Davis loving his line of work

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

Less than a month ago, Jim Davis wasn't thinking much about sacking quarterbacks since it seemed he was packing in his career.

After the defensive lineman was released from Edmonton Eskimos training camp, he went home to Richmond, Va., and waited for the phone to ring.

It didn't for a long time.

The Virginia Tech product was about to start looking for a 'normal' job when the Calgary Stampeders inquired about whether he would be interested in returning to the football field.

That decision took a nanosecond, and the 27-year-old was on the next plane to Calgary.

Davis suited up for the first time on Labour Day, but he really made an impact in the rematch. The former Eskimo burned his old team for three sacks, a forced fumble and recovery and a tipped pass.

Revenge is sweet.

"Oh yeah," Davis said. "It's good to go get a win. Winning on the road is hard, period.

"Getting back-to-back wins is great. There are a lot of different things you could say about this game, and a lot of them are satisfying."

Davis spent two years in the NFL after getting drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2005, but he landed with the Stamps for the 2007 training camp.

The 6-foot-4, 276-pounder was among the final cuts, but he was undeterred. He resurfaced with the Eskimos the next spring and had six sacks in 14 games last season.

But after getting released in June, he thought his time had run out, and it was much different than getting cut by the Stamps in 2007.

"I was younger, and I knew football was still in my future," Davis said. "I had a lot of confidence. As the years move on, you think maybe the game might move past you.

"I'm 27, but that is 50 in football years. You just never know. I just held true to my faith, and I thank God every day for this opportunity.

"I can't say enough how much I was on the verge of saying, 'This is it -- no more football.' Who knows what I would do? Hopefully, it would be something to do with football, but I'm glad I don't have to answer that question right now. I'm going to take the game for now and go from there."

Davis' performance has solidified his position on a jumbled defensive line, at least for this Friday's road meeting with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The Stampeders brought back defensive ends Tearrius George and Charleston Hughes after both were released from NFL clubs, and both appear ready to go against the Ticats.

Along with tackle DeVone Claybrooks, those four players made up an enormous defensive front yesterday in practice.

With Canadian Justin Phillips returning from an ankle sprain, the Stampeders have 10 defensive lineman available to play. In recent games, they have dressed six or seven.

So that means there is a squeeze going on.

Odell Willis, who didn't record a sack in five games after having six in four, didn't take any reps with the first-team line yesterday and could be scratched.

That's just how tough it is to keep a job with this group.

"Every player knows they have to earn their position on the roster," Davis said. "That's the same for this week."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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