Davenport gets a quick lesson
Thursday, September 14, 2006
By Teresa Varley
Running back Najeh Davenport took part in his first practice with the Steelers on Wednesday and got a crash course on the game plan and terminology so that he will be ready to play on Monday night against the Jaguars if needed.
"That's the plan," said Davenport, of the possibility of playing on Monday. "It's going to take some learning, but right now they are teaching me the game plan and we will go from there.
"The terminology is the only thing. Once you get the terminology down you can go in and out of a system. We did some things in Green Bay they do here. It's just the terminology. "
Davenport signed with the Steelers last Friday after missing most of last season with an ankle injury. He played four seasons with the Green Bay Packers and brings a lot of versatility and experience to the backfield.
"We will see what he is able to pick up and how comfortable he is," said head coach Bill Cowher. "I think he is a proven big back and I think we are looking for that.
"I have watched him run; I think he fits what we are looking for. He is a young guy. He could also play some in the kicking game. He has played third down, he has played fullback. I think he gives you a lot of versatility. I think he is the one guy that was out there that fits what we were looking for at this point, with the makeup of our roster."
His size is definitely an advantage. The Steelers have the speedster in Willie Parker, but are looking for someone who can bring more of a physical aspect to the backfield.
"I am a big back," said Davenport, who is 6-1, 247 pounds. "I have halfback skills and a fullback body. There aren't too many people like that. This is a great opportunity for me."
Davenport is not certain what role he will play on the team, but he is willing to do whatever is asked of him.
"My role is whatever you need me to do, I am going to do it, special teams, what have you," said Davenport. "Whatever they need me to do. Whenever they want to give me the ball and take some carries, I will gladly take them. I'm just happy, ecstatic to be on the field."