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pzummo

Falcons Rookie Qb Davis Making Big Impression

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FLOWERY BRANCH, GA. — Once again, Dominique Davis is the new quarterback in camp, marveling at the work of established starter Matt Ryan.

And Ryan is still impressed with the play of Davis.

Davis began his college career at Boston College, where he was redshirted in Ryan’s 2007 senior season.

Now Ryan and Davis, an undrafted rookie free agent from East Carolina, are together again with the Atlanta Falcons.

“Right back with him,” Davis said Monday. “It’s deja vu, pretty much. I’ll just do the same thing I was doing as a freshman at B.C., just learn from him.”

The Falcons opened training camp with Davis the fourth-string quarterback behind Ryan, Chris Redman and John Parker Wilson.

Davis looked like a candidate for the practice squad. Instead, he’s pushing for a roster spot as he could compete to be Ryan’s top backup.

Davis has surprised some with his strong arm and accuracy in the Falcons’ first two preseason games, prompting speculation he could push the 35-year-old Redman for the top backup job.

Ryan knew what to expect.

“I’ve been impressed with him but not surprised,” Ryan said Monday.

“He came in my fifth year at Boston College, and he was a talented kid who worked hard. I was excited when I found out they were going to bring him in here, because I knew he was a good person.”

Coach Mike Smith had a strong compliment for Davis on Monday.

“Dominique has improved immensely from our rookie minicamp,” Smith said. “He’s probably shown the most improvement of any member of our football team. He’s getting a better understanding when he’s had his opportunities to perform. He’s done a nice job.”

Davis (6 feet 3, 210 pounds) has good size and also showed good mobility as he moved out of the pocket and avoided tacklers before finding receivers in the Falcons’ 24-19 preseason loss to the Bengals on Thursday night.

Davis, playing late in the game, completed his first eight passes and finished 11 of 18 for 121 yards with a touchdown.

The rookie said he’s again taking notes from watching Ryan, just as he did at Boston College.

“I always try to look in the future and envision myself being a great player, but just by watching him and the things he was doing, it was amazing,” Davis said. “I was just trying to repeat the things he was doing.”

Davis had another role model closer to home. He said he learned from older brother Desmond Clark what to expect in the NFL. Clark played 12 seasons as a tight end in the NFL, including eight with the Chicago Bears.

“Oh, it helped a lot,” Davis said. “I’ve never been with him in training camp. But during the season, I’ve been with him in the locker room. I’ve been in practices. I’ve been in meetings. I’ve been in all that type stuff. So I kind of knew the feel for everything already.”

The Falcons appear committed to adding more emphasis to their passing game with new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Davis has experience in a passing attack. He passed for 7,192 yards and 62 touchdowns the past two years at East Carolina.

The gaudy passing numbers were not enough to get Davis drafted. He said he’s still trying to prove he belongs in the NFL.

“The main thing was I was trying to make the team, just trying to get on somebody’s roster somewhere,” Davis said.

“That’s all I’m trying to do. I’m here and I’m grateful for being here, but if things don’t happen right here, I want to make sure I put out good film so if somebody else sees it, maybe they’ll give me an opportunity.”

Davis is making an impact with his accuracy and arm strength. He earned appreciative whoops from his teammates on Monday after he threw a perfect sideline route to Marcus Jackson, just over cornerback Brent Grimes.

The rookie has Smith’s attention.

“It’s a real steep learning curve for a guy coming out of college to make the transition to the NFL,” Smith said. “He has shown advancements each and every week. There has never been a setback in terms of his development.”

Smith said he’ll let the best player win the backup job.

“Whoever the best backup guy is, whether he’s a 10-year vet or a rookie, is going to be our backup quarterback. I think you have to go out and let the play on the field be the evaluator.”

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/viewart/20120821/SPORTS/308210026/Falcons-rookie-QB-Davis-making-big-impression?odyssey=nav%7Chead

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Talk that jargon now, mike smith. You already know you're going to keep Chris Redman's ancient a$$.

Stop acting like Smith doesn't know how to evaluate talent. This gets old.

trudweathers likes this

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If Redman and JPW cant throw a TD give the person who can a shot. He deserves some serious looks with the #1 and maybe some #1 reps.

He looked better than either redman and JPW combined.

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Stop acting like Smith doesn't know how to evaluate talent. This gets old.

The fact that we've kept JPW on this team speaks to me.

The fact that we have a history of not playing particular guys speaks to me as well.

The fact that Mike Smith really hasn't been known to cut guys to whom he has a certain level of "loyalty" to whispers to me. He's not a splashy coach. He's a conservative, safe coach that makes safe roster decisions.

And seeing as how Davis is a rookie just makes the future that much more easier to predict. Is Mike Smith really going to trust a rookie over a semi-proven veteran? History says no.

jdawg4876 likes this

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I feel like if Ryan were lost for the season Davis would be the one I would want to watch finish the season. If Ryan missed 3 or 4 games and came back in time for the playoffs, I think the QB that gives us the best chance to win at this time is Davis.

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The fact that we've kept JPW on this team speaks to me.

The fact that we have a history of not playing particular guys speaks to me as well.

The fact that Mike Smith really hasn't been known to cut guys to whom he has a certain level of "loyalty" to whispers to me. He's not a splashy coach. He's a conservative, safe coach that makes safe roster decisions.

And seeing as how Davis is a rookie just makes the future that much more easier to predict. Is Mike Smith really going to trust a rookie over a semi-proven veteran? History says no.

No, and I wouldn't either. You keep both of them and when Davis gets more experienced with the offense, he becomes the #2. We haven't even seen Davis play against 2nd stringers, let alone 1st stringers and people are going nuts.

The reason JPW is on the team is because no one has beat him out and he was on the practice squad, not a big deal.

trudweathers and ryanATL1988 like this

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The fact that we've kept JPW on this team speaks to me.

The fact that we have a history of not playing particular guys speaks to me as well.

The fact that Mike Smith really hasn't been known to cut guys to whom he has a certain level of "loyalty" to whispers to me. He's not a splashy coach. He's a conservative, safe coach that makes safe roster decisions.

And seeing as how Davis is a rookie just makes the future that much more easier to predict. Is Mike Smith really going to trust a rookie over a semi-proven veteran? History says no.

Davis appears far safer than Redman or JPW at this point. I would feel much safer

with him in the game. He throws with good velocity and accuracy and he moves very

well in the pocket and can escape. Escaping is important for us, it could keep us in games.

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I like Dom but I'm ok with Redman being number 2 for right now. As long as he makes it over JPW I'm happy since that means that we are at least attempting groom someone that has potential to either start one day or give us some draft picks a la Shaub.

Now if we cut him then I'm going to start thinking this regime only likes having "traditional quarterbacks" instead of guys that fit what the league is shifting to nowadays.

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Davis is not in competition for #2, period. It's a lot different standing out among the fourth-stringers in the last 10 minutes of an early exhibition game and being prepared to face off against first-string defenses during the regular season. Don't get me wrong, I hope we keep the kid, but to suggest that he would be ready to back up Ryan in 2012 is presumptive. No need to put pressure on him at this point. I agree that he easily should replace JPW, but not Redman yet.

Karst41 likes this

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I like Dom but I'm ok with Redman being number 2 for right now. As long as he makes it over JPW I'm happy since that means that we are at least attempting groom someone that has potential to either start one day or give us some draft picks a la Shaub.

Now if we cut him then I'm going to start thinking this regime only likes having "traditional quarterbacks" instead of guys that fit what the league is shifting to nowadays.

I'll be upset if we cut him or put him on the PS. But that means a roster spot comes from somewhere else too.

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No, and I wouldn't either. You keep both of them and when Davis gets more experienced with the offense, he becomes the #2. We haven't even seen Davis play against 2nd stringers, let alone 1st stringers and people are going nuts.

The reason JPW is on the team is because no one has beat him out and he was on the practice squad, not a big deal.

I think the reason I am most excited is because Davis has shown the ability to be an actual football player while all our other backups and reserves look like they are stuck in quicksand. For once it looks like we have a player that can come in and contribute immediately if needed.

If he's our 3rd qb then cool. If we cut him or stash him on the practice squad, **** is bound to break loose in falcons society.

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I'll be upset if we cut him or put him on the PS. But that means a roster spot comes from somewhere else too.

No matter what we are running with 3 quarterbacks so there will not be any extra roster spots coming from that position.

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We'll keep three on the roster because I don't think JPW is eligible again and to stash DD will result in his getting picked up by somebody else.

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Is Mike Smith really going to trust a rookie over a semi-proven veteran? History says no.

If that were completely true wouldn't Redman have started over Ryan in 2008?

DD's making this team....I feel it now.

trudweathers and falconsd56 like this

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The fact that we've kept JPW on this team speaks to me.

The fact that we have a history of not playing particular guys speaks to me as well.

The fact that Mike Smith really hasn't been known to cut guys to whom he has a certain level of "loyalty" to whispers to me. He's not a splashy coach. He's a conservative, safe coach that makes safe roster decisions.

And seeing as how Davis is a rookie just makes the future that much more easier to predict. Is Mike Smith really going to trust a rookie over a semi-proven veteran? History says no.

What history? Your imagination? Seems to me we had an experienced QB named DJ Shockley along with Redman and we kept a rookie named JPW.

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What history? Your imagination? Seems to me we had an experienced QB named DJ Shockley along with Redman and we kept a rookie named JPW.

If anything you can make the case that Smith likes pure pocket passers more than those that can make plays. Shockley got Culpeppered though and never was the same after his injury.

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The reason JPW is on the team is because no one has beat him out and he was on the practice squad, not a big deal.

Since Shockey, we never brought any one else in with any kind of talent in to compete with JPW because Smith was satisfied with JPW as a 3rd stringer and Redman as a 2nd stringer. And even the Tyler Palko and Caleb Hanie experiments didn't wake up Smith but oh well, what can you do?

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Since Shockey, we never brought any one else in with any kind of talent in to compete with JPW because Smith was satisfied with JPW as a 3rd stringer and Redman as a 2nd stringer. And even the Tyler Palko and Caleb Hanie experiments didn't wake up Smith but oh well, what can you do?

Talented QB's go pretty high in the draft, Mr. Petrino.

JayOzOne likes this

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What history? Your imagination? Seems to me we had an experienced QB named DJ Shockley along with Redman and we kept a rookie named JPW.

I, for one, didn't care for Shockley. And I definitely thought anybody would've been better than him. On top of that Redman had shown that he was serviceable. Now he looks horrible. He plays with no confidence. Jpw clearly is not the answer, but we do have a guy that moves the chains in Davis.

The history I'm referring to comes in such cases as Sam Baker v The Field. Michael Turner v Giving Quizz More Reps. Harry Douglas v The Bench. And even now with Garrett Reynolds v Peter Konz. Sure he's a rookie but so what? Throw him in there and see what he's got.

I'm not making this stuff up.

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Talented QB's go pretty high in the draft, Mr. Petrino.

Not necessarily, beside the obvious like Brady, Warner and Romo, there are plenty of other competent quarterbacks that went in the later rounds or went undrafted like Fitzpatrick, Matt Moore, Shaun Hill, Drew Henson, T.J. Yates, Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson etc. We just didn't look because we misjudged JPW all these years..

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JPW's improvement seems to have flatlined, but we fans have screamed for awhile now about O-line needs in the draft. We've screamed for pass rushers in the draft. We've screamed because those were obvious needs.

We've never made a fuss about a #3 QB in the draft, tho. It's not that big of a need.

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