Steelers News

Sean Davis Likes Pressure That Comes Along With Move To Free Safety

Due to what transpired during the Pittsburgh Steelers first training camp practice of 2018 on Thursday it was easy to conclude that third-year safety Sean Davis has officially made the move from the strong position to the free position. It was widely assumed such a move was coming for the team’s former second-round draft pick out of Maryland and not that we needed him to confirm it, but he did just that on Friday.

“I kind of sensed that I was in the air all along,” Davis said Friday of his move to free safety this season, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Steelers hope Davis’ good range on the field will make his transition from strong to free safety an easy one. While he did play a little bit of a free safety role at Maryland, he didn’t do it much and it happened early during his college career. In fact, he mostly played cornerback at Maryland late in his college career due to injuries on the team. Davis reportedly said Friday that he believes his background as a baseball center fielder when he was in high school helps him track the football better.

During his Thursday post-practice media session, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Davis and what it is that makes him an option to be the team’s free safety moving forward. Tomlin essentially downplayed Davis’ move as not really being that big of deal overall.

“The safety position in the National Football League today is really kind of interchangeable,” Tomlin said. “I think your perceptions of free and strong in terms of traditional sense aren’t necessarily what it’s been. You’ve got to be able to do it all in today’s NFL at the safety position – cover, play half-field, play single-high – it’s not that drastic of a transition, to be honest with you.”

Drastic transition, or not, Davis now welcomes the challenge of being the Steelers new last line of defense in the secondary, a role now-former Steelers safety Mike Mitchell didn’t play very at times well last season.

“I like the pressure,” Davis said, per Dulac.

Davis’ move to free safety this season, while expected by many to ultimately happen, now makes it the third different position he’s essentially had to learn and play in his three years in the NFL as he initially had to work as a slot defender during his rookie season and then mostly in the box as a strong safety last season.

Maybe playing and learning those other positions the last two years will actually aid him some in his transition to yet another position this year. Maybe him playing center-field in high school will also help. We’ll see.

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