Reporting Grant Paulsen
ASHBURN, Va. (CBSDC) — Washington’s offense is coming off a prolific 40-point performance and will head to St. Louis as the NFL’s top-ranked unit in total yards, passing yards per play, fourth down conversion rate and average time of possession.
Despite all the success of the team’s offense in Sunday’s season-opening win, the Redskins’ tight ends weren’t nearly as involved as they will be moving forward this season. Fred Davis caught just two passes for 38 yards while Logan Paulsen had one reception for 22 yards. Niles Paul wasn’t even targeted in New Orleans.
That could change this weekend, however.
The Rams allowed Detroit tight ends to catch 12 passes for 126 yards in their season opening loss to the Detroit Lions. While it goes without saying that a large portion of Detroit’s success in the middle of the field can be chalked up to the Rams having to pay extra attention to Calvin Johnson, the Redskins can still be hopeful to see some of the same coverages.
“We don’t know exactly what coverage they’re going to play,” Niles Paul said. “If we get anything similar to [what the Rams ran last week], then me, Fred and Logan know that we could possibly have a big day. With the playbook and the formations that we’ve got, there’s a lot of opportunities there for us.”
Fred Davis knows that the Redskins’ tight end group may not have as much free space to operate in as Detroit’s did.
“With a guy like Calvin out there, he’s a big play receiver, one of the top in the league,” Davis said. “[When a team is] double teaming him, clouding him over the top, the middle of the field will be open.”
Washington’s tight ends were targeted a total of five times in New Orleans, a lower total than was likely expected with a debuting quarterback playing on the road and a first half passing attack predicated on short, quick passes.
“The funny thing is, the games that you really don’t expect to be targeted is when you get the most balls,” Davis said. “The games that you think you’re going to get a lot of balls you don’t get as many as you expect.”