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Notes: Lions HC Dan Campbell seems to really like Jarrad Davis

Is the new coaching staff viewing Jarrad Davis as a reclamation project worth saving?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

About a couple weeks ago, in the media rounds following his hire, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, unprompted, mentioned linebacker Jarrad Davis as a player that really popped on tape back when he was scouting the Lions defense as the Saints tight ends coach.

“Davis, man,” Campbell said on local radio station 97.1 The Ticket. “One of the first things I circled was if we’re running inside zone or we’re running our 42 ace, our lead draw, and you’re leading on number 40, man you better freakin’ be ready for him to drop his hat, and hit you right under the chin. He will literally split your chin open and knock your hat off.”

Davis will be an unrestricted free agent in March, and after having his fifth-year option denied last year, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion his time with the Lions was over. The former first-round pick struggled for the first three years of his career and finally lost his starting job in 2020.

But if you thought that was just one off-hand comment from Campbell, it wasn’t. For the past couple weeks, he’s been re-evaluating the roster, and he told the Detroit News that Davis (subscription required), again, was someone who made a positive impression on him as an under-the-radar talent.

“Look, I can’t tell you what we’re going to do in free agency, but when you state it like that, Jarrad Davis, there’s something about that guy, man,” Campbell said. “Things I hear about the way he was coached, and just knowing the ability and aggressiveness, he intrigues me. He pops off the tape and you feel like, man, can we help this guy? Can we make this guy a better player?”

Could it be that Davis will be a reclamation project here in Detroit under a completely new defensive coaching staff?

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