Like many of the Redskins new free agent signings, safety Sean Davis held an introductory phone call with local media on Wednesday, as any normal press conference will unlikely be happening in the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On the call, Davis answered questions about his role with the Redskins will be, what the free agency process was like, and his excitement to be with the Burgundy and Gold, among other topics.
Here are three major takeaways from his conference call.
1. He's completely healthy.
During the first three seasons of his career, Davis was very durable. The safety missed just one game between 2016-2018 while starting in 40 of them.
But during the Steelers Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots, Davis suffered a shoulder injury, one that cost him the rest of his 2019 season.
Davis was asked very early on during the conference call how his shoulder is currently feeling, and the safety's answer should please many Redskins fans.
"My shoulder’s good," Davis said. "I passed my physical, so I’m feeling strong, feeling great and I’m ready to get back on the football field. My shoulder is doing good."
It's worth wondering if the Steelers would have tried to Davis, should he had been healthy during the final season of his rookie deal. The Redskins jumped on Davis in free agency, signing him to a one-year contract, essentially a prove-it deal for the safety just hours after the new league year began. Should the 26-year-old have a bounce-back season and stay healthy in 2020, he'll set himself up for a nice payday next year.
2. Davis models his game after the late Sean Taylor.
It was a little ironic that Davis was introduced to the local media on April 1, the same day Sean Taylor was born 37 years ago. Davis, who grew up a Redskins fan in Prince George's County, said Taylor had -- and still has -- a major influence on his game.
"He was probably the biggest influence on my football game," Davis said of Taylor. "I’ve been wearing 21 since high school. I had to wear 28 for Pittsburgh my first two years, but once 21 opened up it was a no-brainer I had to jump on it. He was just an awesome player, a huge role model."
Davis won't sport No. 21 in Washington, as that number has been off-limits since Taylor's tragic death in 2007. While the newest Redskins safety will have to choose another number (No. 28 has also not been worn by any Redskins player since Darrell Green), Davis hopes he can have an impact on the field in a way Taylor once did.
"He was just a beast, he was the best and I’ve tried to emulate my game after him," Davis said. "He instilled fear in the receivers, he was doing everything imaginable, so he was really a freak athlete and I just try to do what I’m supposed to do, but also unleash the inner beast in me and play like Sean Taylor. That’s my goal every week I’m out there, play like Sean."
3. Davis has played multiple positions and sees his versatility as a strength.
Davis, like many of the Redskins free agent signings this offseason, has experience playing multiple positions. In Pittsburgh, Davis played both safety positions -- each for a full season as a starter -- and played a little cornerback, too.
"I have played a lot of positions. I just like being on the field, honestly," Davis said. "I feel like I can play any position you really want me to. As long as I’m on the field, I feel like I’m going to make an impact on defense."
The Redskins expect Davis to play free safety, as Landon Collins will play the strong safety role lining up closer to the line of scrimmage. However, Davis and Collins both have experience playing all over the field, allowing the Burgundy and Gold to get creative with their looks next season.
"I’m just looking forward to being the deep guy, being the one that everyone has to depend on," Davis said on playing free safety.
Since Davis moved from strong safety to free safety in 2018, one aspect of his game he's really focused on is making open-field tackles. He'll likely have plenty of opportunities to make those with the Redskins next season.
"Being the last line of defense, open-field tackling – it’s one of the hardest things in football and it’s one thing that I pride myself on," he said. "Each year, I’ve missed less tackles. I’m just looking forward to improving my game each and every year and the best is yet to come."
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