New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Having been in the NFL for a long time with a couple different teams, how hard do you think it is to maintain the success that you have had in these last four years, just kind of year in year out being in the hunt for that top seed every year?
"To win in this league, just to win a game, it's very hard. I've been on teams where we had a lot of talent and for the most part felt like we were doing everything right, but just didn't make the playoffs, didn't win a ton of games and you realize how hard it is to win in this league. And so when you come to a team like this, you don't take it for granted when you're able to have success. A lot of it is talent, a lot of it is culture, a lot of it is attention to detail, situational awareness. So it's just hard to win alone in this league, and especially to be a top team or a contending team every season year in, year out. And I think it just speaks a lot to the organization."
How different is that from your stops with the Jets or the Browns? Like here?
"Yeah, it's a big difference. I don't take anything away from those organizations, I had a good time in New York, I had a good time with the Browns. But when you come to a team like this, and you see how a championship organization is established, you see how much goes in it. And you can kind of see the separation. There's a lot of pieces that go into that. It's not an easy thing to do. It's about having the right players, it's about having the right coaches. It's about the intricacies and the details and it's a top down thing, it's from the top to the bottom, but I think it just says a lot about the Saints organization as a whole."
How did you find out that you were the Saints' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, and what was your reaction to that?
"I learned through the Saints, they told me and it's definitely a humbling thing to happen. I don't really know if I can put it into words. To know that I'm looked at by my organization in that manner, that they saw fit to put me there is definitely a blessing and something that I do not take for granted. It especially means a lot to me, especially in this year. I just think 2020 has just been a hard year for a lot of people. And something that I try to represent is just hope. Everybody I help, everybody that I serve, it's all in light of trying to bring hope to that individual or that group or that community. And so in a time where so much is going on, and so many people have had to deal with so much. I hope that they can look to me as a symbol, or a representative of hope because ultimately, that's all I want to bring. I want to be able to help people find hope. And I want to be able to point them to hope. So in a year like 2020, to be selected as the Saints Man of the Year, it means a lot and it's definitely a blessing."
Kind of going back to what you were talking about with the culture that the organization has built and in the locker room. Do you see a correlation between that and the depth that you guys have been able to build particularly this year?
"I think it says a lot about the organization because of the pieces that they brought in. It's hard to build the type of roster that we have because there is so much parody across the league, but when you've got a lot of top players and a lot of your key positions, you have a top quarterback, a top receiver, a top running back, top tackle, top defensive ends, top linebackers, top corners, top safeties, top interior D-linemen, that's hard to do. That's hard to build. I feel like that's a combination of drafting right, understanding the right free agents to get, working the system and getting the right trades, and then having the coaches to develop those guys when they get here and build a system they can thrive in. So there is a lot and that is not an easy thing to do. And so I think the front office is to be commended for the type of talented roster we have. And the players are to, to be able to go out and execute on a consistent basis."
How do you prepare for a rookie quarterback that you really don't have a lot of NFL tape on in Jalen Hurts? And the second is what impresses you most about Sean Payton's adaptability, the way he's able to win, there's turnover at quarterback and you guys continue to adapt, and it starts really with him?
"Yeah, I think anytime you have to prepare for a different quarterback and you don't have a lot of tape, it kind of puts you in a limbo. Kind of the same situation when we were getting ready to play Denver, you don't know. It's kind of, you have to be ready for what you've seen them do. And you have to kind of have a little bit of planning for the unexpected. And so there is a little bit of tape on Hurts. We were able to watch that and kind of get a feel. But at the same time, their coach (Doug Pederson) is very creative. He knows how to use the different guys that he has and put them in situations where they would be successful, so we have to be ready for that. Speaking about Sean, I do not think there are enough positive words that I could put on how impressed I've been with him as a head coach, and an offensive mastermind. The way he is able to foresee what's about to happen, a lot of times I lean on him, or we lean on him, when we're getting ready to go against offenses to ask, like, if he was in that situation, what would he do? Like in a situation like this, what would he do in the situation and he's able to help us kind of understand, like what offensive coaches are thinking in those scenarios. And I think that is what allows us to have so much good success on the defensive side. But he just constantly puts us in situations to win. A lot of times coming down the stretch, he has us so elevated when it comes to situational awareness where that puts us in the best position and gives us the highest chance of closing out close games. No matter what our opponents do, because we've already prepared for those scenarios. And so as a coach to be able to have the foresight to prepare for those things just through his many years of experience, I think it sets us apart."
I've talked to a couple coaches these last couple weeks. Dennis Allen's really pushing all the right buttons for you defensively. Just curious what your kind of take is on that and the job he's done to put you in position to have so much success lately?
"Yeah, that's another situation where I do not have enough positive words that I can say about DA, as far as a defensive coordinator. He's one of the smartest coaches I've ever been around. He has a great understanding of what the offenses are about to do or how they're going to plan their plan of attack versus us and has built a defense where he can make small adjustments that make a big difference week in and week out. That way that we can kind of shape shift around our strengths and what the offense is going to be able to do or going to attempt to do against us. The entire year he's just kept us locked in on the process. Week by week, we've been able to continue to get better, and I think that's what's making the adjustment for us."
The city announced today they thought they were going to have 15,000 fans in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the Kansas City game. It's going to be 3,000. Have you have you gotten used to these crowds and the lack of atmosphere at NFL games this year? Would you say that affects you at all now or you're used to it?
"No, that's something you'll never get used to, especially when you play in the dome and know what our fan base means to us. Our fans are not just fans. And I wouldn't even say it's not just family, like it's a part of our DNA. Our city breathes through the Saints and the Saints breath through the city and so not having our fan base and not and not having our crowd, it's tough. I understand all the protocols, they have to go into place and we're in a strange time where safety is at a premium. But we definitely can't wait to we can have our dome back rocking like we're all accustomed to."