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Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress BY NICK UNDERHILL NUNDERHILL@THEADVOCATE.COM OCT 4, 2018 - 10:47 AM Sometimes Marcus Davenport has to stand up to put quarterbacks down. That's fine with the Saints. ...

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Old 10-04-2018, 04:34 PM   #1
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Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

BY NICK UNDERHILL
NUNDERHILL@THEADVOCATE.COM
OCT 4, 2018 - 10:47 AM



Sometimes Marcus Davenport has to stand up to put quarterbacks down.

That's fine with the Saints. Their defensive ends typically operate with their hand on the ground in a three-point stance, but the team has no issue with Davenport occasionally standing up and rushing the passer from a two-point stance as he becomes more comfortable with his role.

“I just think that’s something that if the player feels more comfortable in that type of stance when we’re able to put him in that type of stance, we want to give the freedom to be able to do that,” defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said.

Davenport spent most of his time in college rushing from an upright position, and immediately after selecting the defensive end, coach Sean Payton said he would allow the rookie to keep rushing from that position if that is what he needed to do to feel comfortable. While the goal will likely eventually be for him to get his hand down and keep it down, the team is fine with him standing up as long as nothing is dictating that he needs to be down – such as the formation or a particular situation.

The results speak for themselves. The first-round pick generated his first sack of the season from a standing position in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons. He looped behind defensive tackle David Onyemata, who took on the guard and tackle, which allowed Davenport to use his power to drive center Alex Mack backward until he was in position to shed him and drop quarterback Matt Ryan for a sack.

A lot of how Davenport rushes is based on the situation and personnel he’s facing. He’s rushed the passer 76 times this season, with 29 of those attempts coming with him standing up and 44 with his hand down. He rushed from an upright position a season-high 13 times Week 3 against Atlanta (nine down). He had the same number of rushes a week later against the Giants but was only upright nine times. One of the big difference between the two games was that New York often operated out of heavy sets, which kept the threat of running alive.

So far, Davenport has appeared more consistent when rushing from an upright position, from which he’s created four pressures, mostly on bull rushes, along with his sack. He has two pressures from a three-point stance, though one of them, a quarterback hit against the Cleveland Browns, during which he beat a double team, was flagged for roughing the passer.

“I think he sees the block a little bit better in the two-point in terms of the pass sets,” defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen said. “We’re working through finding the right mix of both two point and three point.”

“It’s something I’m still working on,” Davenport said. “When I’m down, I have to focus more on the man, and when I’m standing up, I can see more. I can feel it.”

Interestingly, the team feels Davenport has done a better job against the run when down in a three-point stance. It is in that phase of the game where he has made some of his standout plays, beginning with a great open field tackle against the Chargers during the preseason and right up through last week when he beat Giants tackle Nate Solder on an inside move and dropped running back Saquon Barkley for a loss of seven yards.

For now, Davenport is working in a rotation with Alex Okafor at defensive end, and it will likely remain that way going into the future, but Davenport’s ability in the running game could help him earn more snaps if he continues to make strides there. It’s an area where his physical strength has helped him succeed early on.

“He uses his hands and locks out that helps him set the edge on the blocks, set the edge in the run game,” Nielsen said. “But also in pass rush two steps, and he’s into the tackle he’s so long. He has good speed. You saw that at the combine.”

When the Saints drafted Davenport, the move was made knowing that had tools that needed to develop before reaching his full potential. There are times when those things come through, but the rookie is still far from a finished product.

New Orleans is looking at it as a week-by-week process. So far, Davenport has shown growth and improvement in each game. Nielsen said that he sees the rookie's confidence growing and his reaction time improving each game.

Part of getting the best out of him is by being flexible enough in the scheme to allow Davenport to do the things he does well while picking up the rest.

“There are certain things that there’s a lot more flexibility involved and there’s certain where it has to be this way because and there’s usually a good reason,” Payton said. “I think as a coach we’re always looking for ways to help our players. So, a lot of it depends on what we’re doing within the framework of the scheme.”

The approach is working so far for Davenport. The hope is that it will work even better next week.
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:38 AM   #2
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

He's progressing well, but he wasn't worth two first round picks, not with this kinda return...

Nice fluff piece by Ted Underhill...
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
He's progressing well, but he wasn't worth two first round picks, not with this kinda return...

Gonna have to let that go JP.

And yes, he is progressing nicely every week. He's not only making "splash" plays but he has been explosive & fast. Looks like a young Wayne Martin at times. Like Kamara, I think Davenport will be special.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:06 PM   #4
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

I still like the pic and glad to see him progressing nicely.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
Gonna have to let that go JP.

And yes, he is progressing nicely every week. He's not only making "splash" plays but he has been explosive & fast. Looks like a young Wayne Martin at times. Like Kamara, I think Davenport will be special.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana
If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself - Henry Ford.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:17 PM   #7
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

A monster is coming ...






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Old 10-05-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

Davenport is going to make us forget the cost real soon!
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:24 PM   #9
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

Bump ...

Another good performance from Davenport last night. It appears last two games, his "get off" has improved. Each week I've seen something a little different. He came from a small college program but I see a big time player emerging.
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:09 PM   #10
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Re: Standing up or hand down, Saints rookie Marcus Davenport is impressing with weekly progress

He definitely has the ability to make the splash plays that this team so sorely needs on defense. He's shown great progress and when he can be counted on to set that edge and handle all of his defensive assignments along with his pass rush capabilities he should be the book end we have been looking for opposite Jordan. He's got crazy size/speed ratio and a solid assortment of pass rush moves and definitely converts his speed and power like the greats need to.
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