Sammy Davis joined us to share his thoughts on the team and the NFL experience as a whole up to this point. Davis was the 30th overall selection in the 2003 NFL Draft and rated 25th overall by the scouts here at SD Bolt Report.
Davis, a Texas A&M alum, has made the difficult transition from college to an NFL starter during his rookie season at perhaps the toughest position to start at as a first year player, cornerback.
The transition hasn't always been easy, as some of the media has criticized Davis for poor tackling. He has 24 on the season, placing him 6th on the team. He was asked point blank, is this an issue in your mind and has the coaching staff addressed it?
"I think it can always be better, but it's not something that I think is a major problem for me right now. I can't really remember a game where I missed many tackles; so the coaches haven't really sat me down to address it. So, I do not see my tackling as being an issue."
The media always starts pointing fingers when a team is winless as the Chargers were before last Sunday. The young secondary was a good target to be the goat.
Davis played on some great teams at A&M and it had to be difficult to come to San Diego and start a blossoming career 0-5.
"You just have to take it and learn from it. It's something that you don't like going through, but when you get through it, it makes you stronger."
This past Sunday in Cleveland, Davis picked up his first win as a pro. He seemed to be in position to make a play on the ball all day long and led the team in passes defended with three.
"Yeah, it was a tremendous feeling to get that first one (win). We've been putting in the work, but for some reason, we just had not put it all together up until last Sunday."
Now that the work has paid off, where does the team go from here?
"We are happy that the work paid off, but we're far from being satisfied. Coach Shottenheimer has preached a one game at a time approach and that's the way we're looking at it. Now we've got to go out and put together a streak to get back in this thing in order to make the playoffs and that's what it's all about."
Should Chargers fans have hopes that this will get turned around?
"Just to stick with us and keep believing in us. Marty has us believing in each other and what we're doing. We're a young team that is going to improve each week. We're not out of this thing yet, so hang in there."
His experience and fortitude have been tested early in his career. Davis has already gone up against some of the best wide receivers in the league. The question: Who has been the toughest he has had to face this year?
"I would have to say the Jimmy Smith was the toughest. He knows a lot of tricks that the receivers use, so I am just going to try and learn from that experience."
Considering he has faced the Future Hall of Fame tandem of Jerry Rice and Tim Brown, it should tell you something of the talent Smith has. Considering he was reinstated by the league just days before the game, you have to believe Smith is the stud Davis claims him to be. Oakland has to have the toughest wide receiving corps as a whole then, right?
"Up to this point I would have to say Cleveland as a whole."
Davis instantly has endeared himself to Chargers fans worldwide with that comment, a slight shot at the Raiders.
The past is behind him now, the future lies on Monday night and the excitement of Prime Time in front of a National Audience. Excitement might not be a strong enough word for the way Davis feels.
"Without a doubt I can't wait to go out and prove that I belong in this league. It's something that you dream about as a little kid and to have the opportunity to play in it as a rookie makes it even more special."
Any predictions for Monday night against the Dolphins such as the one LaDainian Tomlinson had last week?
"No we're just going to go out and try to improve on last week's performance and get the ‘W'."
Davis now has the benefit of Terrence Kiel to help him out in the secondary as Kiel has recovered from an offseason carjacking incident that left him with three gun shot wounds. Davis and Kiel were teammates at Texas A&M and they formed a powerful pair for the Aggies. Who knew they would be playing in the same secondary in the NFL?
"You know what, we didn't really. I mean for us to land on the same team it's been a blessing because we are so used to each other's tendencies when we are on the field."
Kiel, in his first game of extended playing time during the Cleveland game, got his first pick of the season, before Davis has recorded one. As friends and teammates for quite some time now, Kiel had to give Davis a hard time, right?
"No, not really, but that's the way it's been since college. He always seems to get the first one before me."
Sammy Davis had eleven interceptions in his career at College Station. That placed him sixth on the all-time list in career interceptions in Aggie annals. If Kiel's interception is any indication, we could see the run on picks begin.
Davis will gladly take that along with a side order of wins for the San Diego Chargers.
Part I of our exclusive interview with Sammy Davis can be found by clicking HERE
Kenny Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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