Here’s a crazy fact four weeks into the season. Sean Davis is the only player in the secondary who hasn’t been injured, benched, or both. That’s made him, in Mike Tomlin’s words, a “stabilizing force” this season.
Tomlin was asked to evaluate Davis’ play at today’s press conference.
“Sean has done some really good things for us,” Tomlin said. “He’s been a stabilizing force in the midst of a lot of transition. Whether it’s guys missing time due to injury or new people, I think he’s been really good. Really solid. Been a good communicator, I think he’s grown in that way.”
Through four weeks, Davis is tied for 3rd on the Steelers with 20 total tackles. He also has three pass deflections, second behind Joe Haden, and though he wasn’t technically credited with the forced fumble Saturday night, he was right in there to make the goal line tackle that led to the ball getting knocked out.
Far from perfect mind you but his transition to free safety has gone well, especially relative to the other problems this secondary has dealt with.
Davis has now played most spots in the secondary during his NFL time, everything but outside cornerback. That experience and knowledge has allowed the team to be flexible with him, more than usual with their free safety, and they’re taking advantage of that.
“We’re asking him to do more things. And rightfully so. He’s a guy who’s been around here. Whether it’s in the deep middle or deep half field or down around the box, he’s shown a wide variety of skills.”
That versatility was on display against the Ravens. Davis lined up in the box 16 times Sunday night, making it feel like one of his games from last year. To put that number in perspective, Mike Mitchell, last year’s free safety, lined up in the box a total of 19 times all season.
And in a way, Davis is reminding me of Mitchell – and I mean this positively – when he was a Carolina Panther the year before signing with the Steelers. Directing a lot of “traffic” and playing with new faces each week.
Grading on a curve isn’t the best way to look at it but compared to Artie Burns and Bud Dupree, it’s fair to argue Davis has shown the most promise of the three.