After the departure and subsequent retirement of veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan, the second starting spot opposite Pro Bowl CB Brent Grimes once again became vacant, and once again it has become a free-for-all to see who will emerge victorious and earn that coveted spot as the team's second starter.
For Will Davis, a former third-round pick of the Dolphins in the 2013 NFL Draft, a lot of ground needs to be covered thanks to the fact his 2014 campaign as cut short due to an unfortunate knee injury he suffered in November against the Buffalo Bills at home. It was a difficult road to be sure - every injury has one - but Davis is confident that he's ready to compete.
“I know by the time I head to training camp I’ll be 100 percent, if not more,” Davis said during an interview with the Finsiders. “I’m just excited to come in before training camp so I can kind of get those little jitters out of the way so I can compete 100 percent, no excuses, as far as getting back. I think my leg will be there definitely by camp."
Davis won't have an easy time ahead of him though, as he faces some very stiff competition from veterans Brice McCain and Zack Bowman, who both have some starting experience. He'll also have to fend off the rookies Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett - who have impressed in OTAs and Mini-camp - and his fellow 2013 draft pick Jamar Taylor, who was drafted one round ahead of him and is currently the favorite to win the job.
“It’s going to be a fun competition. It always is," Davis said. "But definitely this year being the spot so wide open next to Brent, it’s going to be exciting for all the other corners, all of us to get in there. We boost each other up at the same time, have preseason, all of us do great and then whoever the coaches decide at the end definitely will earn it.”
Also hindering Davis' progress is the fact that his injury has set him behind all of the other corners competing for the position, as his practice snaps were somewhat limited compared to his competition while he recovered. But Davis is maintaining a positive attitude regarding his status.
“The best man gets the spot,” Davis said. “I think we all understand that. Definitely coming off the injury, yeah, you could say I might have not as much of a head start as everybody else, but once I get the leg back, it’ll be all like an equal competition in my head. I don’t feel the injury is going to be a setback as far as if I don’t get it. I think if I don’t, then the better man was there during preseason and training camp and he earned it.”
He's remained positive, he's remained optimistic about his chances, and he's done his best to not let his injury affect his mindset. But Davis readily admits that he had some hesitancy when he first got back out on the field.
“I remember I was quite nervous getting back,” Davis said. “I remember my first play out there I made a play on the ball, a pass breakup, and all the DBs are all excited. Brent is running up to me. Everybody is running up to me. That feeling, that confidence, it helps when you get back and make a play early the confidence to get back. But there’s definitely some hesitation, there’s definitely on certain routes, are you going to cut out of it?"
Davis is aware of the stakes and he's prepared to fight for what he wants, and as soon as he's able to go all out on the football field again, he's aiming to prove he's got what it takes to earn that starting job.
“It’s still not 100 percent," Davis said. "But once it definitely gets to that point (I’ll have all) the confidence in the world and having the big summer break and this minicamp is going to help boost that confidence as well. But everything has been going good. I’ve been moving out there well. Starting to get the Willie D back ... in due time.”
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Latest Dolphins News