Jesse Davis Finds Himself Key To Dolphins 2017 Season
Jesse Davis has the weight of the season fully on his shoulders
Ja’Wuan James is certainly out this Monday against the Panthers, likely out for multiple weeks beyond that, and possibly done for 2017… and given all things involved, maybe James is done in Miami period.
Due to injuries and up and down play, James has been an inconsistent talent since he was drafted 19th in the 2014 NFL Draft. This season, James has shut down All Pro Melvin Ingram and Khalil Mack… and also on occasion has been beaten like a drum by lesser talents.
Now he’s injured, again with the degree and nature of the injury a mystery.
Yet, ranked Top 10 at his position in 2017, he has been Miami’s best Offensive Linemen.At this critical juncture of the season, James’ absence is devastating.
Depending on the play of Jesse Davis, James’ absence will be mitigated or severely missed.
Phinsnews did a film study on Davis in the Preseason and was one of the very 1st, anywhere, to see his value… you can check out the article and study here. But while we were high on him at Guard, we weren’t as high on him as a Tackle.
Yet to Davis’ credit, he did acquitted himself well at LT for a few quarters in relief of injured Laremy Tunsil, so he may well have improved, we misjudged his ability, or he simply played above his head for a bit. In three days we’ll get a better idea which it is.
Davis may turn out to be the hero of the season
Keep in mind, this is only his 1st season on a 53 man roster, so experience from every game should yield steady improvement… if he’s a keeper at Tackle. And given what Davis is up against this week, this IF can’t be stressed enough. The Panthers have the #1 defense, #2 against the run, and are #2 in the league sacks with 29… and Davis isn’t the athlete that James is.
But the NFL isn’t all about speed and agility.
Strength is without a doubt one area Davis is better than James, who has struggled severely against power, and plays of him getting pull rushed into the QB weren’t uncommon. Davis is a hair taller, but much thicker and has handled some mammoths from Preseason to last week while playing inside. This strength increase at RT could go a long way towards helping the run.
On te dwonside, Davis has struggled on occasion against speed and good hand fighting. A whiff block on the edge could prove disastrous, especially given Jay Cutler’s cracked ribs. It will all come down to technique allowing him to use his size and strength to compensate for his lack of quickness.
He has displayed some good things so far, but can he man the Tacklespot long term?
Then there’s future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers and his 7.5 sacks who he’ll face.
Ouch! Talk about a baptism by fire… If Davis passes this test and he should get a massive tip of the hat.
Davis isn’t getting even a drop of easy in his deput at starting Right Tackle
The other quality Davis can best James in is consistency.
Davis hasn’t given a strong indication in his level of consistency due to his limited exposure, so this is the wildcard. If he can be what he is, whatever he is, even if it’s average, play after play, week in and week out, at least Adam Gase can plan for that.
These are the two million dollar questions: What is Davis and can he be consistent.
It doesn’t take a pay per head bookie software to know the realty is, there is nothing–nothing–behind Davis.
Sam Young is a warm body, too weak to hold up for more than a few plays. Newly acquired Zach Sterup has been busted twice for performance enhancers and served a 4 game suspension. But even if he has cleaned up, he looked raw in the preseason with the Browns. I doubt the practice squad made him any better.
The last option at Tackle is Jermon Bushrod. After seeing his slow kick step on the few plays he had to come in at Tackle, this isn’t a good option either.
Can Miami get a small miracle with strong play from Davis?
So really, the first and last stop is Davis… scary, huh? With a season on a razor’s edge, Davis gets a white hot spotlight. Will he rise to the occasion or collapse under the intense pressure?
I do believe Davis will hold up and perform well. Only thing I’m nervous about is, will he commit a handful of negative plays that could decide the game?
We have 3 days to see a new Offensive Line with Ted Larsen at Left Guard and Davis at Right Tackle. Winning this game won’t guarantee a Post Season trip, but it’s a must win if they even want a shot a shot at it. Regardless if you believe there’s hope or not, you should be rooting with everything you got for their success… if you are a Dolphins Fan. Go Fins!!!