Commanders CB Michael Davis looking to silence doubters in 2024

The veteran cornerback has a point to prove.
Michael Davis
Michael Davis / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Much has been made about the outside coverage concerns potentially facing the Washington Commanders next season. Those in power managed to upgrade the interior by selecting Mike Sainristil at No. 50 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. That won't be enough if head coach Dan Quinn wants to demonstrate real growth during his first campaign at the helm.

The Commanders seem confident that Benjamin St-Juste and Emmanuel Forbes can improve under more accomplished coaches. Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr.'s reputation with defensive backs precedes them. It'll take a big effort, but all hope is not lost by any stretch of the imagination.

There's also the presence of Michael Davis to factor into the equation. The veteran signed a one-year, $3.2 million deal with the Commanders that included $1.38 million guaranteed. The move comes with some intrigue, although questions must be asked about his steep regression last season with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Michael Davis aiming to repay Commanders' faith in 2024

Davis is coming to the nation's capital with a point to prove. Based on comments via Fan Nation, he's looking to maximize the opportunity in Washington and soak up Whitt's vast knowledge in pursuit of silencing some increasing doubters next time around.

"It was my time for me to be on the East Coast, for me to be here for you guys with the Commanders. So I mean, just a great opportunity for me to be here. I'm excited to go to work with (defensive coordinator) Joe Whitt Jr. because I know that he can develop, he develops corners and I know that. I'm eight years in, but I still know that I have an extra level to go to. And I know that with Joe Whitt, he's able to tap into that potential for me. He's able to help me tap into that potential so I know that I can skyrocket my game."

Michael Davis via Fan Nation

The former undrafted free agent has been getting starting reps ahead of Forbes according to those in attendance at voluntary organized team activities. It's still early in the process, but it seems as if the Commanders have plans to get Davis heavily involved.

After performing relatively well over his first five seasons, Davis took a noticeable step back in 2023. He gave up 65.2 percent of targets and a 119.2 passer rating when targeted. Couple this with some indifferent assistance against the run, and it wasn't hard to see why he gained a modest 56.5 grade from Pro Football Focus.

Whether this was a blip or the start of a slide to irrelevancy is the big question nobody knows the answer to right now. Quinn's creative defensive scheme should suit Davis. That said, it won't take long to find out whether this signing is going to pay off or not.

Even if it's only a short-term solution, any decent production the Commanders can get from Davis will be a bonus. Forbes looks like a work in progress following a disastrous rookie campaign. Having a dependable veteran to pick up the slack as he builds back confidence could be a win-win for all parties.

Davis appears highly motivated to right some wrongs. If he cannot raise his performance levels under the tutelage of Quinn and Whitt, it's hard to envisage a scenario where starting NFL reps come his way again.

High stakes, indeed. Fortunately for the Commanders, this is a challenge Davis should relish.