TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis showed significant improvement from his rookie year in 2018 to his second year in 2019. He went from 40 total tackles to 60 and four passes defended to 19, which was second in the entire league. Davis also got his first NFL interception last season.
While the numbers show a lot, that’s not his main focus coming into his third year in the league this fall.
“I’m not really a numbers guy,” Davis said. “People say numbers don’t lie but the numbers can lie at times — depending on the scheme, depending on who you’re guarding. So it all just kind of depends, for me, it’s productivity. If that comes in a form of my numbers rising then yeah, I want to make improvements there. But overall I just want to be a productive cornerback for my team and do my best to help us get to the Super Bowl and get us on the right track.”
With one career interception to his 23 passes defended, making more picks when he gets a hand on a ball is something he’s working to do this year and beyond. And that starts with putting-in the hours during the off-season and getting a better feel for their defensive scheme.
“Me and [Jamel] Dean, we got our hand on a lot of balls,” Davis said. “A lot of them should have been interceptions. But honestly, it’s about repetition. It’s about being comfortable and it’s just about making the play. We’re young and we’re stepping into a new system. I think with that season under our belt it just makes us a lot more comfortable in our system to go out there and really play loose to just go out there and make the plays instead of just kind of guessing and being unsure. With the productivity that me and Dean produced last year, we should improve and take that next step as far as getting those interceptions and creating more turnovers.”
Also of note for fans, is that Davis has changed his jersey number from 33 to 24, as a nod to his idol, the late Kobe Bryant.
“Kobe was my all-time favorite athlete ever since I was a kid,” Davis said. “I really looked up to him and the way he carried himself as an athlete, the way he approached the game. His ‘mamba mentality’ was everything to me — something I adopted from a young age and I’ve always kept it with me. I’m a huge Lakers fan because of him. Just hearing about his death was just heartbreaking. I didn’t know what to think. I just hate to think about it because it’s just so surreal that he’s really gone. He passed away way too soon. But yeah, I definitely switched my number because of him.”
Davis said he also likes the number 24 because of two other NFL cornerbacks– Darrelle Revis and Brent Grimes– who he’s looked up to.
LATEST NEWS FROM WFLA.COM:
- FEMA walk-up vaccine site in Tampa gets high marks from patients, no line at end of day
- Georgia could make porch theft a felony; critics decry move
- Capitol Police request 2-month extension of National Guard at US Capitol
- Illinois family grieving loss attributed to ‘COVID psychosis’
- North Port woman charged with DUI manslaughter in death of pregnant mother of two