Sean Davis has had an up-down-season. He began the year as the starting slot corner, got benched, moved back to safety, and has slowly been chipping away at playing time.
Yesterday, he ate the entire pie, playing every single snap in the win over the Cleveland Browns. Robert Golden was credited for just four snaps, at least two of those coming in goal line packages.
At today’s press conference, Mike Tomlin was asked why Davis was received so much playing time.
“He’s just growing. He’s a young guy who is getting better every week and every day, more specifically. He’s gaining experience through repetition. The more experience he gets, the less mistakes he makes, the more opportunities we give him. It’s really as simple as that.”
While he finished with just tow tackles yesterday, he generally played solid football, though he’ll have to learn and show the ability to wrap up when sent on blitzes. He had a crucial miss of Josh McCown on the Browns’ lone touchdown drive yesterday.
It springboards off a pretty good performance against the Dallas Cowboys that had an unfortunate ending, a facemask call that led to the game-winning touchdown. But Davis has greatly cleaned up his missed tackles, played more physical, and done better against the run.
If his continues to play well in practice, by all accounts that’s what has ascended him into this spotlight role, he’ll keep Golden on the bench. That’s no easy task. Golden has played well this season and is still, to me at least, their best tackler. But hopefully Davis can add some splash plays, something this secondary, and specifically the safeties, have really been lacking. He’s a much better athlete with, in theory, better range, and better ball skills.
That’ll start on Thanksgiving against the Indianapolis Colts. Davis will go against Andrew Luck, who has been sacked a ton this year but doing a decent job of taking care of the football.
Keep an eye on his snap count though. It’ll be interesting to see if his playing time is split because he’s a young player on a short week.