He wasn’t a total bust or anything, but I think it’s fair to say that everyone was disappointed with Jordan Davis’ rookie season for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was supposed to be a very pro-ready prospect that we expected to make a big impact in year one, and even beyond his injury he fell flat.
Heading into a potential breakout season in year two, Davis has revealed, in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia, some insights into the root of those struggles, as well as what the biggest change will be in 2023.
"“You know, you’re coming up on the biggest stage of your life. It’s the grandest stage in football. So obviously, people have, not only myself, have imposter syndrome."
"“You can see it on the tape. When I watch practice, I’m more sure. I’m not really hesitant off the ball. I’m taking that first step, I’m taking my gather step. It’s just little things like that. It could be seconds or milliseconds difference but in this game, milliseconds add up."
Davis has identified confidence as the biggest change for his second season. It may be surprising to hear that one of college football’s best defenders, after being a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, was lacking in confidence. But the NFL world is as competitive as it gets, and at the end of the day Davis is still a 23-year-old trying to take the first steps toward living out his dream.
The potential of being a bust and fizzling out like so many “sure-thing” first-round picks before him has to exist in the back of his mind to some extent, and the first step to overcoming that is recognizing it and moving forward.
Well that’s exactly what Davis is doing, and he’s got a great role model for it too.
In the interview he singled out Fletcher Cox as an example of a player who really has the confidence and experience down pat, and you really couldn’t pick a better defender to model your game after.
Cox’s longevity, being a consistent top defensive tackle in the league for most of his 11-year career, is a testament to the admirable approach he has always taken to the game. And Eagles fans must also be thrilled to hear that Davis is taking inspiration from a guy who looks like he’ll have been a lifetime Eagle by the time his career is up.
This defensive front is already projecting to be one of the best in football, and Davis will play a large role in determining just how good it can be. He looks to be in much better physical shape than he was as a rookie, and having him eating up double teams and wreaking havoc in the middle should go a long way to letting our elite edge rushers do their job too.
You love to hear a player being as introspective as Davis, and I have full confidence that he’ll be one of the Eagles’ biggest breakout players in 2023.
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