By Jim Wexell
Posted Aug 6, 2007
CANTON – Carey Davis isn’t doing much differently with the Steelers than he did with the Indianapolis Colts. Or the Atlanta Falcons. Or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Or the Miami Dolphins.
But he is smiling a lot more. He was doing that even before his stellar performance in Sunday night’s Hall of Fame Game.
Davis, the 230-pound combination of tailback and fullback, compiled 100 yards rushing and receiving in little over one half of playing time.
He took a screen pass 33 yards on the last play of the first quarter, and he ran 56 yards to set up a Jeff Reed field goal in the second quarter. Davis finished with 68 yards on seven carries (9.7 avg.), and caught two passes for 32 yards.
That’s not bad for a 26-year-old who’d been cut four times before landing on Pittsburgh’s practice squad late last season. Was Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin impressed?
“He shows me he needs to do a little more conditioning,” Tomlin said. “He got tired after that long run. But, no, in all seriousness I thought he ran hard. He ran downhill, as did Gary Russell.”
Russell, the undrafted rookie free agent from Minnesota, carried eight times for 41 yards (5.1 avg.). Street free agent Larry Croom was next with a 4.8 per-carry average and Najeh Davenport averaged 2.3 per carry. Kevan Barlow had the worst average of the backs at 1.9 per carry. Barlow finished with 13 yards on seven carries.
Davis is a big back with a short-area burst. He’s listed at 225 but said he weighs 230. He’s 5-foot-10.
The measurements are nearly identical to those for former Steelers tailback/fullback Sid “Thundering Bull” Thornton, who also wore Davis’s No. 38.
But what is Davis doing better than he did at his previous stops?
“I’ve been doing the same thing since I’ve been playing,” he said. “It’s all about opportunity and being in the right place at the right time.” Is this the right place and the right time?
“I hope so. I have to keep going out there every day and prove myself to the coaches and to the team that I’m capable of doing that.”
Davis said he hadn’t run 56 yards in one play since his high school days back in St. Louis. He said he carried out all of his assignments Sunday night and blocked pretty well as a fullback. He did mention one thing he’s doing differently from his previous stops.
“I’m doing a lot spiritually. That’s different,” he said. “I put a lot of faith in the Lord now and just take it from there. I let Him fight my battles for me and not worry about things I can’t control.”
CEDRICK NOT COMPLAINING NOW
Cedrick Wilson complained publicly last week about not getting enough passes thrown his way. His friend, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, responded by throwing two of his three passes to Wilson for 55 and 18 yards to set up the Steelers’ touchdown on their first possession.
“I didn’t really mean those things that were said in the paper,” Wilson said after the game. “I guess he took it the right way.”
Wilson hangs out with Roethlisberger away from the game. So why didn’t he just tell his problem to the quarterback instead of the reporter?
“You don’t want to go to him after all the things that he went through last season and stress him out even more,” Wilson said. “I just felt like this season could be the time for me. I’m going into my seventh season. I feel I’m in the best shape of my life. I feel like I’m at that point where I could put our offense on my shoulders. That’s how I feel.”
INJURY REPORT, MANEUVERINGS
Reserve ILB Clint Kriewaldt was held out of the game with a shoulder injury. He should return Tuesday to the team’s first practice of the week. ... Reserve center Sean Mahan went home to be with his wife during “a family emergency.” Tomlin said that “When he gets back, he gets back. He has our thoughts and prayers and support.” ... Max Starks played well at left tackle when Tomlin inserted Willie Colon at right tackle early in the game. Tomlin called Starks “a swing tackle for us.”
On Santonio Holmes throwing a block: “Hey, I’m not going to pat him on the back for doing his job, man.”
On whether he argued with the officials: “I did. I did. But, believe me, that’s nothing new. I’ve been doing that as an assistant, the only difference is I had a boss who used to tell me shut up.”