By Teresa Varley
While some of his teammates want nothing to do with watching football this weekend, fullback Carey Davis plans on tuning in to the NFL Divisional Playoffs to see what unfolds.
It just won't be easy.
"I'm a football fan so I'll watch but I'll still have a bitter taste in my mouth," said Davis. "I feel like we should have been there and we had a good team that was capable of going all the way and unfortunately we didn't."
And like most he expects to see New England come out victorious on Saturday, although he knows first-hand that Jacksonville will give them a serious run for their money.
"They've proven this year that they're one of the elite teams in the league so I would have to say New England," said Davis. "I respect them because they work hard and do what they're supposed to do, but I think any team can be beaten at any time."
Davis likely respects them because that is the same work ethic he has. Davis started his NFL career as a rookie free agent with the Indianapolis Colts. He was waived by them in mid-September of that year and since had brief stints with the Falcons, Buccaneers and Dolphins, not seeing playing time along the rocky path. He was signed to the Steelers practice squad in November, 2006 and re-signed at the end of the season.
Davis' never say die attitude paid dividends for him this year when he won the starting fullback job, edging out eight-year veteran Dan Kreider.
"It was exciting to go through training camp and fight like everybody else does and to come out of it and be told that I was going to be the starter," said Davis. "I knew it was going to be a long road ahead of me but I felt like I did what I needed to do and next season I'll be able to do it a little better."
He knows that he can't ease up. He knows there will be someone there biting at his heels trying to take his job away from him. He is going to make it a battle.
"I kind of walk around with a chip on my shoulder," said Davis. "I'm going to keep fighting and keep continuing to do what I have to do.
"Obviously I feel like I'm a starter but at the same time I have to work hard. I'm not going to let anybody take my spot. They really have to work harder than me and I don't see that happening."
Davis wasn't used a lot as a ball carrier, but was effective when it was put in his hands. He had 17 carries for 68 yards, a four-year average. He also caught 12 passes out of the backfield for 49 yards.
Davis met with head coach Mike Tomlin for his season-wrap up, with Tomlin telling him he was pleased that he stepped up this season and encouraged him to come back next season and play even better. Tomlin should have no worries that he will respond.
"I'm going to keep fighting. I'm a hard worker," said Davis. "I already knew that about myself. Just being able to make it through the entire season injury-free I was proud of myself but at the same time it's a team thing and our team didn't reach its goal.
"There's going to be ups and downs, it's a long season. You just have to keep going hard every week, practicing, studying, being in the film room, just keep working."
Davis will return to St. Louis and after letting his body rest for about three weeks, it will be back to work.
"I can't sit around longer than that, I get antsy," said Davis. "I'll sit around for two or three weeks, just relax, think about the season and then get back to it, work harder than I did last offseason and try to come back better than this year."