The opening to Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Davis‘s career couldn’t have gone off any better. Davis starred during the Dolphins’ offseason program and training camp, capturing the attention of coaches and media alike with his effortless leaping ability and soft hands. He even had a highlight-reel interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason, and looked primed to make an impact his rookie year.
Unfortunately, Davis was then derailed by injury in the regular season. He never got going in 2013. The flashes of the great ball skills and exceptional speed before getting nicked up were encouraging signs of what the Dolphins’ 2013 third-round pick out of Utah State could do. With just the raw talent Davis has, many expect for Davis to contend for the open starting position opposite Brent Grimes.
In an interview with The Finsiders’ Greg Likens, Davis talked about his expectations for his second year in the NFL, and what’s he hoping to accomplish in his sophomore season.
The first thing on Davis’s mind for 2014 is health. Injuries can disrupt even the most talented players’ careers, and we’ve seen countless players’ football lives end prematurely. Of course injuries are a part of playing in the NFL, and Davis realizes that he has to make sure he’s ready to go physically so he can become the player he hopes to be.
“It’s the number one important thing, just staying healthy and being healthy, and everything else will take care of itself,” said Davis.
Like last season when Dimitri Patterson was on the team, Davis will have to jump ahead of a crafty veteran to become a starter. This time around it’s former Pro Bowl corner Cortland Finnegan, and Davis is excited about the opportunity to compete with the man labeled as the league’s biggest instigator. He loves Finnegan’s feistiness, and is hoping that he can bite his style a bit and become more aggressive.
“I was personally excited about him because of how feisty he was because that’s something I love to install in my game, being a little more feisty and whatnot,” said Davis. “I love the fact that he’s come here. He’s helped us out so much, us being the younger guys like me, Jamar (Taylor), and the other guys with the little things on what you need to improve your game.”
But as much as Davis wants to learn from Finnegan, he’s competition for a starting spot. It’ll be a delicate balance between being a mentor and fighting for that spot, and Davis believes that Finnegan will do that just fine.
“He understands that he’s coming in to compete with us, and he’s been though the league,” said Davis. “He understands that it’s going to be our time sooner or later, so he wants to help prepare for the future. I appreciate that, especially coming from a veteran like him.”
With training camp approaching, Davis is itching to get that pads on and live up to the lofty expectations set by him when he was drafted. He wants to become a playmaker on the defensive end, and cause havoc for opposing quarterbacks.
“I want to get in there and make plays,” said Davis. “Last year everything started off well with OTAs and camp last year, and I was excited about how the season was going to go. Of course at the end of camp I ended up getting hurt. But I’m coming in here with the same attitude, and I’m going to keep making plays like I always do and that’s what coach says, just keep doing what you do and make plays, and then I’ll fall into whatever they need me to fit in.”
RELATED: Dion Jordan Happy To Learn From JT
RELATED: 5 Observations From OTA #1
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.