New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis - 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon - Wednesday, August 15, 2018
How much of this defense do you have? How deep into the playbook?
"I'm in it now, I'm good."
You know everything?
"Yeah. At this point, we've been through OTA's, minicamp, training camp, we've put in all the installs. We've been through the whole playbook three times over at this point. Everybody should have it from the veterans to the young guys. There's still going to be small stuff we all have to learn and grow in but as far as the playbook, everybody should have it in by now."
Are you sat at the 'Will' now?
"I am doing whatever the coaches ask me to do. They can put me in multiple spots, (it) just depends on the packages, depends on where I am at. I am doing whatever they ask me to do."
Is that what you've been doing the most so far?
"Yeah that's where I've been primarily."
What kind of experience do you have playing the 'Will'?
"At this point going into year seven, I've played every linebacker position in the game whether it's on the edge, 'Will', 'Mike', 'Sam'. The position is so diverse now, you have to be able to do more. I'm comfortable wherever I'm at as long as it's on field, I'm comfortable."
You're an intimidating person just to look at right now, do you feel like you intimidate or do anything to try to intimidate the other players during games?
"Our coach always says, 'Your only advantage on defense is fear.' I think that's the way you play the game, you want to inflict fear into your opponent by the way that you play not just by the way that you look. My biggest thing is when I turn the tape on I want to jump out and I want them to watch 56 the whole game. If they don't, they'll have a long day."
So, do you growl or something?
"No man, It's all in the play. It's all in the play and it's not about what you say but about what you do. When they look at the tape, they know who real ones are and that's what I'm trying to do. When I'm playing an opponent on the field or anybody, it's a challenge in the moment but I'm thinking about the next opponent and the opponent after that. I want to hit this person so hard, the next three people who watch the tape are really intimidated by it."
Is there any significance to wearing the same number as Lawrence Taylor?
"That's the number one reason why I wear the jersey. That and Psalm 56."
As part of being a veteran, is there a moment where you say 'okay I'm ready for the regular season or we as a unit are ready for the regular season?
"No, every day's a day to get better whether it's practice or a preseason game. It's a challenge within yourself to become a better version of yourself. I try to make the most of all of it."
What would you like to see you guys do better in the second preseason game?
"Everything. We can always get better. Better in the running game, better in the pass game, better situational football, third-down in the backfield, red zone. There's too many situations where you can always get better at everything. I start with myself individually, what areas I can work on to get better. Game-to-game and as a unit we have to do the same.
Do you feel fully comfortable in this defense at this point?
"Oh yeah I love this defense. I love the flexibility in it, the different things that we can do to attack offenses and not just play on our heels. I love every part of it."
Does it fit what you do well?
"I am flexible so I just try to adapt to my environment. It is like what Bruce Lee says, 'Be like water.' You put it in a cup, it fits to the cup, you pour it out and it goes everywhere. I try to adapt to my environment."
You're wearing a 'On a Mission' wristband, can you explain that?
"Oh, yeah so I'm on a mission and blessed. My main mission is always to do what the man upstairs wants me to do, that's my number one mission. I'm blessed to be in this position, so I'll never take a day for granted. Then I have my Saints colors on there because this is my mission at the moment."
You leave those on during games too?
"Yup. I put tape over it, cover it up and I'm good to go."
How would you say the linebacker core as a whole here fits the modern game as well as the philosophy of this defense?
"Number one, we have a bunch of goons and savages, so these linebackers are the most intense people on the unit. From top to bottom we have a bunch of goons and savage players who (are) ready (to) run and hit, who can run well, move well. Then you've got guys who played in most positions and can do a lot of different things. That's how we're able to change around and play different positions. Then you have a lot of guys who are smart enough to understand the defensive and play most positions and help get other guys lined up."
Why do you think it's a positive philosophy to have versatile linebackers?
"The game's changing, the game's more of a space game now. Look at the tackling rules. You have got to be able to get out in space, make a tackle and you cannot go out there and lunge. Number one, you are going to miss, but even if you do connect they are going to throw a flag. You need to have guys with range, who can move around, who can change their body position at the drop of a dime. It is not all bulky linebackers out of a box. You have to be able to have a guy who can move around and play in space. That's just the way the game is going. You kind of have a cross now between linebackers and safeties, where at one time (you) had a cross between linebackers and lineman. The game has just changed like that. It's not just with this defense, I think as with any defense because on second down primarily you're going to get a pass set. You have to have guys who can run and have the flexibility and dynamic to change."
Getting away from football, do you all talk about what you will do in terms of individually or as a team [in regard to the anthem], how do you all handle that?
"I think it is still an ongoing conversation about what we are going to do as a team. I think anytime you are part of an organization, you want to be on the same page as your organization. Everybody works on the same page. So, it's still an ongoing conversation with our organization (and) across the league)."
When the Saints came after you, did they mention a vision of a position they had for you?
"They just mentioned that they wanted me, and I wanted to play here so it was a match made in heaven."
I think I heard something about you wanting to have the headset, is there anything you can do to show the coaches you should have it?
"No, I'm a player first. I'm not a coach. I'm happy. As long as I'm on the field. I'm good, I am out there to make plays and to help make the team better. That is the ultimate goal and the vision. We as a team trying to go in a direction. It's not about me individually. It's about the team and what's best for the team, the coaches know that if they put me somewhere I'm going to play that position as best I can and make plays. So, I think that's how we get to where we're trying to go."
Do you have a big group out there Friday night coming to see you?
"I'm always going to have them. I'm in my backyard, I'm always going to have a big group."
What's big? Like how many people going?
"I do not know but I am guessing average every week somewhere between 15 and 50 people."
Are you a goon or a savage?
"I'm all in between. I'm all that."