'We're Going To Need Those Guys'

Posted Nov 21, 2013

Washington Redskins TE Fred Davis and WR Joshua Morgan have been the forgotten playmakers in recent weeks, but when called upon this week's plan, OC Kyle Shanahan expects them to thrive.

What a difference a year can make. Just ask Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis.

Through six games last season, Davis was king of the world, finally the top dog at tight end and the favorite target of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

A torn Achilles in Week 7 ended a promising season, but set up a rather dramatic tale of vindication, as he returned on a reported one-year deal to prove his worth.

It just didn't play out that way.

Davis had three receptions for just 25 yards in the first two weeks before an ankle injury sidelined him for Week 3.

From there, he lost his spot in the starting lineup, made headlines for his role on the practice fields and meeting rooms, and found himself inactive for the last five games.

Now, with Jordan Reed growing increasingly less certain with a concussion suffered in Week 11, the team could turn back to Davis to provide his playmaker spark.

Awkward much? Not to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

"I think it’s only awkward if you just avoid the situation," Shanahan said of both Fred Davis and Joshua Morgan. "Josh and Fred are two of my favorite guys that I coach, just as people. I like the guys a lot. They’re fun to be around.

"I know last week was tough for them. Any time a coach makes a decision not to use you, that’s hard. I understand that. Whether it’s the right decision or the wrong decision, I respect that."

But Shanahan praised Davis for rising to the occasion in practice, putting in some of his best work under the Shanahan regime in Washington.

"Fred just hasn’t quit. He’s done a lot more scout team reps than he ever has done in his career," Kyle said. "Some guys can mope and stuff on scout team, but Fred has worked harder on scout team than I’ve seen him work.

"He’s tried to get better even though it’s not the situation he’s wanted. It doesn’t show on the field. He goes out there he tries hard. He runs hard. He’s tried to improve and get better in his game, not just for the team but also for himself.

"He hasn’t wasted the last six weeks because he hasn’t been playing. I think he’s used it to try to improve in certain areas."

Shanahan said he had a feeling the team would need Davis again this season, classifying it as "a good chance for that this week."

With Joshua Morgan already being named the starter at WR2 and Davis under consideration for tight end, the next task becomes maximizing their abilities.

Shanahan dismissed any possibility of the pair not giving 100 percent on gameday.

"I deal with Josh every day. I deal with Fred every day," he said. "I’ve been saying it all year with Fred, I think we’re going to really need those guys to help us this week.

"I don’t doubt it at all that they won’t do everything they can to help us."

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