Newcomer Will Davis Makes Difference In Secondary


The Ravens may have found the mix they've been looking for on the back end of the defense.

After the secondary struggled the last two weeks against Oakland and Cincinnati, the Ravens gave cornerback Will Davis his shot Thursday night.

And the newcomer didn't disappoint.

Davis, who the Ravens acquired from Miami in exchange for a seventh-round pick last week, made the most of his Ravens' debut. He consistently wound up around the football and played a big part in Baltimore limiting All Pro receiver Antonio Brown to just five catches for 42 yards.

"I definitely went in there and am proud of the game I played today," Davis said. "I'm happy with the results. I made the plays that were there for me, so you can't ask for much more than that."

Davis finished the game with a tackle and also broke up a third-down pass intended for wide receiver Sammie Coates. He played a total of 23 snaps and was the team's second-highest graded defender (plus-2.0) by Pro Football Focus.

The Ravens traded for Davis on Sept. 21 after falling to the Raiders the previous day, and they quickly made it clear that they had high hopes for him. After seeing Davis on the practice field for just two days, Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said he expected Davis to challenge players ahead of him for snaps. 

Baltimore gave Davis a week to learn the defense, and then thrust him onto a big national stage in a critical game against the team's biggest rival.

"It was a lot of excitement, definitely some nerves going into it," Davis said. "They have big-time offense and receivers, and when you get here you can feel the rivalry throughout the week. Steelers-Ravens is huge, so I was excited to come out here and play."

Baltimore has tinkered with the cornerback rotation early in the season. Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb have been the clear starters, but the third cornerback spot has been in flux.

Offseason pickup Kyle Arrington has primarily worked in the slot as the team's third cornerback. The Ravens gave Rashaan Melvin the nod ahead of Arrington against Cincinnati, but Melvin struggled mightily in his opportunity and the Ravens quickly went back to Arrington.

Davis and Arrington both took reps as the third cornerback against the Steelers, with Davis seeing much of the action in clear passing situations. When Davis entered the game, he played outside and Webb slid inside to cover the slot receiver.

The only reception Davis allowed in his direction was an 8-yard pass to Brown. The debut was an impressive start for the former Miami Dolphin, and a sign he could have more playing time in his future.

"I made the plays that were there for me, so you can't ask for much more than that," Davis said. "We'll look at film and see how much better it could have been."

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