PDA

View Full Version : Can Bruce Davis "Unload?"


GBMelBlount
07-20-2008, 09:28 AM
The upside of Bruce Davis

By James Pete | July 19th, 2008

Bruce Davis is getting ignored, and that’s just fine with the Steelers’ 2008 third round draft pick.

Davis, a defensive end at UCLA, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round. At 6′3″, and 250 lbs, Davis wasn’t listed as a defensive end on the Steelers draft board, he was listed as an outside linebacker. His specialty in college was his first step, which he could use from a three-point stance to blow around most college linemen. He also was the rare lineman that could drop back into coverage. This makes him perfect as a Steeler, and could make him valuable as an outside, or inside backer. There is one thing for sure, he is built to rush the quarterback.

What was my first impression of Bruce Davis when they drafted him? Not good. As a matter of fact, while commenting here during the draft, I was quite negative about the pick, trying to figure out why the Steelers were taking an undersized end as an OLB, when there were several ‘better qualified’ choices that had already played the position. The LaMarr Woodley book didn’t work here, because Woodley had already played OLB. Davis hadn’t. Then I found out this kid wasn’t 250 at all, but about 230 lbs. He didn’t seem like a linebacker to me, he seemed like Carnell Lake.

The days, weeks and months have passed, and I’m beginning to think that Davis may turn into a player much more impressive than I initially thought. First and foremost is the round he was chosen. The third round has always been an intriguing round for me. Most teams, the Steelers included, take players that are in that post first and second round plateau. These are players that are good, and generally, we see all they’ve got in the NFL. These are your guys that weren’t athletic supermen, but football players. Other teams take some chances. These teams look for the guys that are either playing out of position, or just incredible athletes, that could come to the NFL and showcase first round talent.

There are three guys that immediately come to mind when thinking about Davis, although I’m sure there are many, many more. The three names are Mike Merriweather, Mike Vrabel and Jason Taylor. All three players could have been considered ‘tweeners’ coming out of college, and were drafted in the third round. All three had first round talent, but no clear position. Merriweather was undersized at 219 lbs, but the Steelers knew that he was uniquely qualified to play both as a blitzer, and could drop back. Vrabel, also a tweener, ended up playing a hybrid position, roving as a linebacker, and an end. Jason Taylor came out of college at 230 lbs, started off as a third down rush specialist, before turning into an ‘all downs’ end at only 255 lbs. He could also drop back. I wanted to talk about Carnell Lake here as well. Lake, drafted in the second round, was a linebacker at 210 lbs in college, before being converted to a safety. We all know how that turned out.

Davis is in the same mold as these guys. His current weight is somewhere between 240 and 250 lbs, so it’s obvious that he has work ethic. Much like the three players just mentioned, Davis is a pure pass rushers. The Steelers see him as a third down rusher right now, who can spell both Harrison and Woodley throughout the game. Drafting Davis has also allowed the Steelers to move Lawrence Timmons to the inside, which gives incredible depth to the linebacker position. Perhaps his biggest role this season will be on special teams, however, where his attitude, size and speed, could make him a difference maker this year.

The best part about this kid, though, is his attitude. We aren’t talking about Jack Ham here. This kid has a mouth, and the Steelers attitude. The day he was drafted, Davis was asked about being a Steelers’ player. Make no mistakes, he gets it:

“What do you have to do in Pittsburgh? It’s blue-collar work. You work or you play ball. It’s the best place to be. Their fans are crazy, ridiculous. A lot of times, there’s more Steelers fans at away games than home fans. With my passion and my excitement and love, that’s going to be great.”

Davis also figured that he was going to get drafted on the first day, since he was a better college player than most of the people picked ahead of him. I’d say he has a chip on his shoulder.

“Yeah, some of those first-round picks were absurd, to say the least,” Davis said. “I think of myself as the best of the best. Hey, I am, let’s face it. For whatever reason, I was picked in the third round. I have better stats than anyone at my position over the last two years. It was tough to watch being a two-time All-American and two-time All-(Pacific-10) Conference and not get picked over the guys that got picked. They didn’t call my name, and I had to get out of the house. Today it happened early and started my day off the right way.”

I remember watching a piece on the senior bowl on NFL.com, and they showcased players with attitudes. The irony was that they showed a piece about Gosder Cherilus, and Davis going up against him one on one. Davis went right at Cherilus, driving him into the quarterback, then getting chippy with Cherilus, who started swatting Davis away from him. He seems to have an attitude that is a cross between Greg Lloyd, and Joey Porter. Lloyd, who was famous for getting chippy on the field while the game was being played, and Porter, who was famous for his big mouth. Of course, both could back it up.

Oh, and when was Joey Porter drafted? That’s right folks, in the third round.

During an interview before the draft, Davis was watching highlight packages, and wasn’t being asked questions. Without prompting, he said,

“If the opportunity presents itself and I catch Peyton Manning with his arm still in the air ready to (drop) back and throw, I’m going to unload on him. Same goes for Tom Brady and all those guys. They’re going to be out there trying to torch whatever team I’m playing on, so if I catch ‘em, I’m going to hit ‘em. I’m going to hit them as hard as I can and let them know that I’m there.”

Well Bruce, guess what…

we know you’re here.

http://mvn.com/nfl-steelers/2008/07/19/the-upside-of-bruce-davis/

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-20-2008, 10:36 AM
I think he is gonna be a 2-3 year project and that is fine for a 3rd round guy. He's similar to Porter or Haggans who piled up tons of sacks in college playing DE. He already possesses speed and a good motor, he just needs to refine his pass rush skills against bit OT's and get stronger.

Look for him to play ST, get a few snaps on 3rd downs this season and challenge for more time by 2009-2010.

KeiselPower99
07-20-2008, 02:03 PM
Good guy to grow into the spot and replace Silverback in a couple years. For everyone thinking our D is switching Im thinking not.

RoethlisBURGHer
07-20-2008, 03:11 PM
I am liking this guy more and more. I hope he UNLOADS on Brady in New England...I'll be watching that game with a Pats fan that I know.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-20-2008, 04:54 PM
I liked the pick when it happened and really excited about his potential....I'm convinced he will be the next Joey Porter, Jason Gildon, Clark Haggans....former college DE's that played OLB in the Steelers 3-4......I don't think Davis is the next Zo Jackson.....

Tankus_Maximus
07-20-2008, 06:53 PM
I liked the pick when it happened and really excited about his potential....I'm convinced he will be the next Joey Porter, Jason Gildon, Clark Haggans....former college DE's that played OLB in the Steelers 3-4......I don't think Davis is the next Zo Jackson.....

Man..I hope you're right! :tt02:

revefsreleets
07-20-2008, 07:15 PM
I think he is gonna be a 2-3 year project and that is fine for a 3rd round guy. He's similar to Porter or Haggans who piled up tons of sacks in college playing DE. He already possesses speed and a good motor, he just needs to refine his pass rush skills against bit OT's and get stronger.

Look for him to play ST, get a few snaps on 3rd downs this season and challenge for more time by 2009-2010.

I'm pretty much hanging my hat on the OPPOSITE of everything you say now, so I think Davis contributes at a Woodley level or higher.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-20-2008, 10:20 PM
I'm pretty much hanging my hat on the OPPOSITE of everything you say now, so I think Davis contributes at a Woodley level or higher.

:rofl:

I hope so too!!

I think the opposite would have been that he becomes the next Huey Richardson or Zo Jackson.

Davis is a high motor, speed DE that's gonna take some time to make the transition. Woodley is a strong, powerful and athletic guy that played like a 3-4OLB in the scheme at Michigan. Woodley was ready to start midway thru last season....Davis is gonna be a situational guy for a couple seasons.

Preacher
07-21-2008, 02:05 AM
Could you imagine...???

By the end of this year, having Harrison, Woodley, Timmons, and Davis as our starting LB's....

and DAVIS be the the big hitter? DAVIS!!

It is a dream to hope for but heck, this is the offseason, we are still allowed to dream like that aren't we?

Steelman16
07-21-2008, 03:54 AM
I didn't like the choice when I first saw it, but I've come to firmly believe that Bruce Davis will be a beast and a great Steelers player.

and Preach....that would be flippin' sweet. :wink02:

Steel Pit
07-21-2008, 04:29 AM
I didn't like the choice when I first saw it, but I've come to firmly believe that Bruce Davis will be a beast and a great Steelers player.

and Preach....that would be flippin' sweet. :wink02:

I agree with you both but if it doesn't happen this season then I'll be happy simply seeing Davis knocking some heads off on special teams coverage. I remember other LB's such as Jason Gildon, Greg Lloyd, and Levon Kirkland cutting their teeth on special teams. Heck Gildon earned the nickname of "Baby Lloyd" while playing special teams. Lord knows that the Steelers could certainly use the help on special teams.

Elvis
07-21-2008, 04:32 AM
It would be cool preacher, and it would icing on the cake for him to get rookie of the year and lead our team to a shutout win in the super bowl over the Minnesota Vikings...?
I could live with that:tt02:

Galax Steeler
07-21-2008, 06:22 AM
I am in the same boat because I wasn't sure about the pick but the more I read about him I think he is going to be a good player and will contribute pretty quick.

lamberts-lost-tooth
07-21-2008, 07:42 AM
I have stated before that Davis may be a stud in the future..but he is going to have to seriously hit the weight room this year.....Check out his pipes compared to Woodley and Harrison and you can see that he might not be big enough right now to hold up against NFL blockers.

That is not an indictment against his future...just an observation and opinion about his lack of bulk at THIS time. He should still be a ST standout and can spot relieve.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-21-2008, 09:24 AM
I have stated before that Davis may be a stud in the future..but he is going to have to seriously hit the weight room this year.....Check out his pipes compared to Woodley and Harrison and you can see that he might not be big enough right now to hold up against NFL blockers.

That is not an indictment against his future...just an observation and opinion about his lack of bulk at THIS time. He should still be a ST standout and can spot relieve.

LLT, he did put up 225lbs something like 28 times, so he knows where the weight room is. I agree that strength and power doesnt seem to be his game like Woodley or Harrison.

Look in this video and you will see a lot of the speed and high motor of Davis, but he seems to get most of his pressures by scheme, stunts, delay rush and speed.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nbl03WpCpXk

He's just gonna need to learn how to deliver a blow to the OT, break down their base and shed the OT on the way to the QB. Like Porter, Harrison and most other great pass rushers do. I think he will make the transition and we will be looking back at this draft class as productive in a couple years.

lamberts-lost-tooth
07-21-2008, 09:41 AM
LLT, he did put up 225lbs something like 28 times, so he knows where the weight room is. I agree that strength and power doesnt seem to be his game like Woodley or Harrison.



Did he do that at proday?....He only did 19 reps at the combine.

If so, 28 is very impressive...he is hiding some power somewhere!!!!

Lord Stiller
07-21-2008, 10:13 AM
here is a good summary on Davis: http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/profile_display.cfm?Prospect_ID=1235

To sum up, he is very quick, plays with a high-motor and his best attribute is rushing the passer. His weakness seam to be stopping the run and shedding larger linemen. But that is something he can get better at by adding strength in the Steelers strength and conditioning program.

fyi - says he put 225 lbs up 19 times at the combine

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-21-2008, 10:47 AM
Did he do that at proday?....He only did 19 reps at the combine.

If so, 28 is very impressive...he is hiding some power somewhere!!!!

I thought I read it somewhere online a few weeks back, but must be mistaken. He didnt lift at his pro day and chose instead to stand on his 19 at the combine.

Makes sense now. The kid can play, but doesnt engage O-linemen, rather tries to run around them on the way to the QB. That you can teach, but speed and quickness are tougher to teach.

lamberts-lost-tooth
07-21-2008, 12:24 PM
I thought I read it somewhere online a few weeks back, but must be mistaken. He didnt lift at his pro day and chose instead to stand on his 19 at the combine.

Makes sense now. The kid can play, but doesnt engage O-linemen, rather tries to run around them on the way to the QB. That you can teach, but speed and quickness are tougher to teach.

Exactly...to put it into perspective...the average reps of OLB's at the combine was about 24...so his strength would be below average for a college player at that position, much less a pro player.

I understand that he played DE in college...but the average reps for DE's is actually higher ....so I am trying to be fair and compare him to those who play/played the position that he was drafted for.

Texasteel
07-21-2008, 01:05 PM
I am liking this guy more and more. I hope he UNLOADS on Brady in New England...I'll be watching that game with a Pats fan that I know.

Davis seperates Brady from his helmet one time, and he will be a fan favorite for the next two years.

stlrtruck
07-22-2008, 09:18 AM
It's just nice to read a piece where the media guy says he was wrong!!

xfl2001fan
07-22-2008, 09:37 AM
Davis seperates Brady from his helmet one time, and he will be a fan favorite for the next two years.

He does that and he'll be my favorite Steeler player!