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Lions LB coach: Jarrad Davis is ‘going to take the next step for us for sure’

Jarrad Davis has a hype man, and it just so happens to be his linebacker coach.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

If there’s one thing that has become clear from talking to the coaching staff over the past year, it’s that they love themselves some Jarrad Davis. While Davis continues to be one of the more scrutinized players on the field from fans and analysts alike, the coaching staff has shown unwavering faith in him, and you can just see their eyes light up when they talk about him.

Unprompted, general manager Bob Quinn dropped this quote about Davis after Day 3 of the NFL Draft last month:

It’s really unique that, fortune I’d say, that we were able to get Jarrad Davis a couple drafts ago. He can really play in any defense, which is great. We drafted him for the previous defense but he’s a really good fit in what we do now

Well, the hype machine continued on Tuesday. Linebackers coach Al Golden spoke glowingly of Davis, who will be entering his third year in the league and second under Matt Patricia and his defensive scheme.

Golden was so widespread in his praise of Davis that instead of working in quotes like a traditional article, we’re just going to dump all of the most relevant and interesting quotes he had about Jarrad Davis.

Just try and read these and not get excited for Davis in 2019.

On Davis’ performance as a pass rusher in 2018:

“If you ask JD, he would say he got better, but he’s hungry because he left something out there. He left a couple of sacks out there that I knew he thought he could’ve gotten.”

On Davis’ versatility and growth as a pass rusher:

“Edge rushers, blitzers, inside rushers, outsider rushers. He can learn. We use him in all those realms, which is great. I thought his maturity, his approach last year, and him really being honest with himself saying, ‘I needed to be more than a blitzer.’ And he really made unbelievable gains, I thought last year, as a pass rusher, and I know he’s hungry for it now. He’s going to take the next step for us, for sure.”

On where Davis needs to improve:

“I think he would say that he wants to continue to improve man-to-man. We’ve got to get our hands on more balls in zones. We have to deflect more balls, PBUs, and we have to intercept some.”

On coaching someone with a work ethic like Davis:

“All you’ve got to do is provide him the resources and he’ll outwork anything that you can put in front of him. He sets a high standard, I know that.”

On gaining weight to be a better fit in Matt Patricia’s scheme:

“He challenged himself to do that, and he is bigger now. We’ll see where he feels comfortable at. I don’t know if we’re ready to change his, so to speak, program weight, but if he feels comfortable and he’s holding more weight next fall, then certainly we’ll indicate that.

Right now he’s bigger than any point he was at any point in his career and he’s holding it really well. I couldn’t believe it when he walked in from the offseason. Had a great offseason and is really excited about the challenge to grow as a leader.”

On becoming a leader:

“He sets a high standard and good leaders hold teammates to that same high standard. That’s where he is right now on a growth continuum or the leadership continuum. He’s starting to master the skills necessary to go outside and pull people with him. I think that’s where his comfort level is right now, and I’m excited to see it because he’s so much fun to work with and what a class act off the field, too.”

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