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Davis likes 4-tight end setup

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Davis likes 4-tight end setup

Four spots on the Redskins’ 53-man roster were set once the Redskins took Jordan Reed in the third round of the draft last April

The Redskins seemed to be set at the position with Fred Davis having signed a one-year deal to return, Logan Paulsen, who started nine games after Davis went out with an torn Achilles, and Niles Paul, a special teams demon who is a work in progress as a tight end.

“We weren’t necessarily looking for a tight end, but when he was there we couldn’t pass him up,” said Mike Shanahan the night the Redskins drafted Reed. He later stated that the plan is to keep all four of the tight ends on the roster.

The depth chart lists Davis as the starter followed by Paulsen, Paul, and Reed. But they play different roles so it’s not as though they are lined up and someone in front will have to get injured for the next man on the list to play.

“I think it's going to help us out a lot,” said Davis of having the quartet of tight ends. “Two tight end sets, three tight end sets on the goal line.”

“I think the roles are definitely set. I feel like they know what they're going to use us for. Things might change during the season but I think right now everybody knows where they stand.”

Here’s how Davis sees the roles sorting out.

“Niles is definitely an athletic receiver, strong enough to play tight end,” he said. Paul was drafted as a wide receiver in 2011 and spent his rookie year there before he converted to tight end in 2012. He might never be a great receiver but his value as one of the linchpins on special teams ensures that he will be around.

“Logan's a blocker,” said Davis. “But he also can catch downfield.” Paulsen was thought of as a third tackle when he was on the field when he first came into the league and he caught just 20 catches and one touchdown in his nine starts last year. But he showed that downfield ability that Davis talks about in training camp. We will see how that translates into actual games this year.

“Jordan is definitely a receiver,” said Davis. “He's going to work on his blocking, he's going to get better eventually and learn how to block.”

The hope is that Reed will develop into a big-play type of receiver with an ability to get open downfield and who can pick up big chunks of yards after the catch.

As Davis noted, Reed is a work in progress when it comes to blocking. All of the tight ends are working with Reed on blocking technique, teaching him how to gain leverage on bigger defenders. Davis said that Chris Cooley taught him a lot about blocking when he was a rookie and Davis is passing that knowledge on to this year’s rookie tight end.

What about Davis? What’s his role?

“Me, I just do everything,” he said.

Although he doesn’t block as well as Paulsen and isn’t the big-play threat that Reed could develop into, Davis is a well-rounded tight end and that’s why he’s the starter.

NFL teams don’t often keep so many tight ends because it’s difficult to find a role for all of them. We will see how it works out with the 2013 Redskins.

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and everybody will predict the team’s season-long record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing.

Myself included. 

But don’t read much, if anything, into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. 

What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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Another Thanksgiving game for Redskins

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Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

The 2018 NFL regular-season schedule is finally here.

We’ve known who the Redskins will play in the 2018 season and where the games will be played since the regular season ended.

Now we know the when.

Here is the Redskins 2018 schedule; games are at 1:00 Eastern unless otherwise indicated.

The first thing that jumps out is the Thanksgiving game. This will be the third straight year that the Redskins have played on Thanksgiving. Two years ago they lost at Dallas and last year the got a win over the Giants at home. 

Three Thanksgiving games in a row for a team that is not the Lions or Cowboys, the two teams that traditionally host on Turkey Day, is not without precedent although it is unusual. Besides Dallas and Detroit, only two teams have played in three straight Thanksgiving games since the 1970 merger.

The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between the played at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Washington Redskins 2018 Regular-Season Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9. 4:05 PM at Arizona Cardinals
Week 2 Sunday, 9/16 vs Indianapolis Colts
Week 3 Sunday, 9/23 vs Green Bay Packers
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 Monday, 10/8. 8:15 at New Orleans Saints 
Week 6 Sunday, 10/14. vs Carolina Panthers
Week 7 Sunday, 10/21. 4:25 vs Cowboys
Week 8 Sunday, 10/28.  At New York Giants
Week 9 Sunday, 11/4. vs Atlanta Falcons 
Week 10 Sunday, 11/11. At Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Week 11 Sunday, 11/18. vs Houston Texans 
Week 12 Thursday, 11/22 (Thanksgiving).  4:30 at Dallas Cowboys 
Week 13 Monday, 12/3. 8:15 at Philadelphia Eagles 
Week 14 Sunday, 12/9. vs New York Giants 
Week 15 Sunday, 12/16. At Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16 Sunday, 12/23.  At Tennessee Titans (Time TBD)
Week 17 Sunday, 12/30. vs Philadelphia Eagles

2018 REDSKINS SCHEDULE NOTES:

  • If the Redskins are going to take advantage of home cooking, they will need to get off to a good start. They have five home games in the first half of the season. After Week 9 they have just three home games and they face a stretch of four road games in five weeks in late November and December. Three of the teams in that stretch, the Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans, made the playoffs and won at least one game. The Eagles, of course, won it all. The other road game in that stretch is against the Cowboys, who finished 9-7 last year. 
     
  • The Redskins will open on the road for the first time since 2014 when they opened in Houston. This year they will have to travel west to Arizona and try to win to remove the goose egg in Jay Gruden’s 0-4 opening-game record as coach of the Redskins.
     
  • They get an early bye, in Week 4. That will be their earliest bye week since 2007 when the bye also came in Week 4. 
     
  • On the plus side, their two games in Florida come at times when hot weather is unlikely to be a factor. Their game in Tampa comes in November and the contest at Jacksonville comes in mid-December. 
     

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