Bears fans, you could have seen this exclusive analysis first, in your inbox, on Wednesday morning if you subscribed to PFW: Chicago. Don't miss out on in-depth analysis, without the fluff or hot takes. Subscribe today and get your first full year for only $27!
In the span of six weeks, when he received a two-year contract worth up to $7 million to be the Bears’ new all-purpose back before they traded third-, fourth, and fifth-round picks to move up 14 spots and draft fellow feature RB David Montgomery in Round 3, Mike Davis seemingly became an afterthought.
But in the span of our roughly six-minute visit with Davis following Wednesday’s third and final open OTA at Halas Hall, it became clear that his intent is to not allow that to happen.
To be clear: Davis isn’t now rocking the Run-DMC boat, in which his initial is featured first but he’s inherently become the last attraction. Conversely, his professionalism — and perspective on what’s a tough NFL reality — couldn’t have been more impressive Wednesday.
The message? Put in the work and force those who aren’t yet familiar with what Davis brings to the table to put some respect by his name.
“Yeah, it gets on my nerves,” the journeyman, who’s on his third team in five seasons, said of his relatively obscure NFL start. “But anything I can have that gives me that competitive edge, I’ll always welcome it. I expect it. The only thing I can do is go out there and prove people wrong.”
Davis, the South Carolina product selected in the fourth round of the 2015 draft by the San Francisco 49ers, didn’t find his NFL niche until the past two seasons in Seattle, where he caught 49 combined passes and earned the trust of Pete Carroll and his staff because of his rounded skill set.
“I was able to actually do everything,” Davis said of his role with the Seahawks, like the Bears an offense with a dual-threat quarterback and plenty of RPO (run-pass option) usage. “That’s why I was in on third downs and two-minute situations, anything tight in the fourth quarter, I was the go-to guy because they trusted me with that.”
Lest we forget, 2018 was easily Davis’ finest pro campaign, despite Seattle spending the 27th overall pick last year on Rashaad Penny, the second of three backs taken in Round 1. And the Seahawks offense, while prolific, was among the most imbalanced in football, favoring the run game heavily.
Reigning Coach of the Year Matt Nagy, suffice to say, figures to think a bit more outside the box — including in the deployment of his new backs.
“This offense is fun,” Davis said. “It’s player friendly. Coach knows our skill set. He’s not going to put us in position to fail. This offense is amazing for basically anyone to come in and play.”
And although Tarik Cohen is the most established weapon in the RB room, he’s taken notice not only of Davis’ all-purpose potential but the wisdom the 26-year-old can impart to his younger brethren.
“Mike is a big vet, he already knows the game,” Cohen told us. “As far as the rookies, [we] stay on them, telling them things they should do on and off the field as far as adjusting to the NFL life.”
Davis’ focus, more than being the room’s elder statesman, is on his opportunity to adjust his NFL narrative to date.
“People don’t know about me yet,” he said. “Once they get a chance, then I think we all will see. Everybody [will] get to see why I’m here.”