With the re-addition of veteran Demario Davis, young Darron Lee can do wonders with the New York Jets in 2017.
The New York Jets brought in a familiar face at linebacker this season, trading for former Jet Demario Davis. Davis is a middle linebacker who signed with the Browns after leaving the Jets before last season.
Davis has always been a great tackler twice collecting over 60 solo tacklers during his first stint in the green and white. However, he struggled some in coverage, which is a problem for an inside linebacker, especially one in a 3-4 scheme.
Last season, Davis was rated 43rd out of 89 linebackers in coverage by Pro Football Focus, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. He evolved his game to address his weaknesses, which is something the Jets need Darron Lee to do.
Lee had similar problems in his rookie season as Davis did in his first stint with the Jets. Lee collected 70 combined tackles, but was rated last by PFF in pass coverage. His opposing Quarterback rating was 132.9, which is dreadful.
These numbers are discouraging, but Lee’s calling card is his speed and athleticism, which will presumably help him in coverage. He has the ability to keep up with tight ends, and even some wide receivers. He needs to work on his technique in coverage, which is something that many young linebackers have to do.
Davis playing next to Lee, especially in practice, will significantly help Lee, especially in the coverage game.
Davis has developed into a decent coverage linebacker, learning the techniques needed to help him in coverage. He can show Lee the proper techniques, especially at game speed.
Davis also understands what it’s like to struggle in coverage. Not only will he be able to recognize and correct Lee’s technique issues, he will be able to explain why the technique Lee is using doesn’t work.
As a player who has made the same mistakes, Davis can breakdown for Lee how he was getting beat. Davis will understand why Lee’s instincts tell him to do certain things that are wrong, and he can then explain to Lee why it’s wrong.
Coaches can explain why certain techniques are correct, but Davis will be able to explain the subtleties to Lee and explain exactly where Lee is getting beat, as opposed to telling Lee how to do it right.
Telling a young player why something is wrong can help far more than just telling them that something is wrong.
Play recognition is another area in which Davis can help Lee. Since Davis plays middle linebacker, he knows exactly what to look for in an offensive set-up, and will be able to help Lee with that.
If Davis can help Lee pick up pass plays and how to diagnose them, that will help him immensely. Lee is an amazingly gifted athlete, and helping him slow the game down mentally will be a huge key for the young linebacker to continue to develop his game.
The tools are there for Lee. He’s very fast, strong, and displays impressive athleticism for a linebacker. The Jets just need to find a way to unlock those tools and turn his potential into results.
Damario Davis could be a huge part of the equation for turning Darron Lee into a dominant inside linebacker.