boston Globe article about Davey

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  1. Ellis Hugh

    Ellis Hugh Space Wrangler

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    PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

    4th-round selection, QB Davey, a goliath

    By Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff, 4/22/2002

    OXBOROUGH - Is a Rohan Davey - Tom Brady controversy brewing?

    Give it a year.

    Davey will be the answer to a trivia question: Which quarterback was drafted to replace Drew Bledsoe?

    The Louisiana State QB could be very exciting, in the mold of the Vikings' Daunte Culpepper, the draftniks say. He was selected by the Patriots in yesterday's fourth round, the NFL draft's 117th selection overall. His LSU teammate, defensive end Jarvis Green, was taken by New England nine picks later. Both selections came as a result of personal workouts for the Patriots and the strong recommendations of LSU coach Nick Saban, a former Bill Belichick assistant with the Cleveland Browns.

    When he was head coach at Michigan State, Saban gave Belichick recommendations of two of his players, Greg Robinson-Randall and T.J. Turner.

    ''I think it helps to know Bill and what he's looking for in a player,'' said Saban. ''I think both players have an outstanding chance of being productive in the NFL. Ro is a very productive player with a strong arm. He's a leader. He hasn't played as much as most college quarterbacks, but as a junior he was elected to be the captain and Josh Booty wound up playing [after Davey injured his anterior cruciate ligament in a pickup basketball game].''

    Davey is almost as big as Green. He's listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 245 pounds, but he's played as high as the 250s.

    Green is 6-3, 272 pounds and plays the Patriots' two-gap style of defensive line. He had four sacks last season, 20 for his career, never surpassing his freshman total of eight.

    Davey, 24, was born in Jamaica, moved to this country when he was 8 years old, and didn't play football until he was a sophomore in high school. He started for only one year at LSU, but in that one year, he became the first Tigers quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards (3,347), completing close to 60 percent with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

    One concern for pro scouts has been Davey's weight. But the quarterback is not concerned. ''I don't see it as an issue,'' he said via conference call from his home in Miami. ''I went to the combine at 240-242 pounds. When I was at the Senior Bowl, not long after I'd injured my ribs, I was 252 pounds.

    ''I just need to come in and be dedicated to what I'm doing. Every time you take a step from high school to college or college to the pros, your maturity level has to be increasing.''

    Saban said, ''I told Bill he needs to tell Ro exactly what's expected of him, and I told Ro he's got to have enough self-discipline to [do] what's expected of him.''

    Davey is a close friend of Patriots running back Kevin Faulk, a former LSU star. The two spent time together in New Orleans during Super Bowl week.

    But it isn't the Super Bowl that is most memorable for Davey, as much as the snowy playoff game against the Raiders.

    ''In that game, there was a catch against the sideline where the ball was tipped by a receiver [ Troy Brown] and the tight end [ Jermaine Wiggins] ended up catching it falling out of bounds on a third down,'' said Davey. ''When that happened, I said, `Man, Kevin's gonna be back home playing in the Super Bowl.' It was kind of destiny the way things were going.''

    Green said he was surprised the Patriots called because he had not heard from them earlier during the draft. ''It's funny how things work out in the draft: You have no idea where you're going and then all of a sudden you hear it's New England,'' said Green, who said he has ''kinfolk'' in the Boston area. ''I couldn't be happier. I can't wait to get up there and see what it's all about.''

    Green also endorsed Davey as ''a hell of a leader. He had some hard times, some ups and downs at LSU, but, I mean, he never stops. He never quits. When he talked, everybody listened. Really, I respect him as a man and I can't wait to see him up there.''

    Green, 23, will join veterans Anthony Pleasant, Bobby Hamilton , Rick Lyle , and Willie McGinest in the defensive end competition. Saban once coached Pleasant in Cleveland and said Green is somewhat reminiscent of him.

    Seventh players

    With their final two picks of the draft - in the seventh round, the 237th and 253d overall - the Patriots selected Antwoine Womack, a 5-11, 214-pound running back from the University of Virginia, and David Givens, a 6-foot, 217-pound versatile wideout and kick returner from Notre Dame.

    Belichick said Womack, who tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in the Gridiron Classic All-Star game in January, will spend the upcoming season rehabbing his knee and not be available until 2003.

    Womack's senior year at Virginia also was marred by a severe right ankle injury in the season opener last Aug. 25 against Wisconsin. He underwent surgery and missed six games, returning for the last four of the season. Still, Womack wound up as the Cavaliers' third-leading rusher with 263 yards. He ended his career as Virginia's 10th-leading rusher with 2,207 yards.

    ''We expect him to have full recovery and be on the field in the '03 season, but probably will not be playing much this year,'' Belichick said.

    The Patriots wrapped up their 2002 draft by taking Givens. They were supposed to pick at the 244th spot, but passed and waited nine picks before selecting the receiver.

    ''He's a big kid, a big, physical kid,'' Belichick said. ''He's been a running back, he's been a returner, and he's a big receiver with good hands. And he's been productive for Notre Dame, particularly his junior year.''

    Givens played in 44 games for the Irish, making 18 starts, and hauled in 72 catches for 814 yards. As a junior, he had 25 catches for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also returned 11 kicks for 227 yards, including a long of 41 yards, and carried 24 times for 101 yards and 2 rushing TDs.

    ''Overall, it was similar to the 2000 draft, where we also spent the first day's picks on offense,'' Belichick said. ''This was primarily a draft, as it turned out, for offensive players, in particular offensive skill players.

    ''We didn't necessarily want to not take defensive players, but it just worked out that way. We would've liked to have added more youth and speed on the defense, but we felt like we had to take advantage of the picks we had.''

    Local flavor

    A couple of New Englanders made it into the second day of the draft: Omar Easy, a Penn State running back who played for Everett High, was taken by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round, No. 107 overall; and DeVeren Johnson, a receiver out of Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Conn., was a sixth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys (208th overall).

    M ichael Vega of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

    This story ran on page C10 of the Boston Globe on 4/22/2002.
    © Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company
     
  2. StLee

    StLee Freshman

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    That was a good article.

    I was surprised that the Patriots took Green, but I guess if you have Saban talking him up and a former Tiger as your scat back talking up LSU guys, the pick isn't that surprising after all.

    I think Davey and Green both have huge upsides and both will do well in New England.

    It does kind of suck that we're going to have to root for both New England and Buffalo when they are in the same division. Not only that, but we still need Ricky to rush for 1500 in Miami for the Saints sake. Oi!

    Lee
     

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