Even though the pads have yet to come on, Jets linebacker Demario Davis is already embracing his new role on the defense as the Mike linebacker.
"God has prepared me for this moment. I was in Cleveland and that's what I was playing," Davis told reporters Friday. "It's not anything new, it's just different. It's a different defense and different terminology. I think my progression has been pretty fast because I've played in the system before, so it's not anything that I've never seen before. But as far as the position, I'm accustomed to it and I'm ready for the challenge."
The Green & White reacquired the 6'2", 248-pounder via trade with Cleveland in June. In his first media appearance in the spring, he said he felt like a different person than when he left the team following the 2015 season.
He credited his growth off the field to his leadership role with the Browns, which subsequently translated to his on-field success. In 16 games (15 starts), Davis totaled 99 tackles, 2.0 sacks and two pass defenses. However, the Arkansas State product predominantly worked on his coverage skills, which Pro Football Focus recently noted:
"I'm a different player," he said. "A lot of it goes to the way that I critique my game now and to some of the coaches I work with now. I think the biggest part is having the humility to look at myself and realize the areas that I was deficient in and trying to change that. I think anybody who is able to humble themselves, see their flaws and make those adjustments is going to be a better person or a better player."
Although Davis returned to the Jets with a sharpened toolkit, he'll still have to earn his roster spot along with the remainder of the inside unit that includes Darron Lee, Julian Stanford, Bruce Carter, Spencer Paysinger, Frank Beltre and Connor Harris.
"I'm just here trying to work the best I can and be the best player that I can be," he said. "I'll try to help the defense as best as I can. We have a lot of good players in that locker room and I'm ready to help the team however I can."