Demario Davis Tackles Playmaking, Leadership

Posted Jul 30, 2013

LB Demario Davis played in all 16 games as a rookie last year. While he did start three games in the middle of the season, he mostly played special teams, finishing with 15 special teams tackles, second-most on the team.

This season, the departure of veteran LB Bart Scott has given Davis the opportunity to take on a larger role in the Jets defense. Rex has said Davis is in the fore to replace Scott at Will LB, and Davis has been running with the ones at training camp.

“I’ve been working on a lot of things to better do my job,” he said. “If it’s film studies, if it’s better execution on the field, I’m doing it.”

During the offseason, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman challenged Davis to understand the coverage assignments at the outside linebacker position. He showed a glimpse of what he has learned on one play in particular when his alertness to his responsibilities led to a tackle of RB Joe McKnight for a loss on a pitch play in 11-on-11 drills.

“I have the outside edge on that play,” Demario explained, “so if it’s a pass I have a pass rush, but if it’s a run to the outside, I have to turn it back in. The ball was pitched outside and I was able to get back there and make the tackle.”

While the execution of plays is no doubt a necessity, filling the leadership role that Scott and others had filled will be another responsibility for Davis.

Early signs from camp indicate that Davis should have little trouble stepping up as one of the leaders of the defense. Monday morning, for example, he was the first to run up and congratulate CB Kyle Wilson for batting down a ball for an incompletion.

“I know guys are looking at me as a leader,” he said. “I know Coach is looking at me as a leader. You have to be a great guy both on and off the field. That’s what a great leader does.”

Davis recognizes the abundance of talent on this Jets roster and enters this season full of hope and optimism about the team’s chances.

“I have very high expectations for this team,” he said. “We have the athletes. We have the talent. We’re going to be good this year.”