RICHMOND, Va. -- The answer must come from within for now, until the Redskins can add another tight end. One who is worthy of becoming a key player. Those players are difficult to find.
So, for now, they have Jordan Reed, as their top tight end. His obvious issue remains durability after missing a combined 12 games in his first two seasons. He also missed the preseason opener with a hamstring issue, one that might sideline him for Thursday's game vs. Detroit. But Reed remains hopeful about playing vs. the Lions.
The Redskins will continue looking outside the organization for options. They will not sign Zach Miller, who played in Seattle when general manager Scot McCloughan worked with the Seahawks. Miller is not healthy.
Here's a look at their in-house options in addition to Reed:
Tom Compton: He played tight end in certain packages last season so he has experience. And he worked there Saturday during full-team work in practice. He'd obviously be used for blocking purposes. Considering the Redskins want to be a run-based offense, Compton would definitely help. Also, coach Jay Gruden said having Compton would not limit their play-action game. When they throw deep off play-action, it's typically a two-man route downfield with a back available for a check down. So the tight end often blocks. Having Compton might help sell the run even more. Also, tight ends coach Wes Phillips said Compton already is familiar with the line calls for a tight end, needing to know them when he plays tackle. “It's a seamless transition," Phillips said. “It's a way for us to get a guy in there who's a lot thicker."
Je'Ron Hamm: Worked with the first offense Saturday and is definitely more of a passing threat at this point. He spent time on the Redskins' practice squad last season (he was a receiver at Louisiana-Monroe). “Je'Ron is explosive, fast. He's gone up and made great catches this camp," Phillips said. “We like what he can do in the pass game. He's come along as a blocker. For him to progress the way he's done, we're pleased with him." Hamm popped a blood vessel in his eye vs. Cleveland, but is fine.
Chase Dixon: Phillips said Dixon is better able to be used along the line as a blocker than the other young tight ends. But when Dixon played at Central Arkansas, he was used mostly as a pass-catcher. So blocking will still be an adjustment for him.
Devin Mahina: A 26-year-old rookie who has some good size. Though he's listed at 250 pounds, Phillips said he's closer to 270. He's not a fast player and, in camp, hasn't done much as a pass threat, so blocking has to be his ticket onto a roster. “He's a big, strong-handed, strong-bodied kid," Phillips said. “He's really smart. For a rookie to come in, he's picked things up well."