Reporting Grant Paulsen
Photo: Larry French of Getty Images
Fred Davis finished last football season at 258 pounds. He wasn’t out of shape but he felt like he could get leaner and trim some of his body fat.
On Tuesday Davis showed up at the Redskins’ player-organized mini camp at 245 pounds. The fourth-year tight end says he’s in the best shape he’s been in since Washington drafted him with a 2nd-round selection back in 2008.
“I did more core stuff than I normally do,” Davis said about his intensified workouts this winter and spring. He also made major changes to his eating habits.
“I don’t eat out as much and I don’t eat as many carbs,” the 25-year-old said. Davis also said he trimmed some weight by drinking less alcohol this offseason than he has in the past.
Now 245 pounds, Davis feels quicker on his feet and more nimble while running routes. But coming off a disappointing 21-catch season where he wasn’t utilized nearly as much in Washington’s passing game as he would have hoped, Davis knows his biggest challenge is going to be to continue to master Kyle Shanahan’s offensive play-book.
“You’ve got to get better the second year in an offense,” Davis said. “When I hear the plays, I remember them. Just knowing them quickens your pace as a player. It helps. You react faster and we’re knowing what we’re doing more at different positions.”
Davis said that last year was a collective challenge because of the complexity of the offense both Kyle and Mike Shanahan helped to design.
“It was a big offense and they wanted to do a lot of stuff. It takes time. This year, you’ve got to have it down.”
Getting the slimmed-down Davis on the field at the same time as Chris Cooley, in passing situations when both tight ends can run routes and attract defenders should be one of Kyle Shanahan’s main goals this season.
Cooley’s an annual pro bowler and Davis is as skilled in the open field as any tight end in football.