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WFT Daily: Learning The Defensive Alphabet With Jamin Davis

Jamin Davis prepares to run a play during practice at training camp. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
Jamin Davis prepares to run a play during practice at training camp. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

Training camp is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team progresses through its second season under head coach Ron Rivera. Stay up to date with "WFT Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.

Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team are throwing a lot of information at Jamin Davis, but to the rookie's credit, he's been taking it all in stride.

"Well, Jamin stood out right away," Rivera said Wednesday. "And again, he's one of the guys that we're counting on to be able to handle these situations and circumstances. It was good to see, it really was."

Obviously Davis wants to help the defense as much as possible, but he doesn't want to rush his development, either. So, he compared his growth to learning the alphabet; you can't speak words or phrases until you know the letters. When it comes to football, that means getting a clear grasp of his responsibilities.

"Just making sure my head is in the book at all times," Davis said, "because you never know when your number is going to get called at what specific position."

Davis admitted that the information was a lot to take in at first, which makes sense given that he's a rookie directing the defense. But as he's gotten more reps during OTAs, minicamp and training camp, the game has slowed down for him. And he's been dedicated to studying his playbook, which was one of the strengths that attracted Washington to him in the first place.

"He loves football, he loves the process, he loves the work, he loves that grind," said general manager Martin Mayhew in April. "That's the kind of player you really want to build with."

It's a positive that Davis is learning the plays, but executing them on the field is another issue. Fortunately, he can rely on teammates like Cole Holcomb and Jon Bostic, and he isn't afraid to ask them questions. Both of them, he said, have acted as his "right-hand man" as he learns the defense.

"If I had any questions in the playbook, of course, I can always run to them for things," Davis said. "If I was out there and I was a little hesitant with a call or something like that, I can just say something to him and they would just get me right back on track so I can be where I need to be to make plays."

It also makes life easier that he can learn behind one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Having first-round picks like Chase Young and Jonathan Allen certainly makes deciphering Davis' keys much easier, which in turn allows him to make more plays.

"I honestly love it," he said, "because it's definitely going to open up different holes and stuff like that for me to fly around and make plays and just do what I can to be a true sideline to sideline guy."

So far, Davis has been everything Rivera hoped he would be when Washington drafted him 19th overall. The level of difficulty is about to rise for the rookie, though, as the team will soon start going through fully-padded practices and playing preseason games. That will give Rivera a better sense of where Davis is at.

"Right now there's not a lot of consequences out there and guys tend to play a little bit better when they don't have to worry about consequences," Rivera said. "And so, as we progress through this, the real test will be when we get onto the field playing."

Follow @ZachSelbyWFT for more updates on the Washington Football Team

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