New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport had a simple answer when asked what his goals were for the upcoming 2020 season:
"I'm trying to be better than Cam."
Cam would be Cameron Jordan, the All-Pro, Pro Bowl, all-interview veteran who lines up on the opposite side of Davenport. Jordan had 15.5 sacks in 2019 and is moving up the all-time sacks list for the Saints like a freight train (87 career sacks, second only to Pro Football Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson).
In short, not a bad choice for the former first-round pick out of Texas-San Antonio to model himself after.
"Obviously he is one of the best," Davenport said Friday, Aug. 7 during a video conference with New Orleans media. "If I can get better than Cam than I am doing something right."
Davenport, a 6-foot-6, 265-pounder, had a pretty impressive sophomore campaign in 2019, playing 13 games with six sacks and three forced fumbles. A foot injury ended his season prematurely and the rehab allowed Davenport to be one of the few players who was able to work out at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center during the pandemic.
Davenport said Friday that in 2019 he was just scratching the surface of his potential.
There is "a lot more I want to be able to do," he said. "It wasn't good enough. Not close. I've got to do better."
In addition to rehabbing this offseason, Davenport has focused on getting stronger, especially in his lower body.
"I expect to be overall better than I was," he said. "I'm just trying to be consistently explosive."