Last season, Fred Davis was a revelation in an otherwise dark Washington Redskins season. After Chris Cooley went out with a season-ending injury, Davis stepped in and caught 41 passes for 460 yards and six touchdowns in the team's final six games. It looked like it would be the beginning of something special for Davis going forward.
Alas, it hasn't turned out that way. Cooley has returned, and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's much-ballyhooed talk about using Davis and Cooley together hasn't really materialized. Davis has just 15 catches and one touchdown this season, and has largely been a non-factor in the passing game.
True to his nature, Davis has been deferential to Cooley and to the team. He said Cooley is "definitely a cool guy" and that they get along well. But in an interview with Brian Murphy of Hail! Magazine this week, Davis opened up about his three-year Redskins experience. You have to have a subscription to read the article, so we'll provide key quotes below the jump. Click here to read a preview, and click here to subscribe to Hail! Magazine.
Davis on the Jim Zorn era:
"It was horrible. We had no team camaraderie. Everyone was on different pages. The team was just destructive, and I think it really showed last season. Too many people were trying to do their own thing and we didn't have the leadership we needed."
Davis on being drafted by the Redskins (emphasis mine):
"I didn't know much about them, but they already had a good tight end in Chris Cooley. I knew they had a great history and that they had won multiple Super Bowls back in the day, but that's about it. I didn't even talk to them or work out for them."
Davis on what it's like to not have the opportunity to start, while praising the man in front of him:
"In the NFL, it's all about opportunity. I get people asking me, ‘Why aren't you performing better?' But how do you expect me to show my best and show my abilities when I'm not getting an opportunity?
Davis on his fast finish last year:
"I just thought it was funny. Everyone wanted to make their little comments and everything, but I knew I just needed an opportunity. ... It gets frustrating standing on the sidelines and not being able to help your team. Plus, we were losing a lot on top of that, and I'm not being used at all. Sometimes, I felt like 'What am I even here for?'
"When the opportunity was there, I took it. Now, imagine if I had a full year under my belt. I was basically going on raw talent because I was just thrown in there. If I had a full year starting at the tight end position, I know I could do better."
Davis on the scandal he faced at USC during the Reggie Bush era:
"Nothing would surprise me. UCLA is in Hollywood and USC is in the hood. And really, that kind of stuff has always been going on no matter where you're talking about. There's always going to be people out there trying to get you to sacrifice your college career for a few bucks."