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Tight end options (other than Cooley) that make sense for 'Skins

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Tight end options (other than Cooley) that make sense for 'Skins

Before Thursday night's preseason opener in Cleveland, the Redskins were already worried about their tight end position: Logan Paulsen's toe injury could possibly cost him the year and Jordan Reed's hamstring seems to be a constant issue. 

Four quarters later, however, and the situation that was previously a worry has become far more severe: Niles Paul is done for the season after suffering one of the more gruesome ankle injuries you'll ever see, and Je'Ron Hamm left the game against the Browns and did not return. That leaves only two options on the roster who are currently 100 percent healthy (Chase Dixon and Devin Mahina), and neither have taken a snap in the regular season. 

That means the Redskins will almost certainly have to make a move on the free agent market in the coming days and bring in a new tight end. And while many fans -- and the man himself -- are hoping that means the return of Chris Cooley, there are other choices available. 

Here are three more names -- each with a tie to the Redskins -- that could be getting a phone call from Scot McCloughan very shortly. 

Zach Miller: The 29-year-old only played in three games last year for the Seahawks, and was released in March due to a failed physical (he missed the majority of the 2014 season because of ankle issues). With that being said, when healthy, he's been productive in the past -- he caught 66 and 60 passes in 2009 and 2010 in Oakland, and hauled in 5 touchdowns with Seattle in 2013 -- and, interestingly enough, was actually signed by McCloughan in 2011. That familiarity could lead to him getting a shot in D.C.

Ted Bolser: Bolser was drafted by the Redskins in the seventh round of last year's draft, but was put on the practice squad after the preseason. He remained there until October, then bounced around on Tampa Bay and Arizona's practice squad in the later months of the campaign. He has yet to secure a reception in a regular season game, but he did spend time in Jay Gruden's offense all of last summer, which could lead to an easier adjustment than Miller or the next guy on the list. He's the youngest of the trio, too.

[UPDATE: Despite the ties to the Redskins, it seems Bolser's career may be over after a recent knee surgery. He even tweeted: "I just had surgery this morning on my right knee and because of the rigorous/GREAT 18 years of football/other sports & a recent injury....I'm incapable of playing the sport I fell in love with back when I was 6 years old. I want to thank everyone involved with me and this sport." He could have been an ideal signing before the injury.]

Fred Davis: Yes, this is probably a long shot. OK, it's probably a very long shot. Davis hasn't played in the league since 2013, and has a long history of personal conduct problems. It looked like he'd finally get a chance to return to the NFL when the Patriots picked him up earlier in the offseason, but he didn't last long in New England. Davis probably has the highest ceiling of these three candidates, though, and we saw McCloughan take in a guy with character flaws just a few weeks ago in Junior Galette. The Redskins are very desperate with all that's taken place recently, so maybe, just maybe, they'll give Davis another try.

Other courses of action: With all NFL squads fully booked up with 90 man rosters, the pickings are quite slim right now. When cuts begin to be made, the market should expand -- but at that point, Washington will most likely be taking on castaways. The Redskins could target other players with connections to them (one such example, although it won't be easy, is Seattle fullback Will Tukuafu, a hard-nosed player who can block and has played in both San Francisco and Seattle, franchises that formerly employed McCloughan). But as you can see, they're in a very tough spot.

Have any suggestions for who the Redskins should bring in to help with the tight end situation? Let us know in the comments. They could use the help.

MORE REDSKINS: PAUL DONE FOR 2015 SEASON

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Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

With NFL RedZone, All-22 footage and GamePass, it’s literally never been easier to access information about your favorite teams and players. Still, nothing can quite beat the actual players and coaches, especially those who drew up those plays in the first place.

Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was happy to share some insight on the touchdown pass Alex Smith threw to Vernon Davis to kick off the scoring against the Panthers in Week 6. 

The Redskins took over possession after a Carolina turnover, and the offense was ready to strike quickly. Smith found Davis wide open in the end zone and connected with his longtime tight end to give the ‘Skins an early 7-0 lead.

Interestingly, as Cavanaugh points out, the play was designed to clear out space for the team’s top tight end, Jordan Reed. Instead, the Panthers safety rolled towards Reed, who is generally seen as the more likely receiving threat. You can see in the video of the play that Smith does look towards Reed first, and then noticed the rolling safety leaving Davis wide open down the seam.

Cavanaugh also emphasizes how vital it is for the offense to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“When we’re not on the field and the defense creates a turnover and all of a sudden we’re back out there, we gotta be ready to score, particularly when we get the ball in that great field position. It’s huge, it obviously set the tone for the rest of the game for us.”

A one play, 22-yard drive certainly does show off an offensive unit ready to score quickly and without the benefit of a long possession to get into rhythm.

Hopefully Cavanaugh doesn’t give away too many of his X’s and O’s secrets, but it’s always fascinating to experience a behind-the-scenes look at important plays. It’s even more fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns, and it’s the most fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns that come in Redskins victories.

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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