Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have lost cornerback Senquez Golson for an extended amount of time after he suffered a Lisfranc injury earlier in the week, rookie safety Sean Davis will be given every opportunity to win the starting slot cornerback position in the team’s sub package defense moving forward. A few days ago, Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake discussed Davis in an interview on Steelers Nation Radio and how he is pretty much being baptized by fire right now.
“Absolutely, give him every opportunity to do that and prove that he’s capable of performing in there and that’s one of the expectations coming in, especially for a high-round pick,” said Lake. “We’re going to throw you in there, throw you in there without a life vest and see if you can swim and it’s a great opportunity for him.”
Being as Lake also had to play multiple positions during his career, Davis certainly has a chance to learn from someone who has actually walked in the same set of shoes that he’s being asked to walk in and that will hopefully pay off in him transitioning quickly. Lake was asked how he’s been able to translate what he went through to Davis.
“Like we’ve been talking about, with hard work and effort and being physical and paying attention to detail,” said Lake. “He’s going to have to do the same. He can’t float around, can’t lack focus at any given time. He’s got to earn his spot here; he’s got to prove to his teammates that he’s capable. It’s all of the positions on the field are crucial and however, or whenever we use him, he’s got to show up and be productive.”
Davis brings a different dimension to the slot position which is generally manned by smaller players such as himself and Lake talked about those differences as well as the challenges the Maryland product faces.
“It is different,” said Lake. “He’s a strong, fast, physical guy. He’ll be challenged in the slot; receivers will challenge him. The run game and some of the zone pass defenses will be very similar for him at safety, so that won’t be a big transition. It will be some of the man-to-man stuff, just adjusting with formations and personnel, he’ll have to get that pretty quickly and we work on it every day. We meet and we talk about those things twice a day with him.”
Even though it’s still early, Davis, by all appearances, is adjusting to his role with the Steelers.
“He’s learning it,” said Lake. “He’s making rookie mistakes and that’s to be expected. Continue to grow and not make the same mistake day after day, but I think he’s capable.”