BEREA—The Edward Jones Dome may not be the home of the Rams for much longer, but it will certainly have a home-like feel for Austin Davis.
“I had three really good years there and I enjoyed every bit of it,” Davis said. “I love the city of St. Louis. Everything about it was good.”
After being signed by the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Davis started eight games for the Rams in 2014 before they released him during Training Camp this season.
Davis was claimed by the Browns on September 7 of this year, making the decision to cut him all the more difficult for St. Louis head coach Steve Fisher.
“I’ve got a strong place in my heart for Austin,” Fisher said. "We had to make a hard decision and we did so. It was no doubt in my mind that Austin was going to land some place just because he's that type of competitor and he picks things up really fast."
Now on a new team heading to a familiar place, Davis said that it will certainly be a strange feeling heading back to the old digs he occupied not so long ago.
“It’ll be interesting being in the visitor’s locker room in that dome, but I’m excited,” Davis said. “At the end of the day, it’s certainly not about me.”
It is, according to Davis, about the team for which he currently plays, the Cleveland Browns, who seem to believe that having the quarterback on their side will be very beneificial in this contest.
“He’s been a part of that environment from the other side,” Browns head coach Mike Pettine said. “I think he’ll be real helpful for the quarterbacks this week.”
One of those quarterbacks, Josh McCown, echoed the sentiments of his coach, but said that he too has familiarity with the Rams.
“Any time you’ve got a guy that’s been around them as much as Austin has, he obviously can help,” McCown said. “I’ve played these guys the last two years, so I’ve got a pretty good idea (too.)”
Pettine and McCown are steadfast in their thoughts that Davis will help, but the quarterback himself isn’t entirely sure of his capabilities as an educator.
“I hope a lot. We’ll find out,” Davis said, when asked how much he’ll be able to help the Browns learn about the Rams. “I’ll do my best to help them out. At the end of the day, we’ve gotta go play and play well.”
The only reason Davis doesn’t know how much of a help he can be is because he's of the belief that the film room can only go so far and that the on-field transgressions will ultimately tell the tale at the end of the game.
“You might think, ‘oh, it’s such a huge advantage,’ but we just gotta go play and execute football,” Davis said. “You put on the tape, you figure out what teams are doing, it’s not really as much about X’s and O’s as you may think. It’s about execution, so we gotta go out and play good ball and be better than they are at what we do. That’s how you win.”
Though the on-field product is something over which the Browns will have at least some control, they will have no control over the environment they in which they'll play.
In traveling to St. Louis, the Browns will be forced to be under a dome and, generally, enclosed venues in the NFL are known to get noisy.
Davis, who called the dome home for three years, doesn’t think the noise will be a factor for the Browns, despite the outside concern.
“I know in the past (the noise) wasn’t a problem for visiting teams,” Davis said. “It’s just a typical away game.”
It may be a typical away game for the Browns, but for Davis, it won’t be.
It will, however, be a game filled with memories, meetings and old friends.
Though he insists he enjoyed his time and still has great friends in the Rams organization, Davis was quick to respond when asked if there was anything he missed about being in St. Louis.
“Nope,” Davis said. “Happy to be in Cleveland.”
For all of your Browns news, updates and analysis from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove.