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Top Tackler Demario Davis: It's in the Details

Posted Dec 13, 2017

Jets' MLB, After Career-Best 16 Takedowns in Denver, Looks Forward to Challenge in New Orleans


Good performances can get lost in a game like the Jets' Sunday defeat in Denver. For instance, who noticed that sixth-year MLB Demario Davis had himself a career game?

And today, his game got even better, statistically, with the Elias Sports Bureau's splitting of LB David Bass' full second-quarter sack of Trevor Siemian into a half sack for Bass and a half for Davis.

That increased Double-D's season total to a team-leading and career-best 5.0 sacks. And the extra tackle assist gave him 16 total tackles for the game — a personal best for him as a pro.

Davis was happy to hear the numbers news, but he doesn't pay too much attention to it.

"You always want to do better," he told me after today's practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center. "I don't really think of myself in that individual concept. I think of myself inside the scheme. And it's 'man, we could be so much better in the run, there's only a couple of games we got to the quarterback like we wanted so let's get the quarterback, let's find ways to get takeaways.' We've done some really good things just by doing those things all the time, especially in crucial moments, just not panicking and continuing with the details."

It's all about details for Davis, whose season back with the Green & White after spending a year in Cleveland's Dawg Pound is not just a career year but is shaping up as one of the top tackling campaigns in franchise history.


With 138 tackles through 13 games, Davis is on pace for 170. David Harris, his partner in the middle of the Jets D for four seasons, never had more than 150 in a season. The last Jets to have more tackles were Jonathan Vilma with 187 in 2005 and James Farrior with 181 in '01. (All tackle totals are based on coaches' video review, not pressbox stats.)

"I've always fluctuated between 100 and 120," Davis said. "I always look at my tape, and especially this past offseason, I saw, man, there's a lot of plays I'm leaving out there. So what I've tried to do is eliminate those plays, whether it be a missed tackle, or being a little bit late to a spot, or a play I could've anticipated based on formation, or a play where I just gave 80 percent where I could've given 100 percent.

"A lot of those years where I was getting 110, 120 tackles probably could've been up there at 140, 150 if I would've put in the detail in my work that I'm doing now. So this season's not really a surprise, but I thought this formula would work and it's working and that's good to see."

The Jets need a week of peak detail work because this Sunday presents them with a different kind of challenge than the Broncos. Drew Brees and the Saints are among the NFL's most productive offenses, with Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara heading up the No. 1 running attack in both yards/game (135.5) and yards/carry (4.9).

Davis isn't flinching from this next road threat.

"I get excited for games like this. Something about them intensifies my focus," he said. "Even though they have one of the best passers in football history, they're running the ball really well, so it's going to be a great challenge for us.

"But it's always about the details, understanding exactly what the coaches are asking us to do, locking it in, repping it, repping it, repping it, and the on Sunday just going out and executing it."