The Redskins have what is called a high-class problem at the tight end position. How do they split catches between longtime starter Chris Cooley and Fred Davis, who appears to be starting up a breakout season?
Cooley appears to be on the mend from a knee injury, but after catching two passes for 21 yards in the opener he was shut out against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Davis has 11 receptions for 191 yards.
They both can be on the field at once about half the time as that is about how frequently the Redskins will use two- and three-tight end sets. But to an extent, it’s a zero sum game. They still play with just one football and a pass to one of the tight ends is one that can’t go to the other.
A case can be made that once Cooley is healthy he should get more passes thrown his way. But they should not come at the expense of passes that could be thrown towards Davis.
Davis could be playing better right now that Cooley, now in his eighth season, ever has during his career. That is what the numbers say anyway.
As noted above, Davis has 191 yards over the past two games. That is the best production over two games he has had in his 34-game NFL career.
This is Cooley’s eighth year in the league and he has played in 102 games. He has never produced 191 receiving yards in back to back games. He has come close, with a high of 185 yards in consecutive games in 2007.
Just looking at the numbers it would be reasonable to say that Davis is at or near his peak while Cooley is past it. That does not mean that Cooley can’t be a very valued contributor to the offense. But it would just make sense to get the ball in the hands of Davis, the player who is in his prime, more frequently.
The Redskins are trying to get younger but having the offense focus more on Davis, 25, than on Cooley, 29, is not emphasizing youth just for the sake of it. It would be the smart thing to do under any circumstances.