It's All About Turning The Ball Over In Today's NFL

NFL on Fox analyst Charles Davis on Steelers 2018 weakness

The Fan Morning Show
July 25, 2019 - 11:29 am

© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- NFL On Fox analyst Charles Davis joined The Fan Morning Show Thursday morning to discuss the Steelers as they report to training camp. 

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Davis looked at the defensive unit and while there are upgrades at multiple positions, the Steelers need to prove they can be better at one thing in particular that held them back last year. 

"One thing Pittsburgh's going to talk about maybe behind closed doors a lot more than they do with us is the fact they didn't take it away enough. When you watch drills and when you watch training camp, I'd be surprised if you don't see more takeaway, strip drills, turnover-type drills that get run as well as the regular stuff that you see. [It will] put that mindset out there about taking the ball away because it's a good defense. It's a bunch of good players.

But nowadays, if you don't take the ball away, if you don't knock it loose for offenses, offenses are so good that even if you're a good defense that's a major struggle, isn't it? If they can get more opportunities? That's what you want. Take the ball away, more opportunites for your offense and less opportunites for them to score. [That's] kind of what we've come down playing defense. We don't even talk about yardage goals anymore, do we? We just talk about how many takeaways can you get, how many possessions can you limit and that should help you win the football game.

That's how the game has changed."     

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On the other side of the ball, Davis is intrigued by the receiver group without Antonio Brown and he believes that JuJu Smith-Schuster and be that #1 option.

"I think he is that guy. I watched him in college, covered him a little bit there before I made the move to the pros. Yes, he has all of those elements in him and he just has to have that same mentality which I believe he will possess that I know I'm going to be stymied sometimes. I know they're going to kick those coverages. But those best receivers always took that as such a personal challenge, almost an affront. 'Oh you want to send two over here? Fine. I'll beat both of them.' I think JuJu has that in him. I don't see anything or any reason or anything in his game to suggest otherwise.

But, its always been one of those things in the NFL. When the 2 gets the opportunity to be a 1, whether it's with that team or someone else, in some cases it hasn't worked out. My college teammate Alvin Harper was tremendous in Dallas when he was the 2. Went to Tampa Bay for the big money, never hit those heights again for various reasons.

TJ Houshmandzadeh was the 2 to Chad Johnson in Cincinnati. He wanted to be a 1. Do you ever remember TJ Houshmandzadeh being a key 1? But, in Indianapolis, when Marvin Harrison retired, Reggie Wayne became the 1 and adopted that role very, very well.

So, we can make an example anywhere in how we want to. Yes, we could see it happening and no, we could see it not happening. I'm betting on the yes with JuJu. 

You can hear the entire interview with NFL on Fox analyst Charles Davis on The Fan Morning Show below.                   

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