Sean Davis Not Off To Strong Start In Second Season

I’m not sure how well this opinion is going to go over, nor how ‘hot’ a take it might be deemed—though I’d like to think that I’m not one to be known for dishing them out—but I really wouldn’t be bothered if the Pittsburgh Steelers’ coaching staff gave some consideration this week toward the role of second-year safety Sean Davis.

A second-round pick in 2016, Davis actually opened the season as the starting slot cornerback, but lost that role in large part due to injury. He re-emerged midseason following the bye week and began rotating at strong safety until he ended up starting and playing all the snaps.

He gradually began the play better, and with more confidence, as time went on, and he deservedly won the team’s rookie of the year award, I thought. But I also think that he hasn’t picked up so far this year where he has left off, and that’s a problem.

In fact, Davis has had his hand in some of the Steelers’ biggest problems on defense so far this year, failing to provide contain, for example, on several of their biggest running plays allowed, including missing tackles. While he is credited with six run stops, there are other plays in which he was out of position so that he could not even miss a tackle if he tried.

Although he might have had a nice pass defensed, he also has not been much of a factor in coverage, either, or really in much of anything on the defensive side of the ball so far. In fact, he has been of pretty low impact through the first five games of the season.

I do not happen to be the biggest fan of J.J. Wilcox—frankly, he has taken bad angles and missed tackles as well—but I don’t think it would hurt to at least consider providing him with some opportunity to play in Davis’ spot, even if it is for a series here and there.

Considering that the second-year safety has also had injury issues to contend with at the same time, it might not be the worst thing in the world as a solution to reduce his workload a bit. They have already been rotating in Wilcox to take some snaps away from Mike Mitchell, so it is not something that they are opposed to doing fundamentally.

And Mike Tomlin is also not a coach who is opposed to sitting down a young player for the purposes of allowing him to compose himself. Eli Rogers is just the latest example of that.

All I really know is that Davis is among one of many players who need to play better this year. Taking some of his snaps is not going to magically solve every problem—or maybe even any problem. I’m not suggesting that it will, or even that Davis is necessarily a major problem. But given his development, it is something that I think might be worth considering, especially if issues continue.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • falconsaftey43

    I honestly haven’t paid much attention to Davis. I’ll have to go back and watch him specifically, Safeties can be so hard to get a feel for from the TV angles.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    there is only one person in the db room that has had a strong season. mike hilton. the rest have been subpar.

  • Zarbor

    Agreed. However, Davis support against the run has not been the same. You can clearly see it on the TV angles.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    No, the team needed Davis to continue to step into the role of playmaker and difference maker. He’s been invisible for the most part so far. One has to wonder if an injury is actually holding him back, but it’s not working for some reason for sure.

  • Nathanael Dory

    Is he better has a free safety?

  • Michael James

    Safety is the one spot next to QB (if Ben doesn’t get his act together or retires) where I think this team needs a serious upgrade. A defense is just so much better with one elite safety (look what happened to Seattle’s D once Earl Thomas was out).

  • 6 ring circus

    Artie Burns is not a great tackler, Joe Haden is vulnerable to fast twitch receivers, i.e, the double move, Sean Davis is not a great in the box safety and Mike Mitchell is a clown. HELP!

  • ryan72384

    I thought he was going to take a big step forward this year. Thought he had the physical tools to be an impact safety against the run and pass. He’s been invisible. Our safeties are just plain bad.

  • Michael Conrad

    Nice . I want to see what happens this week against the first real QB they have faced this year. Smith is playing well plus he runs well if a play breaks down.. Don’t know how many injuries KC has on O but this could turn bad fast.

    I would never have pick Davis in the draft. He had tackling problems in college a pure reach.Mitchell is what I have been saying for years. Not that good.

    Once again this goes to coaching and the DC. There has to be some FA who could add to a poor group. Maybe if Sutton is healthy and is ready they should put Hilton or Sutton or Allen at safety.
    Here are the QB’s the Steelers have played this year.

    Kizer not starting the next game.
    Keenum a backup in his first game with the WR’s.
    Glennon not starting anymore.
    Flacco had a terrible game and a bad back.
    Bortles never threw the ball.

    I don’t know about anyone else but. I would be ashamed of my team and my coaching ability’s for not beating teams without a legit QB.

    No real backup QB so no pressure on Ben to perform or practice.

  • falconsaftey43

    Yeah, I’m sure the only pressure to perform well starting QBs feel is from the backup QB.

  • PapaJuju

    I want them to address ILB in Free Agency.

  • Stairway7

    Yes, usually on the ground.

  • Rob

    Tom Brady has been shaking in his boots since Garropolo has been drafted. That’s why he’s been so good. Everyone knows this.

  • PaeperCup

    SEriously, Ryan Shazier has as many Ints himself than the secondary combined.

  • Rob

    the depot posted an article that might not agree with what youre saying

  • Cwallace

    And the world got a chance to see just what type of clown after the fornette run and tackle. He’s an idiot and embarrassment to dbs all over the world. Come to think of it, man, we got every kinda B clown created…ben, bell, brown, bryant, butler. Yes we need help all over

  • Axel


  • Axel

    Classic Mike Mitchell clown move, Fournette runs for 14 yards, Mitchell tackles him and gets up beating his chest……lol…….

  • Jaybird

    Davis, Mitchell , Wilcox, and Golden are all pretty average at best. In fact, I think they ALL are below average or at least playing below average.

  • John A Stewart

    Another Tomlin Homeboy

  • John A Stewart

    So as the DB coach

  • John Pennington

    Steelers will have to draft safties next year more than 1 and bring in more corners also who can tackle and help in the run game because the people we have now are not getting it done. Think JJ will be ok when he gets a season under his belt but the rest of them can go.