BEREA— When it came to his school work, Austin Davis wasn’t always the first to tend to his studies.
In the film room, however, Davis feels that he’s always been at the head of the class.
"Maybe not my homework, but when it comes to football, yeah,” Davis said, when asked if he’s always made a point to be prepared. “I would say I've always enjoyed it.”
Davis hates to feel unprepared on the field, which is precisely why Browns coach Mike Pettine referred to him as “relentless” in his off-the-field work.
“He is as prepared as any quarterback that I've been around. He’s relentless in that way,” Pettine said. “I think he goes into games with, in his mind, I think processing speed that he's rehearsed it so many times in his head that I think he gets the ball out and he's decisive, maybe quicker than some other guys.”
While Pettine referred to Davis relentless in his preparation, Josh McCown used another term to describe Davis— a term that would detail Davis’ preparation as a labor of love as opposed to back-breaking business.
“He's a football junkie. He’s always watching tape and studying and just asking questions all the time,” McCown said. “I think anytime you have those kind of qualities and you love it, especially at our position you have to, I think you give yourself a chance.”
It’s clear that Davis is diligent in his preparation for each and every game, but the reason for that preparation can’t only be chalked up to his love of the game.
Rather, Davis feels it’s his responsibility to be prepared game in and game out, as he could be the one fans are relying upon— just as they were a week ago—to win a game for their team.
“I feel like there are so many people that are counting on you and looking at you to play well,” Davis said. “The fact of letting people down just bothers me. So I think that's where it comes from. I think that's where just the hard work and prep comes from. I just think it's a big responsibility.”
Having backed up Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel for the previous twelve weekends, Davis, who played in 10 games and threw 12 touchdowns for the St. Louis Rams in 2014, was tabbed as the Browns’ starter this Sunday, pushing even more responsibility his way.
That additional pressure doesn’t phase him, however, as he was tasked with a tougher assignment earlier this season— preparing for his first game with the Browns less than ten days after he was signed on September 7.
“The biggest thing was just learning the offense,” Davis said, when asked about the challenges associated with joining a new team. “(I had to) figure out how to get out of the huddle, and like I said before, it was really just a terminology change for me.”
Just days away from his first start at FirstEnergy Stadium, there’s little doubt that Davis will be prepared for the next challenge in his journey with the Browns and that he'll enjoy the experience to the fullest.
“Our fans are passionate and want to win and that’s something to be thankful for. Honestly, I appreciate that.” Davis said. “To play in front of a home crowd like that, I’ll take that any day.”
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