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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 Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

MORE REDSKINS: Kevin O'Connell to be hired as QB coach

What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!