Dave Zangaro

Jordan Davis ready as Eagles ask more of him in Year 2

Jordan Davis will have a bigger role with the Eagles in 2023 and he says he's ready for it

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As far as rookie seasons go, Jordan Davis’s was OK.

There were ups and downs. He missed some time with injury. He showed flashes of the player the Eagles thought they were getting when they traded up in the first round. Overall, it was fine.

Things feel different as Davis gets set to enter Year 2.

“A lot different,” Davis said last week. “Football-wise, just maturing, understanding that it’s a bigger role. Going into an offseason completely fresh, I think that was the biggest thing. Definitely excited for this year, definitely know what is expected of me and ready to go ahead and reach those expectations.”

Davis, 23, played in 16 of 20 possible games with five starts as a rookie. He ended up with 18 tackles and just one TFL but it’s also important to realize Davis’s impact won’t always be measured by stats. He was really starting to play well midway through the season before a stint on Injured Reserve.

Those five starts came right before he suffered a high ankle sprain against the Steelers that really derailed his season. He returned after missing four games but it took him a while to get back to form. And he never did take back his starting gig from aging veteran Linval Joseph, who was signed during the year.

But Joseph is gone now. So is Ndamukong Suh and Javon Hargrave. Even with Fletcher Cox back and even after the Eagles drafted another Georgia Bulldog in the first round in Jalen Carter, Davis is going to need to take a jump in Year 2.

He knows that.

And he’s excited about it.

In fact, Davis hopes to take all the wisdom he gained from those veterans, pass it along to his younger teammates and use it to make him the best player possible.

“Getting that experience from those guys, that’s kind of invaluable,” Davis said. “And that’s something that Fletch has to take that mantle on. He’s doing that well obviously but it’s just like that experience coming from all sides, it’s kind of hard to replicate that, especially at my young age. I can’t even begin to have the wisdom that they have instilled in me. The best I can do is try. The best I can do is reteach [the younger players] what I learned from [the vetearns]. Hopefully get the message across. 

“Knowing what it takes to be the best. Those guys was at the top of their game and I respect the hell out of them. Knowing that, going into this season, going into this role that I’m about to take, I understand that they’re asking a lot more of me. That’s OK. That’s what I’m here for. I’m lucky that I had that experience behind those guys to see what it took. Just try to take those lessons that they gave me and not let it go to waste.”

As he spoke to reporters at OTAs last week, Davis explained that he’s been working hard this offseason because he really wanted to come back to the team as sharp as possible.

The top thing he’s been working on? Conditioning. It’s always important for the mountain of a man to be in good enough shape. That was a big storyline of Davis’s rookie season and it’s not going anywhere. It’s extremely encouraging that he’s taking it as seriously as he is.

And second? Technique. Davis said he went back and watched film of his rookie season and realized a lot of it was “a little raw.” 

“Especially since the guys here, the new rooks, I wanted to make sure I set a great example for them,” Davis said. “I don’t want to be the guy that falls behind or the guy that the coach has to correct my technique every time.”

Even though he’s just entering his second NFL season, it’s clear that Davis is ready to make the transition from rookie to veteran.

What was the biggest lesson Davis took from his rookie season?

“What it takes to win,” Davis said. “What it takes to be the best. I was fortunate enough to go to the Super Bowl my rookie year. A lot of people don’t even have the opportunity to sniff the playoffs in their whole career.”

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