Redskins Roundup: Fred Davis has a lot to prove & earn

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Updated: July 31, 2013
Fred Davis

We start things off with another DC Pro Sports Report Redskins position preview. Want to know all you need to know about the Redskins’ quarterback situation in training camp and looking ahead? Check out this preview.

INJURY NEWS

– CB DeAngelo Hall [pictured above] sprained his ankle and is in a walking bootFrom CSN:

MRI exam on Tuesday afternoon revealed sprained ligaments in the back of his ankle.
He said he’ll be sidelined anywhere from two days to two weeks.
“Certain movements, I’m good with,” Hall said. “Certain movements, I can’t put any pressure on it. It’s kind of funky. It’s all kind of new to me.”
– LT Trent Williams, who is almost literally irreplaceable, has a wrist sprain. Doesn’t seem serious right now, but apart from Robert Griffin III, the last player the Skins want to risk to injury is Trent Williams
– LB Nick Barnett, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, is still in Richmond as the Redskins and the player debate whether or not to join forces. With Keenan Robinson out for the year with another pec muscle tear, the Skins need another linebacker. 
– RB Chris Thompson [ACL-knee], LB Jeremy Kimbrough [hamstring], WR Donte’ Stallworth [hamstring], G Adam Gettis [hamstring] all sat out practice, while safety Jordan Pugh exited practice early due to illness. 
– Not an injury, but RB Tristan Davis has retired. Unless you read my preview of the running back position, you may not have known he was still on the team. 
JJ Regan of Yahoo writes that TE Fred Davis has more to prove than anyone on the team, including RG3: 
To really see how much Davis still has to prove, one needs to look no further than at his contract for 2013. In 2012, the Redskins elected to use their franchise tag on Davis, giving him a salary of $5.4 million. As a free agent this offseason, Davis explored his option and eventually elected to return to the Redskins, signing a one-year contract worth up to $3.75 million.
 Compare that to the contracts of some of the other top tight ends: The New England Patriots gave Rob Gronkowski a six-year, $53 million extension in 2012; Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys has a seven-year contract worth over $50 million; and Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers is playing with a six-year, $42.7 million contract.
Davis may be one of the top tight ends in the league, but no one was willing to pay him like one or give him a long-term deal. If he is ever going to get that big contract, he likely will need to prove himself this year when he is still 27 years old.
In order to have a good season, however, Davis will have to stay on the field and stay productive.
 It may be difficult, however, to reproduce the type of numbers he has had in the past. The Redskins were 30th last season in pass attempts per game. They also added tight end Jordan Reed in the draft — who I believe will see significant playing time this season. That could mean fewer targets for Davis.
I think it is a mistake to think the Redskins will be as run-dependant on offense as they were last year. Obviously, with a top rusher like Alfred Morris, the Redskins are going to run the ball alot. That’s what any Mike Shanahan team is going to try to do. However, I think we all expect RG3 to run a lot less this year, meaning a lot of his carries [120 of them last season] could be passes instead. Davis may not catch 75 passes this year, but he will be a top reeciver in the offense as long as he’s healthy — either first overall or second to WR Pierre Garcon. [Assuming Garcon stays healthy!]
OLB Ryan Kerrigan wants to become a more consistent pass-rusher. That’d be a good thing.
Data from Pro Football Focus backs up that point of view.
In the Redskins’ 17 games last year, Kerrigan was credited with a total of 68 quarterback pressures (9 sacks, 9 hits, 50 hurries). According to PFF he was the seventh-most effective pass rusher among starting 3-4 outside linebackers.
But his pressures came in bunches. He had nine against both the Saints in Week 1 and the Eagles in Week 16. But he had only one against the Falcons (he did intercept a pass and return it for a TD that game) and none in the playoff loss to the Seahawks.
In all, Kerrigan had seven games in which he had five or more quarterback pressures. On the downside there were six games in which he had two or fewer.
There was a five-game stretch in the middle of the season where he had only one sack. And his two sacks against the Eagles in Week 16 were his only sacks of the last six games of the season.
Having Brian Orakpo back on the other side, attracting double-teams, should help Kerrigan a lot.
Some good news about the receivers in yesterday’s practice:
—The highlight play of the day came early. Santana Moss made a one handed catch of a Robert Griffin III pass but it was better than that. Moss reached around E. J. Biggers, who had pretty good coverage on him, and snatched the pass. He can still get it done at age 34. Griffin ran down the field to congratulate his receiver.
Leonard Hankerson made a nice catch on a Rex Grossman bomb. Biggers again was the victim and again he had good coverage.
Aldrick Robinson got around the right side in a flash on an end around. I’ve seen enough of him in camp; it’s time to see what he can do in some preseason games.
Kirk Cousins had his best day of training camp, writes Rich Campbell. Other Campbell observations:
– Rookie CB David Amerson needs to get less ‘handsy’ in his coverage;
– Orakpo and Williams are having some classic pass-rush battles;
– ILB Roddrick Muckelroy can grab a roster spot by utilizing his coverage skills, something required of Skins’ LBs;
– CB Chase Minnifield got beaten downfield a few times;
– S Jordan Pugh needs to catch balls thrown to his hands.
Former Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot talks about getting punked, as a rookie in 2001, by former Redskins DE Bruce Smith in 2001.
The Redskins name issue isn’t going away. Congressional delegate Eni Faleomavaega is one of ten members of Congress to sponsor a resolution calling on the team to change its name, something owner Dan Snyder says he will “never” do. Said Del. Faleomavaega:

“This is a moral issue that reaches far back to the time when Native Americans are not only considered outcasts but deemed enemies by the colonial government,” the American Samoa Democrat said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “The only game of sporting was hunting and killing Indians like animals for money.”

Here is an editorial from Del. Faleomavaega on this issue.

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