No Detroit Lion had a more challenging year that Jarrad Davis in 2017. As a rookie, Davis was immediately thrown into the starting middle linebacker role from Day 1, quarterbacking a defense he was still in the midst of learning. It was a tough assignment for any rookie, and Davis would be the first to admit he went through some struggles.
“There were some tough passes for me last year,” Davis admitted during a media session on Tuesday. “I was struggling a little bit, and I had to really dig deep to get out of some holes.”
But now that his rookie year is over with, Davis was beaming with confidence entering his second season. And it starts with a clearer mentality.
“One of the biggest things is I’m mentally relaxed,” Davis told the media on Tuesday. “It was kind of hard to be that way last year just because I was thrown in the fire and you have to learn everything right now.”
But it won’t be easy for the 23 year old. One of the biggest challenges Jarrad Davis faces in his second year is having to learn a brand new defense all over again under new head coach Matt Patricia and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni. For some, it would feel like a rookie season all over again, but Davis thinks he’ll benefit simply from self-observing his learning process last season.
“I can kind of take that back to the (self) evaluation phase,” Davis said . “I was able to see what study habits I had. Were they good? Were they bad? And now I’m able to kind of skip past that rocky phase and just go right in smooth sailing, because now I know that this type of studying helps me, this type of studying doesn’t help me.”
That being said, Davis remains humble and admits he doesn’t know everything yet. “I’ve only been doing this one year, so I can’t say I really feel like a real pro,” Davis said. “Every day, you have to come in and you have to learn something new, every single day. This entire year, I’m going to be learning new things again. I learned a lot last year, I had some good lessons, I had some bad lessons, but I’m going to continue to learn new things this year, and I’m really excited to learn.”
As for what Davis hopes to learn and improve on from his 2017 season, he admits he’s not sure what the team is going to focus on, but he wants to personally improve on his pass coverage. “Playing defense, you have to be able to defend the pass,” Davis said. “You can stop the run all day, but if you can’t defend the pass then it’s a guessing game, and then you’re playing on your heels.”