Interview: Demario Davis shares positive outlook for 2021 Saints
The subtractions from a year ago were substantive.
Gone are Drew Brees, Jared Cook, Josh Hill, Emanuel Sanders, Trey Hendrickson, Malcom Brown, Sheldon Rankins, Kwon Alexander, Alex Anzalone and Janoris Jenkins.
Following a year in which the New Orleans Saints organization was all in on trying to win it all, many observers feel the consistently good franchise is heading for a fall, that maintaining winning ways will be a tall order.
Don’t tell Demario Davis that.
Ever the optimist, Davis is one of the best all-around linebackers in the NFL and an unquestioned leader on the team, particularly with the departure of Drew Brees.
Davis had already taken on pre-game huddle pep talks and had done so in passionate fashion.
Naturally, Davis backed up his words with actions on the field with brilliant play.
Davis isn’t buying the doom and gloom of no room in the playoff picture for the 2021 Saints.
Speaking at the Jefferson Prayer Breakfast at Chateau Country Club in Kenner, Davis gave his perspective.
“The game is played within the white lines,” Davis said. “It ain’t played on pens and pads. It ain’t played in talking. I’m excited for our team. We’ve got a lot great players. We’ve a lot of success over the past several years and it’s been due to the great makeup of the organization, due to great coaches, due to a lot of the players that are in our locker room currently. I’m definitely excited for the challenge and the opportunity.”
While Davis knows there will be competition for the other starting linebacker spot, he remains confident in his own abilities and is confident it will be a solid player.
“Who will line up beside me? I think the jury is still out on that. It will be up to the coaches to figure that out. I know and I trust our organization that they will put the best player in that position but overall, our defense is sound. We’ve got a phenomenal defensive line coached by a great coach. Our linebacker position will be sound because Mike Hodges has been phenomenal since day one and our back end is locked up.”
Despite the void in level of play and leadership left by Drew Brees, Davis feels the Saints have great leaders remaining.
“You have guys like Terron Armstead, Cam Jordan,” Davis said. “You’ve got young, emerging leaders Marshon Lattimore, Alvin Kamara, Ryan Ramczyk. When you’ve got a locker room filled with leaders, it makes leadership a whole lot easier. I’m more of the vocal leader, of course, just ‘cause I like to talk a lot. When it’s time to go, I know how to exhort my guys and get them ready to go.”
Davis feels the quarterback position will remain solid, whether it is Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston getting the nod.
“When you have an offensive guru coach like Sean Payton, he’s going to put the offense in the best situation to win,” Davis said. “I have no worries, no concerns about what he’ll do. I know he’ll put whoever is best and needs to be in at the right situation. We’ve done multiple quarterback things, we’ve had the legend back there so he’s going to put us in the best situation to win from an offensive standpoint.”
While Brees is gone, he is still very prevalent in the life of Davis.
“I was just talking to Drew yesterday,” Davis said. “We talk almost every day now. We have a lot of off the field projects that we work on together. We talk now probably more than we did when we were teammates. It’s been good. I’m excited for him and his future, for him and his family and I know he’ll be rooting for us.”
Brees and Davis have partnered on a bid to redevelop the Six Flags site in New Orleans East into an agricultural innovation hub. Their bid is one of two finalists being considered with parts of both or even both possible in coming to fruition.
Davis is optimistic about what the Saints can accomplish this season.
“The sky is the limit,” Davis said. “Every year we step into it, we step into it with a mindset we know what our end game is and that’s the Super Bowl and nothing less but you’ve got to build it from the ground up. Every year, you’ve got to tear it down and build it from the ground up.”
- < PREV Video: Demario Davis, Jen Hale speak at Jefferson Prayer Breakfast
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…