WR Davis Emerging As Fourth Option

One of the things Falcons head coach Mike Smith values is versatility. The more versatile a player can be, the more valuable he will be in a Smith system. Sure, there are players with one specific role, but the second half of the roster of 53 is filled with players that can help the team in multiple ways. 

Drew Davis is one of those players and after the game he had in the preseason opener, it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. Coming into camp one of the position battles was expected to take place at the final two wide receiver spots. After a year's worth of contributions, a solid camp and then a two-catch, 53-yard performance against the Bengals, it appears Davis has just about wrapped up the fourth wide receiver spot behind Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas.

Competitions for players like Davis aren't ever really over, but wide receiver coach Terry Robiskie thinks Davis has shown enough to prove he can help the team. 

"I think Drew will always be in our final number," Robiskie said. "He's been with me for a couple of years. He played some games for us last year. ... Drew's already in that mix pretty good because he's been here and he knows how to work. He knows what he's doing and when the whistle blows on Sunday, Drew knows what's expected of him."

Davis stats from last season don't jump out at you, but in addition to his four catches and one touchdown, he was an important member on all special teams. After a little bit of seasoning, the second-year wide receiver is beginning to get comfortable with what he's doing and his place on the team. He said he's reaching a point in his young career where he feels like he can always hit the field and be productive.

"I'd say the first couple of years was all about sink or swim and just being able to learn the stuff and know what I'm doing," Davis said. "Now I can throw a little bit more technique in there and know how to beat people a little bit more. Taking pointers from Roddy, Julio or Harry is all good because they're always telling me something I can do to get even more open or something I can do to work the route better. "

During the first quarter Thursday, Davis found himself on the field a lot. In total, he was on the field for 50 percent of the team's offensive snaps, but more importantly he was playing frequently with the first team. With Jones out, Davis stepped into the slot receiver role during the first quarter with Douglas playing on the outside. Davis threw the first block for Douglas on the screen pass that Douglas took for 42 yards.

It was a solid all-around game for Davis and it may be signs of things to come. Davis continues to get first-team time during training camp and he's made the most of it. He said he'll play anywhere the team needs him and he's learning the routes from all three wide receiver positions in an effort to be versatile and helpful should he be needed somewhere.

It's the willingness to do whatever is necessary to secure a job that Robiskie says makes Davis valuable. With one game in the books, Davis has shown he's willing to dive in.

"Other guys are still kind of feeling their way through," Robiskie said. "It's kind of like jumping in the water. Other guys are trying to put their toes in the water and figure out if they should jump in. Drew knows he better jump in. If he wants to be ahead of the pile, he better jump in. ... They always have to understand that every day there's a guy behind them that want that position."

One of the things Falcons head coach Mike Smith values is versatility. The more versatile a player can be, the more valuable he will be in a Smith system. Sure, there are players with one specific role, but the second half of the roster of 53 is filled with players that can help the team in multiple ways. 

Drew Davis is one of those players and after the game he had in the preseason opener, it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. Coming into camp one of the position battles was expected to take place at the final two wide receiver spots. After a year's worth of contributions, a solid camp and then a two-catch, 53-yard performance against the Bengals, it appears Davis has just about wrapped up the fourth wide receiver spot behind Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas.

Competitions for players like Davis aren't ever really over, but wide receiver Terry Robiskie thinks Davis has shown enough to prove he can help the team. 

"I think Drew will always be in our final number," Robiskie said. "He's been with me for a couple of years. He played some games for us last year. ...Drew's already in that mix pretty good because he's been here and he knows how to work. He knows what he's doing and when the whistle blows on Sunday, Drew knows what's expected of him."

Davis stats from last season don't jump out at you, but in addition to his four catches and one touchdown, he was an important member on all special teams. After a little bit of seasoning, the second-year wide receiver is beginning to get comfortable with what he's doing and his place on the team. He said he's reaching a point in his young career where he feels like he can always hit the field and be productive.

"I'd say the first couple of years was all about sink or swim and just being able to learn the stuff and know what I'm doing," Davis said. "Now I can throw a little bit more technique in there and know how to beat people a little bit more. Taking pointers from Roddy, Julio or Harry is all good because they're always telling me something I can do to get even more open or something I can do to work the route better. "

During the first quarter Thursday Davis found himself on the field a lot. In total he was on the field for 50 percent of the team's offensive snaps, but more importantly he was playing frequently with the first team. With Jones out, Davis stepped into the slot receiver role during the first quarter with Douglas playing on the outside. Davis threw the first block for Douglas on the screen pass that Douglas took for 42 yards.

It was a solid all-around game for Davis and it may be signs of things to come. Davis continues to get first-team time during training camp and he's made the most of it. He said he'll play anywhere he the team needs him and he's learning the routes from all three wide receiver positions in an effort to be versatile and helpful should he be needed somewhere.

It's the willingness to do whatever is necessary to secure a job that Robiskie says makes Davis valuable. With one game in the books, Davis has shown he's willing to dive in.

"Other guys are still kind of feeling their way through, Robiskie said."It's kind of like jumping in the water. Other guys are trying to put their toes in the water and figure out if they should jump in. Drew knows he better jump in. If he wants to be ahead of the pile, he better jump in. …They always have to understand that everyday there's a guy behind them that want that position."

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