Indianapolis Colts Training Camp does not start until July 26th. So, there will not be much news about the team until then. As a result, it is time to preview the Colts’ players who will play key roles in 2016. It is Vontae Davis’ turn today.
For the past few seasons, Vontae Davis has been one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the NFL. He is not to the level of Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Josh Norman, but only being a notch below those guys is still pretty good.
The 2015 season was a real struggle for Davis. He battled through nagging injuries, and his quality of play decreased. He did not miss any games, but it was clear he was not playing at full strength at times.
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As a result, Davis surrendered seven touchdowns last season. This is drastically different from Davis’ 2014 season where he did not allow a single touchdown.
Statistically, Davis did not have a terrible 2015 season. He had 48 combined tackles, 16 pass deflections and four interceptions. He still did an excellent job shutting down one side of the football field. However, he did have some coverage lapses that cost his team.
Now, Davis enters the 2016 season with people wondering if he is hitting the decline of his career, which sounds absurd. At age 28, Davis is in the athletic prime of his career and is still motivated to assert himself as one of the league’s top cornerbacks.
Davis spent much of the 2015 season battling through numerous injuries. He was listed on the team’s injury report five different times with five different injuries last season. That is a lot to deal with especially when he has to face the opponents’ best receiver every week.
All signs suggest that Davis is fully healthy heading into training camp. If he avoids injuries in preseason, people should expect Davis to return to his prime form, which means he will probably return to his 2014 form.
As mentioned before, Davis is still in his prime. He is still fast and quick enough to stay with most NFL receivers. He also has more than enough strength to bump receivers off their routes.
The one issue for Davis will be the Indianapolis Colts’ new defensive scheme. New defensive coordinator Ted Monachino likes to devote extra bodies to an aggressive pass rush.
As a result, Davis is going to be put in a lot of difficult one-on-one situations. Davis is good, but everyone is prone to a mistake or two in high-pressure situations.
Davis will probably give up less than five touchdowns in 2016, and four interceptions does not seem out of the realm of possibilities for him. Also, he has gotten better at playing the ball in the air. He should get close to 20 pass deflections.
He is a talented player and is still one of the best at his position. His play should not be a concern for Indianapolis Colts in 2016. However, other parts of the team’s defense will be troublesome.
The Indianapolis Colts have had an inconsistent defense for multiple seasons now, and Davis is one of the key leaders on the Colts’ defense. A well-overdue defensive turnaround starts will start with Davis rebounding from a subpar 2015 season.