Commanders’ Ron Rivera finally acknowledges improvement from Jamin Davis
By Jerry Trotta
A big talking point in Washington Commanders land to start 2022 has been the surprising (some would say unnecessary) criticism of Jamin Davis.
After the linebacker’s shaky performance in the season-opener vs Jacksonville, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was very outspoken about Davis to the media. Fast forward to the Lions loss and head coach Ron Rivera not only followed Del Rio’s lead but took things a step further by saying the 2021 first-round pick is running out of time to develop consistency in his game.
Nobody would deny that, but Davis was one of Washington’s top performers against Detroit. While Rivera was asked specifically about Davis, it was shocking the head coach, who’s usually adamant in protecting his players, come down on Davis when the entire defense has been a train wreck to start the year.
The D’s poor-performing trend continued into Week 4 against the Eagles, though the offense did them zero favors. Once again, though, Davis showed more glimpses of his potential and was one of a few bright spots in the blowout.
Finally, Rivera acknowledged Davis in a positive light this week.
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera pleased with Jamin Davis’ play.
"“A guy that’s kind of like we say, just kind of soaking up the gravy has been Jamin [Davis] in terms of the add-ons,” Rivera said Wednesday. “You know, he’s seeing opportunities to go in and make a play and he’s stepped up. That’s been a big deal for us but we gotta have more of it. We just gotta continue to work at it.”"
Not a full-blown compliment from coach, but we’ll take anything after the last couple weeks. The fact Rivera notices that Davis is “soaking up the gravy,” which essentially means he’s learning on the job and developing, is a positive step. It’s also pretty much undeniable after the last two games.
Davis was poor in Week 1. He had a couple blown coverages and should’ve got beat for a touchdown had Trevor Lawrence delivered an accurate ball to Travis Etienne. Since then, the Kentucky product has responded to his coach’s criticism.
In Week 2, he tallied a sack, three run stops and allowed just two receptions for 17 yards on four targets in coverage. In Week 3, Davis had his best game to date. He finished with five run stops and a sack of Jalen Hurts. He was flying sideline-to-sideline and showed a decisiveness filling gaps against the run that has otherwise eluded him in his young career.
There are a million different problems with the Commanders’ defense right now. As of late, Davis hasn’t been one of them. That doesn’t mean he won’t be prone to the occasional frustrating performance, but it was nice to see Rivera finally acknowledge the young linebacker is showing some improvement.
Seems like the head coach’s tough love approach is working. That, or Davis is simply learning with more experience. Either way, Davis is trending up.