New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario DavisConference Call With New Orleans MediaMonday, March 19, 2018
What about the Saints were an attractive fit for you?
"It was three-fold. Number one, it was close to home. Two, it is a championship culture here and number three, you have one of the best quarterbacks (Drew Brees) in the game. You scratch all of those three things off, there is not much else you can ask for."
How would you describe your game?
"I take it a lot of pride in my game. I think number one, I'm always trying to be on the attack. Whether that is in the run game or trying to make and diagnose plays and stop them before they start. Whether it blitzing, I am always trying to effect the quarterback as many ways as possible. Number three, in the pass game, I am either trying to take running backs or tight ends out of the game. Just trying to get to my zones and try to make plays on the ball when I can. I take a lot of pride in diagnosing plays before they happen. Whether it is in the run, pass game or whether I'm blitzing or playing coverage."
What do you think about joining a team that already has so many veteran linebackers?
"I am just excited about it. I talked to coach (Mike) Nolan and it seems like a great group, so I am just excited to come in and be a part of the fold."
How many teams expressed interest in you?
"I won't talk about all the teams. It was about six teams that were really interested."
Why the Saints?
"The Saints stood out for a number of reasons. One, they were close to home. Number two, it is a championship culture winning year in and year out. Then lastly, having one of the best quarterbacks in the game. You can't pass up on that opportunity. It was a great opportunity for me and I was just excited to come in and be a part of it."
How many of your family members have already hit you up for season tickets since you live so close to home?
"I actually closed a deal on the Saints while I was on a plane and by the time I got out of the air, the deal was finalized and my phone had over 500 messages. That can kind of speak to how excited everybody was."
When was that? When you agreed to the deal, last week?
And where were you flying to?
"I was actually flying from New Jersey to Arkansas. I had a speaking engagement. I do a lot of public speaking and had a speaking engagement in Arkansas where I went to school (Arkansas State). So I was on a flight headed there and was talking to my agent before about it and it came down to the final two teams, the Saints and another team and I told him I trusted him (his agent) and he'd leave the rest in God's hands. He closed the deal, and by the time I landed it was done and it was announced and I was headed here."
How much is speed a strength of yours?
"Since I came in from college, I have always been known for my speed. I think that is a huge part of a what I bring to the table and it helps in all aspects of the game, in the run. I have always been a sideline to sideline linebacker and blitzing I have been able to get to the quarterback and effect the throws fast and effectively. I think last year, three of my blitzes were the fastest to get to a quarterback and coverage just allows me to covered running backs. That is who I am mainly covering as an inside linebacker is the running backs. We play some of the best of them, Christian McCaffrey, Kareem Hunt, LeSean McCoy, you name them I had to cover them last year and they let me cover them on the inside and outside. But they were never able to run away from me. I think early in my years, I suffered a bit from technique when it came to covering but the past few years I have been able to hone in on that, which is really not just speed, but a lot of technique that goes into it and harness the speed that you have and not overrunning angles and things like that. Speed has always been a strength of mine, but even more so, I have polished up the edges of it and putting in the proper technique, that even cuts down time on blitzes and stuff like that."
Explain what it is like to come to a place that has an established culture?
"It is very important. To win in this league is very hard, it is very hard. I think, when you played against the Saints this past year with the Jets, I saw the fan base was electric, the defense was flying around making plays, guys on offense had a very strong running game and one of the best quarterbacks to every play, kind of running the show. I think the front office and coaching staff has done a great job creating a championship culture with a team that can win year in and year out and has proved it over the last decade or so. I just wanted to come in and be a part of that and just be able to help any way I can."
Your father was a 20-year military veteran, do you remember what his rank was?
"My father is a E7 or an E8 I believe."
Reserve or active duty?
"He just got off of active duty this past year and went into reserves so he could be closer to home."
Did you get a chance to grow up around the world?
"No, I stayed in Mississippi. It was me and my Mom for the most part. He was doing his thing so he was traveling all over."
How much of his discipline rubbed off on you?
"A lot. One of the first things I can recall is was always be a leader and never a follower and there is no cutting corners and it is doing things the right way all the way through."
You coached flag football in New York to Military, is that something you want to do down here?
"Yes, that would be cool. We had a great time doing that as a part of our military appreciation campaign up there. That would be great. I will always be involved in the military because it is a big part of my life."