Summer 2024

20 NFL players to watch in 2020: New Orleans Saints LB Demario Davis

Through Sept. 13, the first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season,
Sports Spectrum is highlighting one Christ-following player each day for 20 days.

New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis enters his ninth NFL season in 2020 having never missed a regular-season game, despite playing one of the most physically punishing positions in football.

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Davis seems to have only improved despite the physical toll. Last year, his second in a Saints uniform, he recorded 111 total tackles, giving him three consecutive seasons with more than 100 tackles. Although the 31-year-old missed out yet again on a Pro Bowl, he was a first-team All-Pro selection.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara said he’s seen firsthand in practice every day just how good Davis is.

“Demario is one of the smarter players I’ve played against and with,” Kamara said last month. “… He’s athletic, he runs better than some of the guys on offense, honestly. It’s hard, going up against him; you’ve got to be on your A-game. There’s not a lazy play you can take against him because he’s going to take advantage of your mistakes.”

Thanks in large part to Davis, the Saints finished the 2019 season with the fourth-best rushing defense in the league. They won an impressive 13 regular-season games, secured the NFC South title for the third consecutive season and earned the NFC’s No. 3 seed in the playoffs.

New Orleans faltered in the wild-card round, however, losing at home to the No. 6-seeded Minnesota Vikings.

Still, many believe New Orleans’ Super-Bowl window remains open with the return of future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees and receiver Michael Thomas, while the defense continues to improve. The quest for a fourth consecutive NFC South crown begins on Sunday with a high-profile Week 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their new quarterback, Tom Brady.

Even with a disrupted offseason and no preseason games, Davis still believes his team will be ready for whatever 2020 holds.

“It is different. It’s going to be different. There’s no way around it,” Davis told the media on Monday. “I think it’s always about just perfecting your process in the midst of adversity. No matter what’s going on around you, you got to be able to find a way to quiet the storm and find your process and lock in on that and let the rest take care of itself. All you can do is control what you can control and, what’s outside of your control, you got to leave that to the Man above and keep on pushing.”

Davis, a frequent contributor to The Increase and a five-time guest on the Sports Spectrum Podcast, lives his life following that Man above. He says he and other believers are called to demonstrate Christ’s love in the world.

“I think Christians, believers, have to lead the charge because God is love and He’s shown us what love is,” Davis said on a 2017 episode of the Sports Spectrum Podcast. “If we’re not leading the way and we’re not being a light, then we’re not doing our part.”

Davis told Sports Spectrum Magazine for the Fall 2020 issue that the Bible verse Matthew 28:19 has had a tremendous impact on his life.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” — Matthew 28:19 (ESV)

“The Great Commission: Matthew 28. ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations’ is important to me because that’s what God is calling us into,” Davis said. “We are all a part of this great story of reaching all nations, that our Christ is coming back, and that we’ve all been called into this relationship to go to the nations. It has nothing to do with any of us, it has to do with going and reaching other people.

“God wants to reach the entire world and He is choosing us, so that means it’s on us. I like that, it’s like my coach is calling my number, that’s the play. I can’t just sit here with the ball, I got to go do something with it. So that excites me.”

In 2018, Davis shared his story of faith and football with us:

NEW PODCAST: Demario Davis – New Orleans Saints linebacker (March 2020)
NEW PODCAST: Demario Davis – New Orleans Saints linebacker (November 2019)
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