Film Room: Sean Davis Continuing Improved Play

I wrote an article a couple of weeks back pretty much knocking Pittsburgh Steelers second-year starting safety Sean Davis and saying that he wasn’t playing up to the level that he needed to. Two weeks on since then, he has begun to play at another level, and I wrote an article earlier this week eating crow.

So here’s the complementary film study to show some of the things he has been doing since then—or more accurately, in the last game—that has seen him make a bigger impact on the game than he had been, while limiting his mistakes.

The strong safety did spend some time in the box in this one, especially in the first half. And early example of that came late in the first. On the play, he just stayed patient in his gap, letting the play come to him, and he made it when given the opportunity, tackling Joe Mixon for a one-yard gain.

Although Giovani Bernard was already losing the ball, Davis made a quick-reacting play late in the first half as Andy Dalton looked for him toward the numbers, giving him a good shot that had a seemingly good chance of breaking up any potential reception anyway.

He had another big hate late in the third on Mixon following a successful reception that did pop the ball loose, this time producing a fumble. The hit sent him staggering backward, losing the handle, though he was able to regain possession and picked up two more yards.

He did bit on the play action on the next play, releasing the tight end, whom Dalton was able to find for a seven-yard gain. If only Ben Roethlisberger could get the safeties to bite this hard on play action when he attempts it.

The highlight of the game for him, however, came just three plays later. On third and four, Dalton looked for his rookie wide receiver—the other rookie wide receiver—down the field, but Davis read the throw and broke on it, deflecting the pass and enabling it to be intercepted by William Gay.

Coming off a touchdown-saving near-interception the week before, the former second-round pick is starting to pick things up this year in terms of making an impact on the game. Surprisingly, they haven’t been using him to blitz much this year as they had last season, though.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • The Tony

    The emergence of Hilton as a blitzer has really limited Davis in that capacity. Davis had a great step to get to the quarterback but really struggled to finish the play

  • WreckIess

    Honestly it seems like that last piece to this secondary’s puzzle is Artie Burns playing up to his potential. They have the stable vets in Haden and MM and the ascending youngsters who have been lights out in Davis and Hilton.

    Now they just need Artie to even out his play which is surprising because it sounded like he was supposed to be our best starting DB this year, but you could definitely argue that he’s been the worst. Not to say that he’s been bad, but the rest of them have had some moments this year and I’m just waiting on Burns to have his.

  • Matthew

    I was scrolling down to type this exact comment haha. Beat me to it!

  • Steel Realist PAul

    No, I’m with you. He hasn’t been consistent. Some solid plays, some not good. What bothers me most is his inability, or maybe lack of desire is a better term, at holding the second edge. Has to push the play back inside.

    Just in general, doesn’t wrap up and actually tackle the player. He tends to bleed yards because he runs next to the pack.

    And those plays against KC were just plain frightening.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Lol! He wanted that int himself! That was a great play! Loved that hit on Mixon! If I’m not mistaken that took some of that yardage back! Great plays!

  • Rhys

    One of the best parts of that play, just how distraught he was that he wasn’t able to take the ball away. As it is it didn’t matter because Gay took it but that’s what you want, someone who isn’t content with just breaking up a pass but wants to get his defence off the field.

    And yeah, they lost 1.5/2 yards because of the fumble.

  • Michael Putman

    University of Maryland boy… making me proud! I like Sean and am glad to see he is continuing to improve his craft and being an asset to the team so early on!

  • nutty32

    What’s going on with UM’s uniforms and helmet? Geez what a busy mess.