Sean Davis enters Steelers season ‘honed in’ at free safety
Sean Davis shared an inside joke with a longtime teammate. He spoke like a proud father about the strides another player has made entering his second season. And he talked about his burgeoning role as a leader on the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.
In short, everything Davis was saying and doing after an organized team activity Wednesday suggested he’s now an established and tenured NFL veteran.
“Time flies,” Davis, 25, said after bring reminded it was only three years ago he was a wide-eyed rookie at OTAs. “It’s crazy. I’m an older guy now.
“Guys look up to me to help them, teach them stuff and know that (Steelers) coach (Mike Tomlin) is looking to me to do that. Time is flying — and my role has changed tremendously.”
Davis’ role has changed repeatedly over his 37 months with the Steelers — not only in the leadership capacity, but in the on-field manner in which he has been employed.
Just in time for what could be his final season with the organization, Davis finally appears entrenched at a position he will hold for a full two-season span for the first time as a pro.
And he couldn’t be happier.
“I hope I play and stay at free safety,” Davis said. “I want to hone in on free safety and really perfect my craft at that.
“I am versatile. I can do it all. But having another entire year at free safety, that’s what I’d really like to do.”
Davis played safety and outside cornerback at Maryland. When the Steelers took him in the second round in 2016, Davis was initially pegged as a strong safety. But his first regular-season NFL action came at slot cornerback.
By the end that season, Davis was moved back to strong safety, and he showed enough promise that he kept that spot in 2017. But after the Steelers released Mike Mitchell and drafted Terrell Edmunds during the spring 2018, Davis was bumped again — this time to free safety.
At first, the latest installment of Davis’ positional wanderlust was an adjustment. After a first full year at free safety, though, Davis has embraced it. And he wants to make it his permanent positional home.
“I feel like I am getting better each week, but it is a whole new position though so I am still learning,” Steelers safety Sean Davis said.https://t.co/zrH61U1Jn2
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“I am still capable of doing nickel or going into the box or whatever, because we have to be versatile,” Davis said. “But ideal situation for me, I would like to be in the post (free safety) — in all subpackages and everything. The failsafe, the last man on defense, all the time.”
Davis didn’t say it, but part of the appeal to settling in and perfecting one position is that his contract is about to expire. Showing he has mastered one particular spot would make him that much more attractive on the free-agent market.
Davis wouldn’t say if there have been any discussions with the Steelers about a contract extension. He switched representation earlier this spring, signing with super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.
“I’m not sure. I let Drew, my agent, handle that stuff,” Davis said when asked about his contract. “I’m just trying to get back on the field and play with my guys.”
Davis has been prevented from taking part in the past two weeks of OTAs because of an injury that he would not disclose other than to say it was minor and that he would “for sure… definitely be on the grass before minicamp.”
OTAs run through June 6; the following week (June 11-13) is the annual mandatory minicamp.
Davis, who acknowledged he added a little weight over the offseason, said all the right things in regard to wanting to stay with the Steelers over the long term.
“This is the best spot to be at, man,” he said. “I hear all the incoming guys, everyone, saying, ‘There’s no place like Pittsburgh.’ So I don’t wanna experience anything different. I just want to stay in Pittsburgh because I love it in Pittsburgh.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .