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Transcript: Demario Davis training camp conference call - Tuesday, August 4

Demario Davis discusses balancing social justice advocacy and preparing for the upcoming NFL season

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
Microsoft Teams Call with New Orleans Media
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

How do you balance social justice advocacy with preparing for football season?
"Yeah, I just always try to use my platform responsibly. I'm a huge believer in whom much is given, much is required. So just understanding that a lot comes with a lot of eyes being on you, having a lot of resources, understanding where I came from the opportunities I have to be able to give back and help those who don't have the same opportunities or the same access. It's kind of individually my responsibility to make sure that that happens. I just think that's the mindset that we as human beings should have. And so it's a balancing act, you know, just like you have to balance your career with your family. You always have to find ways to balance your time with COVID-19 happening and us being forced to be indoors and just kind of away from the world and kind of the world sitting still. There were a lot more opportunities that presented themselves that probably wouldn't have presented themselves had we had a normal schedule. And so I just tried to make the most of that. And now getting back in (to football), it's another balancing act. Football is the main thing, (while) the platform gives me more opportunities. And so how do you transition your mindset to make sure that I'm keeping the main thing (a priority), but also not be so closed off that I'm not taking advantage of opportunities to help people."

Did moving your personal trainers in with you allow you to kind of keep going through pandemic?
"It was good. I felt like how do you navigate training and getting in the best shape with COVID-19 and you can't go to a lot of gyms, (they) were closed down and you couldn't train as normal. We weren't going to spend as much time around the team. So my wife and I felt it was best if I had the trainers move in with us. And so that way we could limit the amount of contact that we having with people on the outside and still be able to train to optimal level. And it was good so we got a couple of months out of it where my trainer was living with me and we were able to find ways to take our game to the next level."

This offseason, you landed on the NFL Network's top 100 list, do you feel like you finally have earned respect from around the league?
"I'm big on always counting my blessings. Last year I wasn't on the list. So this year to be on the list is certainly a blessing. So I'm not going to take you know, that for granted in any regards. The way I view myself is extremely high. I'm my toughest critic, but I'm also my biggest cheerleader, you know, so in my mind it's always more to accomplish or more, you know, it's always a feeling of being seen accurately, you know, so I feel like I should be higher up on the list. But that's just me personally. But at the same time, I use it as motivation. And I'll always be able to find some type of motivation to challenge myself and trigger myself to go to another level. And that's what I do with this. And so, you know, it's great to be able to be on the list where I once wasn't. I'm grateful for that. Anything that happens, I'm always going to give credit to the to the man I feel like he gave me the ability to do it, the Lord above. But other than that, I'm just going to find ways to challenge myself and not get comfortable. And I was like, 67 is too low. And so I'm just going to use that as motivation to prove that you can't find a player like me inside of the game. So it's the constant ability to prove that and I think me improving that, or chasing and proving that makes me better for my team."

Can you share with us some of the tweaks you added to your workout regimen? And how has it evolved as you progress in your career?
"Let me see, I can do that without giving away all my secrets. I did a lot more water workouts this year because it was a way that I could train my conditioning and train my body at the same time because the water kind of recovers you at the same time that you're training. So I was able to train in the water for two and a half, three hours and not be you know, so fatigued that I couldn't work out the next day. And it was a lot of ways that we could train you know, above the water and train underneath the water, which was two forms of conditioning. So now my body has been conditioned. Also, I'm expanding my lungs as well. So those are one of the biggest ways, you know, being a player that plays 90 plus percent of the snaps, the longer that I can go at a higher percentage of my maximum ability, the better I'm going to be for my team. And so that's that's kind of how I took it on. There were definitely areas I thought that I could on top of having a good year in coverage, I could even increase and go to another level, also with my blitzing and angles and just find a way to impact the game. Creating turnovers is the area that my (position) coach challenged me this offseason. So I incorporated a lot of that stuff. And so it was a lot of things that I did differently because, you know, last year was a good year. But now when I watched the film, even in meetings now I watch the film and it was like dang, that player really wasn't that good to me. I'm excited to see what I can bring to the table this year."

So now that you and your teammates have been in the facility for a couple days now, what's been one of the hardest things to adjust to with all of the new coronavirus safety protocols?
"I think the hardest thing is just being not to be able to be in close contact with your teammates and your coaches. It's really like a family environment when you come into the locker room, especially this locker room. And so for us to kind of have to keep our distance. Have to joke with each other from a space. It's just different. You know, I can't really explain that to somebody that doesn't see it on a regular basis. But I mean, you see how close we are and how bonded we are and how we joke a lot. And so now we have to do that and watch our space and we got these trackers on so it blinks when you too close to somebody. So definitely needed for the safety precautions, but it's just different. You know, it's hard to be an environment where people that you care about that you close with and you've bonded with, but you have to keep your distance."

Yeah, I'm just curious about your blitzing, watching you it's so effective. I'm just kind of curious about like your process there and how much work you put in to that aspect of your game?
"Yeah, it is so much more mental than it is physical. And that is what I think people do not understand. Like, yes, you can be fast and strong and even have good hands. And you need to train those things too. But so much of it is just about getting to certain spots before guys are anticipating you being at this spot and so understanding the angles and amount of steps and alignment that you have to be in. It's kind of very similar to a basketball player. A basketball player just shooting shots, they're getting two spots on the court to shoot. And so, pre-snap if I can get to a certain spot, it puts me in a better position to get to a certain spot. Like the straight line that come into place and getting there and that's what allowed me to be successful and it takes it takes it takes a lot of time and a lot of studying."

Are you confident that the NFL can pull this off and start the season on time as scheduled right now?
"I think I'm about as confident as anybody else in the country is right now (and) around the world. I think everybody's just trying to do the best that they can and process the things and the information that is coming to them. And, you know, I think the best thing that we can do is, you know, lean on experts and, you know, take the advice that they're giving to us. As far as player, they have a protocol system and so I'm just trying to follow that protocol system as much as I can to be as safe as I can for myself and for my family and for my teammates and colleagues. I feel (as good) about it (and) probably about the same as anybody else. Thank you guys. You be blessed and stay safe."

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