Training Camp Roster Preview: LB Tae Davis
When one looks at linebacker Tae Davis' rookie year stats, they're not very impressive.
But as the late Yogi Berra once said, stats are like bikinis; they show you a lot but not everything.
According to Pro Football Focus, Davis finished the 2018 season with a 119.2 NFL rating. He allowed 19 of 23 pass attempts to be completed (82.6%) for 210 yards, 106 coming after the catch, and one touchdown.
As a tackler, Davis, who finished with 25 total tackles, had eight whiffs.
So why is he still on the team with that kind of production?
That's probably because last year was only Davis' second playing linebacker.
A converted safety who had a very productive career at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Davis was converted to linebacker as a senior. While he had modest success at the position, playing a little closer to the action still takes some getting used to the new vantage point.
So in what's technically his third season at linebacker, Davis has looked much more comfortable playing closer to the action this spring. Keep in mind that practices have been at half-speed and there hasn't been contact, but the early returns are promising.
The coaches will tell you that it's too soon to establish a depth chart, but given how Davis worked at the nickel linebacker all spring is very telling.
The Giants are looking to improve their coverage from their linebackers, which has been a multi-year problem, especially against tight ends.
After using Davis sparingly in coverage last year, the coaches finally decided to see if he still remembered a thing or two from his days as a college safety.
The early results, based on what the media has observed in the practices, are promising. Davis has above average sideline to sideline speed and hasn't lost a receiver, tight end, or running back in coverage.
With incumbent starting inside linebacker B.J. Goodson entering a contract year, it wouldn't be a surprise if the coaches are trying out a combination of Ryan Connelly against the run and Davis against the pass as a future solution should they decide to move on from Goodson.