Linebackers Coach Keith Butler

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BRUCE DAVISTHIRD ROUND SELECTION88th OVERALL

Keith Butler

RE: BRUCE DAVIS

Linebacker - University of California-Los Angeles

3rd Round – 88th Overall

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What can you tell us about this player?

 

He's kind of a hybrid, like a lot of the guys we've drafted.  UCLA kid, about 6-2 and a half, 252 pounds, runs well.  He was a defensive end for them, mostly.  He came down to the Senior Bowl and he stood up and played linebacker for them there.  We feel like that he can make the transition.  We feel like that he's a versatile player that could play inside or outside.  We're going to start him probably at outside though.  We felt like we need some depth there.  We think he's going to provide that depth for us.

 

I had the opportunity to play against his dad when he was with Oakland.  His dad was a good player.

 

What was his dad's name?  What was his position?

 

Bruce Davis.  He was an offensive tackle. 

 

He's going to give us a little bit of leeway in terms of depth.  We've been working Lawrence Timmons at inside and outside.  We'll see how everybody fits best when we get everybody in here.  Right now we're thinking outside with him.

 

What jumped out at you about this player?

 

His size, his versatility and athletic ability.  He has a good first step when he comes off the ball in terms of rushing the passer.  There are a few things he needs to correct, I think, but we'll get him here and see how he does. 

 

Is he similar to Woodley in regards to size?

 

Woodley is about 260.  He (Davis) is a big guy.  He's going to have a good size on him.  We felt like we needed somebody to help us on the outside in terms of resting those guys.  You play outside linebacker, you need to be able to run with the little guys and hit with the big guys, especially in our defense.  Most people, when they play a 4-3 defense, rest their defensive linemen.  In other words, they alternate them.  Most of the time, people in the NFL don't alternate their players – they leave their starters in there and play.  Well, there defensive line is probably the only position in the league where they don't do that – there and running back.  They'll alternate guys in there. 

 

We feel that we needed somebody to provide us some help in that area so that James Harrison and Lamarr, as the season goes along, they don't wear down.  Or as the game goes along, in the fourth quarter, we'll be fresh.  Hopefully this guy can be that guy for us. 

 

Is he better on one side or the other?

 

He played right in college.  We're going to look at him on both sides.  We got to have somebody that can swing, play the left and right.  We think he can do that and we think he can play inside linebacker if he had too.  Coach LeBeau liked that aspect of him from guys he's had here in the past.  We're going to have a good mix. I don't think you can ever have to many linebackers in this system.  I'm happy to be able to come in here again this year after last year. 

 

Keith, yesterday in the first round you get a running back (Rashard) Mendenhall who some thought should have gone higher in the draft he was projected as high as 14th.  Even (Limas) Sweed was projected as a late first-round pick.  Where did this guy figure in on your board?  Are you surprised he was still there? Was it a little bit of a reach maybe?

 

No I don't think it's a reach at all.  Anytime you draft a guy that's been in a three-point stance and you try to stand him up its always a projection, always is.  So a lot of people, he doesn't fit there needs.  Especially the 4-3 teams look for that guy that's a 270lbs. to 275 lbs. guy somewhere around that range.  Well he happens to be a defensive end that's 250lbs.   Those guys we look at and if those guys can stand up and do the things were going to ask them to do such as drop into coverage and stuff like that then there a little more valuable to us and other 3-4 teams.  So in terms of reaching for this guy I don't think it's a reach.  I don't know if he would have been there in the fourth round for us.  Who knows what's going on in the draft especially the second day there's a lot of people that go early then they should and guys that go later than they should.  You see a few guys come off the board today there's a couple running back that everyone had going high and they didn't come off the board till today.  Dan Connor, everybody thought he would be a first or second round draft choice and he's coming off the board today.  Is this guy a high value pick I mean who knows, who's going to know until the guy comes in here and starts playing, you never know till they start playing.

 

Did you guys see him at the Senior Bowl, the combine?  Did you go out to his pro day as well?

 

No I did not.  We saw enough of him at the combine.  What we do when we send coaches out to pro days is guys we haven't seen workout or guys we haven't seen stand up.  If we haven't seen him stand up and don't have any idea if he can drop back in coverage then were going to go find out and obviously this guy can do it.

 
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