Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden explained to the media last week that safety Akeem Davis was going to make an early mark in the NFL with his special teams play.
Playing in his first NFL game last Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Davis made a statement on special teams that he hopes will have a lasting effect.
Evan Redmon of Son of Washington provides another look at the Washington Redskins' Week 1 matchup with the Houston Texans that took place on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2014.
Late in the second quarter of the Redskins' 41-10 victory, Davis clobbered returner Mike Brown as soon as he caught a Tress Way punt.
While the play was ultimately negated by a penalty, Davis' ability to make such a play is what he believes is most important moving forward.
"I was just trying to make an impression," he said. "We want to be defined as a special teams unit that goes and gets it, make plays, is tough-nosed, has hard hitters and is non-stop flying to the ball," he said. "That's how we want our special team unit to be defined.
"Even though they threw the flag, it ain't about the flag, it's about the statement."
Davis said he was like a shark seeing "blood in the water" when he saw Brown trying to locate the punt for a catch-and-run instead of waving it off for a fair catch.
"He didn't wave, but I bet the next time he's going to wave," he said. "We made the statement. All in all, I have a tremendous amount of resolve."
One week after the special teams unit had both a punt and extra point attempt blocked, they impressed against Jacksonville.
Brown recorded only 9 punt return yards, while kicker Kai Forbath nailed his first two field goal attempts of the season and punter Tress Way averaged about 50 yards per punt once again.
Davis said he loved seeing the team rallying together and feeding off each other.
"Seeing the guys fly around on defense, seeing the offense go out there and make plays, and the guys who are not playing going up and congratulating the guys, its comradery," he said. "It's a team effort and I'm blessed to be a part of this organization and however I'm going to help out. I know my role and I play it well."
His role, at least for now, is to continue to provide the special teams unit with the strong play that Gruden singled out during one of his press conferences last week.
The rookie out of the University of Memphis said Gruden's comments about him makes him play with greater confidence.
"It's entrusting," he said. "To have the coach know what you're capable of, it kind of puts pressure on me to go out there and perform every day not only in the game, but at practice. I want to go out and I want to give my all for the guys around me and for my coaches, because I know what it's like to be sitting at home watching the game on Sunday."