NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The comparisons were always going to be inevitable. Being a first round selection at defensive end, everyone wants to see Cameron Jordan-type production out of Marcus Davenport. However, unlike Cam, whose durability is as good as his pass-rushing ability, Davenport has already dealt with several injuries during his first two seasons.
That includes the season-ending foot injury that he suffered in December of 2019. Still, he says he sees the glass half-full.
“I think anytime there’s an injury, there is always a time that you have to step back,” says Davenport. “Time you have to go about the schedule and trust the process and that is a big step.”
And since Jordan was also rehabbing this summer, that was additional time that Davenport had alongside the Saints veteran defensive end in the training room. In a way, Davenport embraces the challenge that he’s issued himself to be better than Jordan.
“I tell Cam I always want one more sack than he has,” says Davenport. “And so when I think of it as like more of a competition, that’s a driving force always present. And in another sense, I’ve got to play my own game. I am still learning and growing and trying to define myself. So in that, trying to grow and figuring out that, if I can just do a little bit better, if I can get that one percent each day, then I could be something. But shoot, going against Cam and seeing him on the other side’s a driving force.”
Being better than Jordan is a huge goal. But for anyone thinking he can’t do it or thinking that he’s set the bar too high, just know that Davenport’s biggest critic is himself. Six sacks in 13 games in 2019 isn’t a bad season by any means, but it’s not his standard.
“It took way too long for me to start stringing stuff together,” says Davenport. “It took way too long to start winning one-on-ones. This whole off-season I have had to hold that in and try to use that because there’s a lot more I want to be able to do. Like I said, I want to be able to be better than Cam, and to be able to do that, what I did last year, it was not much. It wasn’t good enough, not even close. I have to do better.”
The drive mentally is there. Once his body catches up physically to provide Davenport more time on the field consistently, the breakout season Saints fans are waiting to see could quickly appear.
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