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Roster Review: Tight Ends

gary-banner2.jpg breaks down the Redskins' roster position-by-position and identifies potential need areas. Up next: tight ends.

On the eve of the 2007 regular season, the Redskins signed Chris Cooley to a multi-year contract extension.

The deal paid dividends, as Cooley emerged as a Pro Bowl player in 2007.

For the second season in a row, Cooley led the Redskins in receptions with 66 for 786 yards and eight touchdown catches. At one point, he caught touchdown passes in five of six games.

Cooley also was invaluable in overtime. In both of the Redskins' overtime victories last season--Week 1 vs. Miami and Week 9 at the New York Jets--Cooley had clutch receptions on the game-winning drives.

Cooley's backup is 8-year veteran Todd Yoder, who may have produced the biggest play of the 2007 season.

In Week 13 vs. Chicago, Yoder hauled in a 21-yard touchdown catch to give the Redskins a 7-0 lead. The play sparked the Redskins to the first victory of a season-ending four-game winning streak.

Yoder, who at 6-4 and 253 pounds offers more of a blocking presence than Cooley, finished the year with seven catches for 97 yards.

Midseason, the Redskins brought back 14-year vet Brian Kozlowski for another stint after Yoder was slowed by injury.

Kozlowski, a versatile player familiar with the Redskins' offense under Joe Gibbs, played in three games, catching one pass for five yards.

Rookie seventh-round draft pick Tyler Ecker spent the 2007 season on injured reserve after he suffered a groin injury in training camp.

In college, Ecker played at Michigan and caught 57 passes for 695 yards and six touchdowns.

#### Positional Analysis

The Redskins have an established tight end in Chris Cooley. He should be a force on offense for years to come.

The next step for Cooley? Emerging as a team leader.

Yoder is a solid backup who has played in the West Coast offense before, so he should transition well to the offense Jim Zorn implements this year.

Kozlowski is an unrestricted free agent and is unlikely to return.

After missing his rookie season due to injury, Ecker will essentially be a rookie again in 2008. He'll have to earn a roster spot in preseason.

## Three Tight Ends Eligible For Free Agency
As of Feb. 25, 2008; names listed are in no particular order

  • Eric Johnson, New Orleans Saints: Johnson played in San Francisco's West Coast offense from 2001-06 and grabbed 82 passes for 825 yards in 2004.
  • Marcus Pollard, Seattle Seahawks: A 13-year vet, Pollard has 349 career catches. He played with the Seahawks last season and could help the Redskins' transition to the West Coast offense.
  • Jerramy Stevens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Stevens has dealt with legal issues in recent years, but he has familiarity with the offense Jim Zorn plans to run with the Redskins.

Three Tight Ends Available In the Draft

As of Feb. 25, 2008; names listed are in no particular order

  • Kellen Davis, Michigan State: Davis, 6-6 and 259 pounds, emerged last season in the Spartans' offense, catching 28 passes for 475 yards and five TDs.
  • Fred Davis, USC: The 6-4, 248-pounder earned the Mackey Award as college's top tight end. He led USC in catches with 62 for 881 yards and eight TDs.
  • John Carlson, Notre Dame: A 2-year starter, Carlson is 6-6 and 255 pounds. He grabbed 40 passes for 372 yards and three TDs last year.
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