New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
2019 Training Camp Presented by Verizon
Friday, August 2, 2019
Post Practice Media Availability
Is there anything now with this defense that you don't know? Is it truly everything is second nature to right now?
“I think at this point I've got it down pat about the best as you can get it. There’s always little things that you can add. We've put us in different things in the offseason that we’re sharpening now, and I think we've got probably got about three more installs. Just the more and more you get through it, you go through it, the better you become and more accustomed (you are with it). I think that's the key to playing fast, get it down, and make it second nature so you can focus on what the offense is doing.”
How much pride do you, Alex Anzalone, and A.J. Klein take in running down the field with the receivers right there in coverage for 25, 30 yards?
“I think it's a spatial game. Now you have to have hybrid linebackers that can get the job done in the box and make plays 15 plus yards down the field because the tight ends are running deeper, running backs and running deeper, and now and then you may get on a wide receiver in slot or something like that. It's just the nature of the business and it comes with the position. Now you have those responsibilities and so you’ve just got to make sure that you’re prepared to do it and know when to get into those spots.”
*We have had fans come up to us on the Saints radio and say, well, Demario Davis to me, I know you are your own man. But they kind of view the great linebackers we've had here. Sam Mills, Jonathan Vilma, and they kind of even say now because they are more familiar under Sean Payton that Demario Davis is our new Jonathan Vilma. You’ve got to take a lot of pride in that when the fans view you that way? *
“I’ve got so much respect for guys like that. The guys that are in Saints glory and the Saints Hall of Fame. I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for those guys and the work that they put in. To even being in the same conversation is an honor. I know the game is a lot different now. Linebackers are asked to do a lot more stuff, especially in the coverage game now and going wider and deeper down the field. I try to focus on being as best I can in this era. And at the same time, I have a lot of appreciation and utmost respect, nothing but praise for the guys who came in front of me.
Sean Payton was saying how a lot of teams my try to save those reviews for the second half now that pass interference is reviewable. Being a player on the field, how do you guys deal with that and how do you think it plays into the strategy?
“I think goes a lot more to the head coach more than anything. The challenge has always been controlled by the head coach. He is listening inside his headset to the guys up top (booth coaches) and he will know how to best use it. I do not think as far as us, it affects us any different. If we get the call, we get it. If we do not get the call, we do not get it. That kind of goes both ways. Sometimes on defense, you can get away with one, sometimes offense gets away with a lot. But I think that's on the coach as far as how they want to review it and you can't let it affect your game.”
How has the game changed looking at RPOs and you've got Lamar Jackson type quarterbacks and Taysom Hill. To honor that quarterback truly as a runner now it goes back to RGIII (Robert Griffin III), you're probably familiar. Does that give a linebacker on an assignment more responsibility?
“I think it is tough anytime you have got the extra dynamic of a quarterback that can run, but what really helps them is their ability to keep plays alive longer. It is so much you fear them running down the field because most of the time when they get down the field they slide anyways. They can keep plays alive longer so you have to turn and find an open man that maybe turning up the field wide open. But even more than the scrambling quarterback, it is just the run-pass option. They can fake a run and it looks like a run. The linemen are coming down field. The only people that know it is a pass are the quarterback and the wide receiver. We have been trying to push and say, man, you have got to call that flag because you have got linemen down the field blocking and the quarterback pulls and he throws it. For a linebacker, you cannot get a read on that. Usually, in prior times if the linemen come down the field, you know it is a run, if they stand straight up, you know it is the pass. But now they have a run play called and the only people who know it’s a pass are the quarterback and the receiver and the linemen maybe three-yards down the field and he throws a slant route with linebackers at the line of scrimmage. So it is hard on us. We just hope we get a few of those calls, but who knows?”
You mentioned that how much linebackers are asked to do now. The consistency with the group, most of the guys are back. Does that allow you guys to scheme things up a little differently or more complicated? Do anything differently this year than maybe you did last year?
“I think we have a closer bond. Some guys have been together for three years now and most of us for two years under the same coach so we have a really close bond, not just on the field, but off the field. I think that just kind of allows us to think along the same patterns. A lot of times we may change a blitz in the middle of the play without even saying it or communicating with each other because we both kind of think along the same plane. Whether it's two of us or three of us on the field, we kind of found a groove of just kind of understanding how a guy plays, how a guy thinks, and it just puts us one step ahead of the offense.”
So that unspoken communication, do you think that that's overrated, underrated in the NFL and not talked about enough? How important is that?
Chemistry is a probably not talked about or taken as seriously as it should be? I think for as well as we played last year defensively, I think a lot of that has to do with just our chemistry all around, especially in our room and to the whole defense and the team. Chemistry is what allows teams to really gel on the field and just guys knowing where certain guys are going to be in that call from knowing where a guy is going to be in the locker room or what he's going to be doing in the locker room. I could probably tell you about 15 guys and what they’re doing right now and then that translates to the field.”
What about your journey? I mean, to me that's the story, a great story. Mississippi, you end up at Arkansas State, and to be where you are right now, you have to be enjoying this process and really proud from where you came from to be where you are at right now?
“I am just blessed. Not just my journey of being born to a single mom and not having much growing up, but even more so just falling into the lot of the wrong stuff. I got expelled from school in high school. I went to jail my first year in college, and then my sophomore year in college I end up giving myself to the Lord and understanding that football is not for my glory, it is about His glory. And that really just transformed the way I thought about things and made me a better player, a better person (and) a better leader all around. And so I cannot help but give him glory and credit for that because who knows. I could have easily been dead and (in) jail a long time ago.”
The New Orleans Saints had their seventh day of training camp presented by Verizon, season ticket holders came out to support their favorite members of the Black & Gold