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Covering a lot of ground

Posted May 30, 2017

Davis knows how far he's come entering his second season.

Sean Davis is still recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum, but that hasn’t stopped him from hitting the ground running at OTAs.

“The whole practice,” Davis confirmed today.

His workout included 21 “half-gassers” (across the field sideline to sideline) and multiple sprints spanning the width of three of the four fields at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, with periodic checks of his wrist a part of the process.

“I stay on the clock to make sure I’m up to pace,” Davis reported. “I’m not slacking.”

Davis said he hurt his shoulder in the third game of his rookie season, last Sept. 25 in Philadelphia.

He played through it well enough to start the final seven regular-season games and all three of the Steelers’ playoff games opposite Mike Mitchell at safety after an early and ultimately unsuccessful stint as the slot-cornerback in the sub-package defense.

Davis isn’t sure when he’ll rejoin the defense, but he’s convinced he’ll be a different player once he eventually does.

“Last year should be the worst that I play,” he said. “Hopefully, I can make some steps forward with healthy shoulders.”

Davis can already tell how far he’s come since arriving on the second round of the 2016 draft simply by watching the initial steps taken by the three defensive players the Steelers drafted this time around _ linebacker T.J. Watt, cornerback Cameron Sutton and cornerback Brian Allen.

“Looking at them practice, it definitely brings back memories,” Davis said. “That’s really not yourself out there. Your head’s spinning, trying to learn the defense. You’re trying to play to the best of your abilities and everything’s going super fast.

“That was me last year.”

Davis, first-round cornerback Artie Burns and third-round nose tackle Javon Hargrave all become rookie starters a season ago.

More will be expected from them this season.

Davis said they’ll also demand more from themselves.

“We don’t have the excuse any more of us being rookies,” Davis said. “We have to carry our load, step up and kind of become leaders.

“It is a younger defense. We can’t let that be an excuse to hold us down.”