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The anatomy of a Demario Davis pregame huddle speech

"Guys are already in their zone. You just don't want to mess them up"


The alpha simply is a thought that moves New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis.

The omega is a stirring, goosebumps-triggering, adrenaline-laced oratory.

That's how his speeches in the team pregame huddle begin and end, and it's a job that Davis has proven to be well-suited for. His first solo offering to the team happened on Sept. 22, 2019, against Seattle, the first of five consecutive games that quarterback Drew Brees would miss that season due to a thumb injury and surgery.

The speeches and mojo went so well – New Orleans went 5-0 – that the two jointly would lead the pregame huddle thereafter, until Brees was injured last season on Nov. 15 and missed the next four games, during which the Saints were 3-1 and Davis again was the solo pregame huddle voice.

So, naturally, Davis continued to carry out the responsibility when the Saints took the field against Baltimore in this year's preseason opener.

"It's very important, because that's a sacred space," he said. "Personally, it was an honor when Drew kind of passed that torch on to me. And I handle it as such, I treat it understanding that I'm not trying to go out there and I'm not trying to be Drew. I'm different. I'm Demario.

"My teammates have their own individual respect for me as they had for him, and so I think that respect, when you step into that space, knowing that you're kind of that last fuel to the fire for everybody, it's really a big thing about not messing it up. Guys are already in their zone. You just don't want to mess them up and knock them out of their zone by saying something weird or crazy. And so, it's a process.

"For me, I'm more so waiting for that one thing that's going to move me. I feel like I have a good feel or vibe of the locker room and kind of where guys are at and kind of what this game means or that moment. And so for me, it's really just trying to play into that. Once I feel that vibe and it kind of moves my spirit, I kind of build off of that.

"It's kind of like setting a scene. First you've got to get the stage and once I get the thing that moves my spirit, that's the stage and then it's just about putting a chair over here, putting a couch over here. Those little add-on points that kind of take it to another level. From there, it's game time."

JUMP AROUND: Saints practice deejay Freddie Mac – vice president of player engagement Fred McAfee – mixed in House of Pain classic "Jump Around" during Thursday's practice. Let's just say it was well-received. Aside from the head bobbing, receivers Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris offered a well-done, impressive replication of a portion of the Kid 'n Play dance from the movie "House Party" (the foot tap part). But then, receivers and footwork are supposed to go hand in hand, right?

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