Rookie Back Flashing Promise

Is James Davis the next Ben Gay, or is he in it for the long haul? Lane Adkins says the early returns look promising...

Every year in training camp there are players that stand out early, only to fade into obscurity as the dog days of camp slowly pass.

We have witnessed this storyline before in Cleveland; from the Ben Gay's, Travis Prentice's and James Jackson's of the world, the Browns search for the next big thing continues.

Early in the Cleveland Browns 2009 training camp the song remains the same. This time, rookie running back James Davis is drawing deserved rave reviews.

Often, players can stand out on their respective individual talent in the beginning stages of camp. Those individual performances while an entire team gets up to speed do stand out, and that's seemingly been the case in every training camp historically throughout the league.

In Cleveland, the love affair with players is a well-tested tradition. Rabid followers, true die-hards to the final degree, Browns fans can quickly fall in love with a player, especially players with the ability to electrify.

Thus far, Davis has been just that.

Within a developing roster under a new head coach, the rookie back has been generally viewed as bringing an influx of talent, most notably speed and quickness.

An afterthought by many due to being a late-round draft selection, Davis is impressing. Practice after practice, the young man from Clemson University is proving he is much more than simply a player that can run with the football.

From the onset, Davis has been effective. For a rookie back, patience is a critical component to contributing. Knowing and understanding how to wait on blockers is a key element for success at the position. 

The aspect of running with the ball may be the easiest of what is a complex position to play, especially for a rookie. It's the insight, vision and toughness and a supporting cast that can separate the men from the boys on game day.

Whether it's been Davis taking a hand-off, making a cut and running to light in the secondary or the young man  picking up a key blocking in the passing game, Davis has been spot on.

There have been no games played. James Davis is excelling on the practice field, which is only the first step in what hopefully is a lengthy career.

But, until the games begin, you never know -- although the early indications look promising.


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