NFL veteran wants to be a starter

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

EDMONTON - He spent the off-season finding a new house for his family. Now Rod Davis is looking for a permanent home in the starting lineup with the Edmonton Eskimos during the 2010 season.

The second-year CFLer played nine games in his rookie year, making four starts for the injured Mo Lloyd at middle linebacker.

But that was just a taste for the hungry veteran, who played 40 games in the NFL after getting drafted in the fifth round in 2004 by the Minnesota Vikings.

I purchased a home earlier in my career in Minnesota, which is weighing me down now that I cant sell, said Davis. I bought a house, chilled out with the family and did a lot of yard work. It was a pretty good off-season for me. I was very fortunate to purchase another home.

His family is now headquartered in Flowood, Miss.

Not my hometown, but my home state, where my wifes from, said Davis, who has a future linebacking corps of his own with three young boys. Ive been trying to put all the chips in order.

The last six weeks was just trying to get everything in line for when I left that it would be easy on my wife to be able to take care of the boys and the boys take care of themselves.

But as tough as it is leaving his family behind, the task that lies ahead over the next two weeks of training camp wont get any easier on him.

At this point in his career, Davis isnt satisfied being a backup.

I wouldnt come back and play if I wasnt coming out here to start, said the 29-year-old who also played with the Carolina Panthers before spending 2008 winning the ArenaBowl championship with the Philadelphia Soul.

While his experience extends far beyond his sophomore season in the CFL,

Davis said hes not beyond improvement.

The first goal is to get out here and get better each day and the next one is to be a starter, Davis said. My goals go way farther than that, but its one step at a time.

(General manager) Danny Maciocia said a wise thing: Talk is cheap, just do it out on the field.

That goes for both the practice field and in games for Davis, who was reunited with former Southern Mississippi teammate Jeremy Parquet this year.

I feel that Im in my prime. I feel that Im in the best shape of my life. Expect big things from Four-Oh this year, said the seven-year professional, who is more than happy to tutor any up-and-comer with questions. I know what it takes. Im an older guy here so a lot of guys look up to me even though its just my second year in the league. They just look at me more as experienced and just knowing the ropes. Its just going out here getting better each and every day. And thats what I tell them: just go out and do what I always try to do and dominate.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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