Dear Who Dat Nation, please withdraw your pitchforks – Marcus Davenport is alive. We do not have to riot. We have seen him recently for what its worth. And Dear NFL Media, no he is not a bust three months after being drafted. Also, he will be good. Please do not treat him like he had his leg amputated.
But let’s become more serious – All of the outrage amid Saints fans, as well as league observers, is vastly lacking any signs of common sense. Since his first injury in June, we’ve seen no more than immense overreaction, how the prized Saints rookie is destined to flounder. Of course, when your high-profile rookies sits out almost all of training camp, it is hard to feel joy and excitation. We hardly took this peacefully. Especially when Davenport was deployed to ride the pine due to pulled groin. Thus, we have been divided into cross roads, we’ve been divided into groups rioting whether Davenport should play/sit. Caveat is, a groin pull is not an injury that really requires a player to miss game or even few.
So ask yourself a question – do you really want your beloved stalwart of the future to rack up on painkillers in his very first year? Common sense at its finest. There will be a point raised how the Saints are in a ‘Win-Now’ mode, but please hold your horses. Yes, the Saints are in a ‘Win-Now’ mode, but they are not desperate enough to meddle with Davenport’s health. Especially with the rotation of resurgent Alex Okafor & improving Trey Hendrickson, Davenport was never meant to be rushed onto the field. Quick reminder, Marcus is still a raw pass rusher, put into situation to fetch his snaps in a gradual fashion. Oh, and there still is some random solid EDGE rusher named Cameron Jordan, right? So, the urge of rushing Davenport onto field has diminished or is it still miraculously avid?
Animosity aside, if we’re still on the same boat, then please take this as a cautionary tale. A quick peek into a groin pull reveals as a few details worth noting: injured players subdues not only to pain, but also to stiffness in movement, depending of the degree of an injury. This all is combined with a possibility of tearing the muscle, leading to a longer hiatus in play. It is needless to say how important flexibility and strong form of muscles are to edge rusher, and even more to edge rusher like Davenport, raw and athleticism-based. For instance take Hau’oli Kikaka who gradually lost his agility and quickness due to injuries (more severe in this peculiar case) and became an effort rusher. Still good, yet not as dominant as in college. The point is, putting Davenport onto gridiron as quickly as possible is not only limiting his contemporary floor, but also his perceived ceiling. Such an unwise move for a prized player.
With all that in mind, please do not criticize Saints for their deed. They did the right thing. They are cautious. They are patient. They want to win now, but more than just one time, and having Davenport is necessary for this to happen. They did not rush Alvin Kamara onto the field – how did this end for them? Rather good I’d say.
Please be reminiscent that Saints are operating with a high-character player, as Marcus’ work ethic leaves nothing else to be desired. He does not binge-play and stream Fortnite like a plenty of rising stars here and there. He arrives as one of the first for the meetings. He is taking notes. He is incessantly learning the nuances of the defensive line play. He is not wasting any time. He is not falling behind. And these are the words of Ryan Nielsen, Saints’ defensive line coach. From all the people up there, they trust him, so won’t you?
Dear Who Dat Nation – please give Marcus his time. Put the faith in the coaches, as they deserve some of it after last season. Recognize that Saints’ took a high-risk player. Recognize that they know what are they doing. Recognize that last year’s draft class was probably a sole exception and we have to remain patient.
And Dear NFL – Please do not brazenly label him as a bust. Just wait.
Just wait as he is unleashed.
It will come sooner than later.