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With a bigger role in the Eagles' defense, Jordan Davis is ready to 'reach those expectations'


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With a bigger role in the Eagles' defense, Jordan Davis is ready to 'reach those expectations'

Davis spent last season behind an all-time great pass rush and is ready to take on more while carrying those lessons forward.

PhillyVoice Staff
Jordan-Davis-072622 Eagles Training CampCOLLEEN CLAGGETT/FOR PHILLYVOICE

Eagles DT Jordan Davis, pictured during last summer's training camp, is expected to take on a bigger role in his second season.

Jordan Davis is only 23 and entering just year 2 of his NFL career, but he's already talking like a seasoned vet.

The big 6-foot-6 defensive tackle, who the Eagles drafted 13th overall last spring out of Georgia, knows there's a lot more growing to do and a lot more expected of him this coming season.

And he's trying to do everything he can to rise to the occasion.

"A lot different," Davis said Thursday after an OTA practice of his offseason now compared to his rookie one last summer. "Football-wise just maturing, understanding that it's a bigger role and going into the offseason completely fresh, I think that was the biggest thing. So definitely excited for this year, definitely know what's expected of me, and ready to go ahead and reach those expectations."

They'll be some lofty ones to meet though.

Last year, the Eagles' pass rush of Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Linval Joseph, and Ndamukong Suh racked up a franchise record 70 sacks in the regular season, then wreaked havoc on the Giants and 49ers on the way to the Super Bowl.

Davis had a role in that as well, but it was limited to mostly being a run-stopper up the middle and was hampered by a high-ankle sprain that he dealt with for a good chunk of the season.

But none of that has wavered the Eagles' belief in his potential, and with Hargrave, Suh, and Joseph gone from the interior d-line, along with the veteran stalwarts in Cox and Graham only getting older, Davis is the immediate option being looked toward to fill the void.

So here's the bad news: Davis has to be a huge help in following up the best defensive front in Eagles history.

But the good news: He has loads of talent and just had a Super Bowl run learning from the best defensive front in Eagles history.


It was as good of a situation as a rookie d-lineman could be in, and one where he hopes he can carry the lessons from it forward, not just for himself, but for a new incoming rookie class that has his old Georgia teammates in Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith expected to come in and help out immediately too.

"It's just like, man, that experience is coming from all sides," Davis said. "It's kinda hard to replicate that, especially at my young age. I can't even begin to have the wisdom that they have and instilled in me, but the best I can do is try, the best I can do is re-teach [others] what I learned from them and hopefully get the message across.

"But just knowing what it takes to be the best, those guys are at the top of their game and I respect the hell out of them. So knowing that, knowing going into this season, going into this role that I'm about to take on, I understand that they're asking a lot more of me, and that's okay. That's what I'm here for. I'm lucky that I had that experience behind those guys to see what it took."

Because it took a lot, and it's only going to take that much more to make it all the way back.

After the Eagles' run was over, Davis went back to watch his tape and saw two major areas of improvement.

The first was his conditioning, which was also keyed in on during the middle of last season while he was hurt and will be something to watch out for once training camp and preseason games begin later this summer.

The second was his technique in the trenches. It looked very raw once he had a good look at it for himself, so a heavy focus over the past few months has been on cleaning that up.

"I wanted to come in high, wanted to come in sharp," Davis said, adding that he doesn't ever want to look like he's lagging either.

After all, he has an example to set now, lessons from the best to pass on, and expectations to meet.

"Especially since the guys here, the new rooks, I want to make sure that I set a great example for them," Davis said. "I don't want to be the guy that falls behind or the guy where the coach has to correct my technique.

"I just want to make sure – 1) conditioning, for sure – and 2) just maintain it, maintain it, and then do the right things on the field. Doing my technique right, doing the little things correctly."

He's only in year 2, but he's already talking like a seasoned vet.


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Hard work to improve strength, technique, and endurance; complete dedication to learning, and a relentless killer instinct are what's required of him now. We shall see.

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The physical tools he has are beyond question.  But what makes Davis a potentially very special player is above the neckline.  The guy conducts himself like a pro.  He's being set up to thrive in a growth oriented program like the one employed in Philly.  If Josh Sweat took a huge jump, imagine what Jordan Davis can do.

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