Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis on his reduced role: ‘I got to trust the coaches’

Detroit Free Press

Jarrad Davis has not developed into a three-down linebacker like the Detroit Lions hoped when they took him in the first round of the 2017 draft, and if Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears is any indication, his role could be shrinking even further.

Davis played just 35 of a possible 65 defensive snaps last week, less than Jahlani Tavai (51) and Christian Jones (44).

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Of the Lions’ top four linebackers, Davis outsnapped only Jamie Collins, who was ejected in the first half for making contact with an official.

“Honestly, I just get out there and I see what I can see and make sure I can help these guys when they get back to the sideline,” Davis said. “When it’s my time to go out there, I go out there and I play to my best, play to my best of my ability and do what I can to help the team. But while I’m on the sideline I’m still locked in, I’m still dialed into the game and I’m just trying to make sure that whoever’s out there, that they’re making the plays, that they’re helping us out to try to put us in the best position they can so I’m trying to give my input as much as I can.”

Last year, Davis played 87% of the snaps in the games that he was healthy and frequently wore the defensive communication set while he was on the field.

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Collins had the green-dot helmet to start Sunday’s game, and Tavai replaced him as the Lions’ defensive communicator for most of the final three quarters.

Davis, whose contract expires after this season, said he “100%” still thinks be an every-down player for the Lions.

“But I got to trust the coaches and trust the game plan,” he said. “That’s all I can do.”

The Lions allowed 5.3 yards rushing per carry against the Bears, the third most allowed by any NFL team last week. This week, they face a Packers team that ran for 158 yards in its opener.

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“Just got to make sure that we’re being more physical up front and honestly just being more stout,” Davis said. “We were giving up a lot of creases in there and just an area that we have to help out is the linebackers coming downhill, filing a little bit quicker and just being more stout up front. We got it all adjusted, though, we know what we need to do. We seen where we messed up at and we made some adjustments during the game that really slowed it down, but we need to just continue to make those improvements during this week of practice so we can go out Sunday versus the Packers and not really have a lull and just go out and start fast.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Lions content. 

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