Back with a plan

After joining his teammates on the field for the first time in OTAs, Sean Davis apparently wanted to glean everything he possibly could from the experience.

He and Terrell Edmunds, the Steelers’ presumptive starting safeties, lingered and chatted long after today’s session had ended.

They were out there together long after individual post-practice work on the Jugs machine had been completed.

Long after every other player had retreated to the shade of the locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

“Yeah man, it’s been a while since we played together,” Davis explained. “Just choppin’ it up, talking about the year, talking about practice today and trying to get better.”

Davis anticipates having a better feel entering his second season at free safety.

His first campaign after switching from strong safety resulted in one interception for Davis and eight for the Steelers.

“I was trying to get the hang of things, and maybe I was more focused on being the last man back there rather than playing aggressively,” he said. “But obviously one interception isn’t enough for me. How many did we have as a unit? Eight is not enough for all of us, that’s definitely been a point of emphasis.

“For me personally, I’m just trying to get better, learn different angles, read the quarterbacks a little bit better and just perfect my craft. One interception is not acceptable, so definitely gotta get more than that this year.

The Steelers participate in day 8 of the 2019 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex

“I’m really excited to hone in on my free safety skills. I don’t want to say I was wingin' it last year, but was just learning by mistakes. Just to have another year under my belt and to have tape to watch to correct myself. We added Coach ’T.A.’ (senior defensive assistant/secondary Teryl Austin), who brings in a lot of different stuff. I feel like this year I can hopefully put it all together.”

Davis and Edmunds are poised to become second-year holdovers on a defense that is undergoing a significant transition.

Cornerback Steve Nelson and linebacker Mark Barron were signed in veteran free agency and the Steelers traded up 10 spots in the draft to select linebacker Devin Bush 10th overall.

“The defense definitely needs to play better,” Davis maintained. “We lost a lot of games that we shouldn’t have lost last year, gave up too many points. It’s hard to shut teams out, but make them go by three (points) instead of seven. And no big plays, that’s really my big thing. And more turnovers, we need more turnovers.

“So the defense definitely has an uphill battle this year but I know we can get it done.”

Davis hadn’t taken part in OTAs prior to today because “my body just felt a little stiff,” he said. “Nothing major, though.”

His eventual participation was apparently worth the wait.

“It felt good to get back with the guys, flying around, making some calls, just getting back in the flow of things,” Davis said. “Today I felt good and it felt good to be back out there.

“I see a lot of additions and I feel like we’ve upgraded. We’ve all just been getting better. We’re all progressing, making the proper steps to get to a championship defense.”

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