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The Sporting News on Stephen Davis


codeorama

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The running game in new coach Steve Spurrier's offense is predicated on using multiple receivers to spread the field and create running lanes, but Stephen Davis lacks the elusiveness and breakaway speed to be an effective runner in space. He is at his best using his power to pick up yards after contact and his size to wear down opposing defenses; 10-15 carries a game won't allow Davis to accomplish that.

And although Davis is an effective receiver out of the backfield, he certainly is not the big-play threat that former Florida backs such as Fred Taylor were in Spurrier's scheme.

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Davis may be more of a power runner, but he does OK in the open field. He doesn't try to elude so much as pick a line and run. If there are running lanes in front of him he should be very effective. If he has to try to juke the LBs and safeties to get free he won't.

He's a nice back to have with a lead, though Spurrier doesn't seem prone to protecting leads but rather building on them. :)

It should be very obvious over the course of this season if the Skins will pay to re-sign Davis for next year or if they will be satisfied to let him go. I'll be interested to see how much playing time the other RBs get.

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Originally posted by Brave

It should be very obvious over the course of this season if the Skins will pay to re-sign Davis for next year or if they will be satisfied to let him go. I'll be interested to see how much playing time the other RBs get.

I've been getting the feeling during the draft and pre-season that they might not keep him after the season ends. I have mixed emotions about this. SD has really been our only constant shining light (save for the few missed games). But he does open a HUGE amount of cap space. And we might not need a back as great as him in this system. I hope we don't regret letting K Carter go.

I'd hate to see him go though. And really, only time will tell.

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I don't know how you arrive at the conclusion that Davis isn't dangerous in space. He doesn't try to run around or away; if anything, he runs at the safety (inevitably freezing him) then cuts about five yards from contact and lays on a tough stiff arm. It works pretty well and he's never taken down by one man alone. Don't forget the X factor: when #48 gets a couple of big runs and pounds his chest some, the team stands taller from the O line out.

I think we should all rememebr that the HBC is being prudent by playing Stephen sparingly. We really have no idea how he'll be used just yet. I'm hoping to see him used here and there to keep the defenses honest early, and then as a batteriong ram once a two score lead is in hand. Please believe it.

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I think this writer is a typical national writer who knows nothing about the Skins and just starts shooting his mouth off.

Davis has been dangerous in space FROM DAY 1.

When Davis entered the NFL, and for his first three-four seasons, he was a ferocious threat as an outside runner, because once he got outside and hit his stride, he could eat up huge gains. But his weakness was the tough yards banging up the middle. So when teams saw him come in, they knew it was an outside run.

Then, in 1998, he played as fullback, and became a much tougher, stronger player and learned the inside game.

And in 1999, he won the starting job because he had become a complete running back who was tough up the middle.

But make no mistake...when Davis gets out in space, he can take it to the house, as he often has.

It's amazing the lack of qualifications many of these national journalists have. It's almost like you have to be totally ignorant of the Redskins to write about them.

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I saw Steven Davis at Auburn ... in person. He is not a jitter bug ... but he can freeze a LB and had a hell've burst after the stutter. I don't know where this writer is getting this. SD needs to improve his pass routes and recieving if he is going to stay here ... but his running skills are not an issue from where I sit.

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Guys, this writer is dead on in assessing SD's traits as a runner. As for whether those traits spell failure in this offense . . . we'll see.

Davis does best with blockers in front of him. That allows him typically to take on the smaller bodies on defense - LB's, safeties and CB's alone, something he does very well. Whether this is done on HB dives, off tackle runs, or toss sweeps, he's very adept at taking on single tacklers when he has a head of steam. He's also very adept at cutting back across the grain, something that again is best done with d-linemen occupied in front of him by blockers.

There are a number of runners in the league who can lower a shoulder and break a single tackler. However, what makes Davis potentially deadly is his abililty to take it to the house from there. He has breakaway speed.

But give me a break about his stellar open field running. When have you ever seen him reverse field, or come to a stop and stutter step and then go? That's not how he works. Marshall Faulk, Barry Sanders, Warrick Dunn, and Walter Payton come to mind as very good or even great open field runners. It's almost comical to compare Davis' running style to those guys.

Davis is more like John Riggins in that he's great in the open field only insofar as he has a head of steam and the ability to either stiff arm a tackler or put his shoulder into their sternum.

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I like S Davis when the passing game stutters its nice to have him to put the team on his shoulders as he has done when other offensive masterminds took him for granted and he show how invaluable he is.

What has fred taylor done lately except do a great impression of a MASH unit?

And what has Warrick Dunn done is he a multi year 1200 plus yd back?

Skat backs and tiny WRs equals finesse which means they lose to teams that will hit them in the teeth.

We have one receiver you can put in the finesse category and that is J Green.

The back up to S Davis is of similar build and Da Rock isnt exactly a fragile guy either.

We play on grass in a real mans division where finesse generally means home for the holidays

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I agree, this writer doesn't know sh!t fro Shinola. He assumes because Davis is thick and power full that he is slow. WRONG.

Daivs has pure speed. He the fastest back on our team, and one of the fastest starting RB's in the league. Heck, I even recall Westbrook saying the two of them are of equal speed.

I'll grant the writer the fact that Davis isn't elusive. He's a one-cut and dart kind of player. That's his style and it works.

To the extent Spurrier's offense requires a RB to juke a LB out of his jock to break free or get open ... that could be a problem. But if Spurrier merely requires someone to get through the holes quickly ... then S.Davis is most definitely your man.

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I agree Redman, about Davis' abilities as a runner. Yet I disagree when you say the writer was right. He said Davis didn't have the elusiveness or breakaway speed to fit in Spurrier's offense. We've all seen Davis' speed, we all know that when he gets in the open field you'll need a corner to catch him because the safeties and linebackers won't get it done.

He can fit this offense because in the last two seasons, he's been getting his yards despite 8 men fronts, and he'll likely never see that this season. He'll be having more room to run, just like in '99 when he averaged 4.8 ypc. He isn't the perfect back for this offense, but he'll likely be the most productive back Spurrier will ever have if he decides to let him go elsewhere once the season ends.

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Guess what...

HBC has some plans for SD.

It's not obvious to the amateur, what is going on with the Pre-Season Skins...but, it seems clear to many skins fans.

SD very well maybe the biggest weapon in Spurriers arsenal.

But, you don't risk an ACL/MCL injury with your biggest asset in Pre-season...HBC know's this.

As well, the critics that know everything, speculate and miss continually.

How about why Sage was being played late in the game? We all knew what was up.

Do you think HBC is going to let the playbook out in Pre-season?

Not hardly. We aint seen nothing yet!!

#48 was drafted by the Redskins. He is a consistent league leader. He is in his prime. He is very strong, healthy, and fresh. SD will be paid...and Snyder will be happy to write the check.

:cheers::pint: :puke:

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SD needs to improve his pass routes and recieving if he is going to stay here

Why do people keep saying that?

When the ball is thrown to him, he catches it. Can you remember all the dropped passes he has had so far this preseason? No. You know why, because there hasn't been any. How about last year? Or the year before that? Don't strain. For a power runner, there have been too few.

Improve his pass routes?

He's a running back...

1. How many passing routes do rbs have? And

2. What makes you think he needs to improve on them?

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I agree with the author. I've been saying basically the same thing (and using Fred as my example of a perfect Spurrier back) when certain Davis threads pop up on the board.

I think Davis is one half of what Spurrier wants in the backfield, but he lacks the other half of what Spurrier desires. The HBC would probably be happy with keeping Davis, but he would probably be sharing the position with another back with different skills. I don't think Davis is going to accept, nor should he (with his talent it would be a waste), being a part-time player. His salary and the cap hit next year practically guarantee that he will not be a Redskin next year. Time will tell though. Let the venom spew forth at my declarations, I know you guys love Davis (with good reason).

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I would not be suprised if:

SD does not fit in and is gone next year or IF SS figures out a way to incorporate SD into the Fun and Gun. I think it really boils down to if SS wants SD or not. IF he does not want him, it would be easy for SS to show that SD does not fit in by calling running plays SD is not suited for. IF SS does want SD, he will find a way to make it work. We shall see what the final answer is soon enough.

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S Davis will renegotiate for a fair deal and will get it he isnt going to be greedy like a Moss and even Faulk renegotiated to help his team so why would S Davis be any different?

If he is cut he will be in philly's new stadium giving McNabb and the iggles stability in the backfield.

And I dont see us letting that happen.

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Davis isn't a stutter-stepper, but he isn't a John Riggins or Jerome Bettis either.

Davis came into the league as a runner who would kill you if he got to the outside.

If you give Davis open field, he moves down it- very, very fast. And now he can hit holes like a Riggins or Bettis. He is a very well-rounded back. The article makes him sound like a plowhorse only, when the truth is, for his first three years in the league, Turner used him as a receiver and a runner to the outside ONLY

(because he didn't have the Riggins-like ability to bust up the middle that he does have now).

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Does anyone remember, from the '91 Super Bowl run, when Ernest Byner was out of one game due to injury, and Gerald Riggs started in his place?

I can't even remember who they were playing, but Joe Gibbs kept lining up in 4 wideout sets, spreading the field, and then repeatedly crashing Riggs up the middle. It was devistating.

Can anyone here envision Spurrier doing the same thing with Davis?

I just don't understand the lack of imagination from both certain fans and certain media-types. You're crazy if you think you've seen anywhere close to the full array of plays this offense can drop on a defense.

Saturday was just the first taste of what's possible in the running game with Spurrier. The Bucs' defense was really kept off balance. Can you imagine what Davis can do getting four quarters of work?

I can. I bet SOS can, too.

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Originally posted by Murilo Bustamante

when the truth is, for his first three years in the league, Turner used him as a receiver and a runner to the outside ONLY.

If you remember, SD did not play too much if at all early on. He actually was beaten out by Skip Hicks and considered switching to fullback because of that. While SD has come on strong in the past 3 years, that was not the case early on. I still think a RB is only as good as his O line to a certain degree.

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I can imagine......I can imagine he only gets alot of carries when the game is won, it's the second half, and Spurrier starts playing ball control. I have not seen anything different with Spurrier's offense since college (which I acknowledge is not indicative that it won't change). He's been very consistent with his play calling so far and that is exactly how he played it at Florida. Nothing is absolute, but basically it was pass-pass-pass (with a few runs mixed in to keep them honest) first half and get ahead big, then start running ball control late in the second half.

Davis will fit very well in that role, I just am not sure if he will like it or if he is not too expensive for it.

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From what I've read, HBC didn't have a large arsenal of running plays at UF.

However, he didn't have all that much practice time with college students, so he emphasized the pass in practice and playcalling, and also kept the line play and before-snap motion simple to minimize penalties.

Now that he, in his own words, "has all day to coach 'em", he may add more wrinkles and plays to the running game. He has already talked about adding more motion to counter the disguised coverages he's encountering in the NFL.

There's no historical evidence that HBC has ever had much of a power running game (e.g. pulling guards, FB leads), however I trust that he's smart enough to see what SD does well, and call plays that make sense.

The HBC is no dummy, and he doesn't seem stuck in his ways -- that's why he's so hard to beat. So, I'm optimistic. :cheers:

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Originally posted by redman

Davis is more like John Riggins in that he's great in the open field only insofar as he has a head of steam and the ability to either stiff arm a tackler or put his shoulder into their sternum. [/b]

I am still on the Redman bandwagon...nothing more, nothing less. I think Stephen Davis would be a great back to have when protecting the lead. He will be great at running the old Riggo Drill! I think he will be fresher and more dangerous as the game wears on. He no longer has to carry the team on his shoulders. Our pass will set up the run nicely. There will be a lot of tired defenses trying to stop our 21st Century version of the diesel. I think the Davis Diesel will prevail against those tired legs on the opposing defenses! HONK.....HONK......HONK....Get ready for the DAVIS DIESEL!

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My gut guess is that Davis will get fewer carries, but will average a ridiculous amount of yards per carry. He will get more receptions. I think SS looks at it this way, the opposition will spread out to stop the pass and that will make it tough to stop Stephen Davis, small DB's trying to tackle him. I just hope he can be content. I think it will suck big time if we let him go next year and don't get anything for him.

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