Davis has the perfect response to his critics originally appearing on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Jordan Davis hears what people are saying.
He’s well aware that there are Eagles fans out there who think he should start every game, play every snap, make every play.
He’s a first-round draft pick from Georgia. He should be Superman.
He can’t do anything to change that narrative except play as hard as he can when given the chance.
And that’s exactly what he’s doing.
“There’s always room for improvement, and I expect more from myself,” Davis said. “But I had a pretty good year for a rookie. I’m just soaking it all up and learning as much as I can.
Davis by all accounts is having a great rookie season. He is the Eagles’ third inside lineman this year according to Pro Football Focus, behind Javon Hargrave and Milton Williams and ahead of Fletcher Cox, Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh.
Of the 16 NFL rookie inside linemen who played at least 50 defensive snaps, his PFF rating of 71.9 this year is by far the highest.
Yet there is a sense that it should be doing more.
“People want to say, ‘He should have played more and stuff,’ but in the end, I don’t make these decisions and obviously the way we play, the kids we have, they’re amazing, they’re amazing, and I don’t mind take a back seat to them because at the end of the day we’re all fine,” Davis said Thursday.
“Seeing them play, watching them play, gives you more inspiration and just being in that room with them, having that experience? It makes me so much better because they want to be the best too.
Despite missing four midseason games with an ankle injury and part of a fifth with a concussion, he’s playing about 17.5 snaps per game.
Considering the talent Howie Roseman has amassed inside the defensive line, that’s a good number. Heck, other than Hargrave, none of the defensive tackles play much. This is an amazing rotation, it works, it keeps everyone fresh and it happened to help the Eagles get to a Super Bowl.
“One thing I learned in Georgia, they’re going to field the best people because they’re in the business of winning,” Davis said. “So if you don’t have time to play, you don’t look at it like, ‘I don’t have time to play,’ you look at it like, ‘What can I do better? What can I do to contribute so I have more time to play?
“Just making sure that when your number is called you’re ready and that’s something I’m proud of, because everyone is going to look at it like, ‘Oh, he’s not playing’, ‘He’s a first choice player’, but I look at it like I’m gaining experience and using that experience to hone my tools, so when my time comes I’ll be ready, and when we have young D-tackles I’ll be the one to pass everything I know to them as those guys are with me now.
The hardest thing for most rookies is adjusting to the length of the season. And when your team is in the Super Bowl, the season is almost twice as long as a college season. Counting the preseason, it’s now week 26.
“It’s crazy, but it’s definitely a revelation,” Davis said. “And I think it’s worse because I didn’t have a real offseason last year, training for the combine and then the draft and then six at OTAs.
“Keep doing the routine, stay on top of it all. Just don’t think about it. When you have a day off, use it as a day off. Do body maintenance but mentally clear your mind and use it as a day off because when you think too much about football it becomes your whole life and then you neglect some of the other things that are important.
This year may have been challenging in some ways, but the 23-year-old Davis said he’s having a lot of fun and couldn’t be more excited to be headed to Arizona for Super Bowl LVII against the Chiefs one week starting Sunday.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Lots of new experiences, so just taking each day at face value and going into the next year will I know what to expect, will I know what I need to improve. Go blind your rookie year, but I’m satisfied. We’re going to the Super Bowl, so what more could you ask for?
It was a strong run for Davis and Nakobe Dean, who starred in the Georgia Bulldogs team that went 14-1 and beat top-ranked Alabama 33-18 in the College Football Championship in Indianapolis.
So those guys are 30-4 with two trips to a championship game since the start of last season.
How many guys have won 30 games in two years?
“I feel extremely blessed,” Davis said. “I was just talking to Nakobe, we just came out of a championship race and back into a championship race. It just means a lot. No matter what, you can feel the standard in Georgia, you can feel the standard here.
“League teams operate the same way and this is probably the best place Nakobe and I could have gone. Some of the other rookies didn’t have as much success in college as we did, but we’re all going to the Super Bowl and that’s something to be proud of and something to be excited about. Something to mark on your calendar.
“Some guys go their whole career and don’t even make the playoffs. It’s just an amazing feeling, and I’m grateful for that. And we hope to return to much more after this.
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