Davis Perseveres on Offensive Line
The Miami Dolphins have a lot of new faces on their offensive line in 2020, and that includes two new coaches.
Veteran Steve Marshall has taken over as the offensive line coach and Lemuel Jeanpierre is the new assistant offensive line coach.
They're familiar faces, however, to the longest-tenured offensive lineman on the roster, Jesse Davis.
Before he joined the Miami Dolphins practice squad midway through the 2016 season, Davis spent time on the practice squads of the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Jets after he was undrafted out of Idaho.
He spent training camp with the Seahawks as a rookie free agent in 2015, and one of his temporary teammates was none other than Jeanpierre, who was heading into the fifth and final season of his NFL playing career.
Like Davis, Jeanpierre was an offensive lineman, though at 6-1, 305, he was much smaller than Davis (6-6, 325).
Jeanpierre ended up playing 63 games with 11 starts in his five NFL seasons, all with the Seahawks. He was a member of Seattle's 2013 Super Bowl-winning team and the team that came within a goal-line interception of repeating the following year.
Davis' experience with the Jets came in 2016, which was the middle year of Marshall's three seasons as offensive line coach.
The 2017 season was Marshall's last in the NFL before the Dolphins hired him this offseason to replace Dave DeGuglielmo. Marshall coached in the Alliance of American Football earlier this year.
"He offers tons of knowledge," Davis said of Marshall. "He’s seen probably every technique he can get from different players to different styles of play. Any question you have, he answers it on the fly. It’s been great, and especially with our assistant coach Lem, he’s played the game, I played with him in Seattle actually. So I knew him from a short stint as well. But he offers a great way to look at the game too on how a player looks at it instead of a coach. I think it’s a good marriage for our room.”
It's not just new coaches with whom Davis has had to familiarize himself.
There not only are eight newcomers on the offensive line — veterans Erick Flowers and Ted Karras, along with rookies Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, Solomon Kindley, Donell Stanley, Nick Kaltmayer and Jonathan Hubbard — but not one player who has been on the team longer than one year.
That's right, Davis is the last remaining offensive lineman from the 2018 roster.
For those keeping score, the others offensive linemen who played for the Dolphins in 2018 were Laremy Tunsil, Ja'Wuan James, Ted Larsen, Travis Swanson, Isaac Asiata, Jake Brendel, Wesley Johnson, Daniel Kilgore, Josh Sitton, Zach Sterup and Sam Young.
That is what you call some massive turnover.
Of all of them, the only two who went directly to another team were Tunsil, who was traded to Houston, and James, who signed as a free agent with Denver.
Davis has been able to persevere since working his way up the practice squad because of his versatility (he has played every position for the Dolphins but center) and his team-first attitude, and also because he does have some ability.
The Dolphins thought enough of him that they signed him to a three-year contract extension last September, and he logically should play an important role again in 2020.
And even though he's got more new teammates along the offensive line, at least he can take some comfort in being familiar with his new position coaches.