Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio did not sound impressed with second-year linebacker Jamin Davis’ performance in Week 1.
In speaking with reporters after Thursday’s practice, Del Rio spoke candidly when he was asked about Davis.
“Jamin was just okay in the game,” Rivera answered. “I think he practiced better throughout the offseason. It was just a so-so performance. I think he’ll do better as the year goes on.”
Was Del Rio sending a message to the young linebacker, or is he that visibly frustrated?
In rewatching Washington’s Week 1 game, Davis did struggle at times. Despite his outstanding athleticism, he struggled badly in coverage. He was also matched up with Jacksonville wide receiver Christian Kirk once, which wasn’t his fault.
The coaches praised Davis throughout the offseason. The No. 19 overall pick in 2021 was initially slated to be Washington’s mike linebacker, but it was clear early that the Commanders misevaluated Davis’ fit there. Therefore, Davis moved back outside and showed flashes last season. The coaches were hoping his strong summer would translate to the actual games.
In a follow-up question, Del Rio was specifically asked about Davis being matched up with a wide receiver on specific plays.
“Yeah, kind of a combination,” Del Rio said. “Wouldn’t want to live in that look. They got to it on a time or two, and when we do get to it, we expect them to hold up. He didn’t hold up very well in that situation. Gave up some big completions. We need him to be better, and we need to do a little bit better job making sure we keep him out of some of those situations.”
Del Rio is right. Davis needs to be better. But Del Rio also needs to be better. Del Rio is a former NFL linebacker, as is head coach Ron Rivera. If they can’t get through to Davis, is that a coaching failure? It’s not Davis’ fault he went in the first round.
All eyes will be on Davis this weekend.