Depending on who you are and where you come from, going home can be a breath of fresh air.
For recently acquired Raiders wide receiver Trevor Davis, he’s happy to be back in the Bay Area after spending the last three-plus years in Green Bay with the Packers.
Thursday afternoon, the Silver and Black announced that they’d traded an undisclosed draft pick for Davis, thus bringing him back to his roots.
Just over the Oakland Hills, Davis grew up in Martinez, and stayed close to home when he went to college, attending University of California Berkeley his junior and senior years – he spent the first half of college playing football for the University of Hawaii.
He might’ve been closer in proximity to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, but Davis grew up a Philadelphia Eagles fan – his cousin is Donovan McNabb – his family, however, are all die-hard Raiders fans.
“I was a Bay Area fan,” he said. “My cousin is Donovan McNabb, so I grew up an [Philadelphia] Eagles fan, and when he left I kind of just became a Bay Area fan in total. My whole family is Raiders fans though, so they’re kind of juiced right now.”
Returning to familiar scenery and relatives – his family still live in the Martinez-Antioch area – is something Davis is excited about, but his head is currently buried in the playbook.
“I got family out here that have helped me out, so it’s not going to be as hard for housing or things like that. So, that definitely helps out,” Davis said. “At the end of the day – for how much I’ve got to study right now – I’m kind of locked into the hotel in my playbook the whole time.”
Davis spent three years learning former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy’s system, then over the offseason he was forced to learn new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s system, and now he’ll be asked to memorize Coach Gruden’s playbook, and in a much smaller time frame.
“The schemes are much more simplistic when it comes to special teams versus offense, so being able to plug yourself in there is a little easier than it would be offensively,” he explained. “So, that’s why I’d be more so ready to hop in there on special teams and really – hopefully both – but at the end of the day you have to be ready for anything.”
The Silver and Black are likely going to play without return specialist Dwayne Harris this Sunday, and it probably served as a key reason General Manager Mike Mayock traded for Davis. Known for his blazing 4.3 speed, the former Bear has 449 return yards, but no touchdowns thus far in the NFL. The odds of Davis seeing extended run on offense are slim, considering he’s got an entire playbook to learn, but he expects to be a factor on special teams.
The Raiders front office was aware of Davis’ skill set before the team collided with the Packers in Winnipeg for a preseason matchup, but his performance during that game certainly helped cement himself on their radar. He rushed once for 18 yards, added five receptions for 78 yards, and one touchdown.
“Yeah, we had a chance to see him, obviously in the preseason on our trip against Green Bay, and we’ve heard a lot of good things about him,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Thursday. “We know some people on the staff there, but we also had a chance to watch him on video and we’ve watched him the last couple years. He’s been a core special teams guy for them, so he helps in a number of different areas, but his speed is probably what really jumped out at us.”
Hopefully Davis is able to adapt and learn his new playbook quickly, and maybe being comfortable with his surroundings will help with that. We’ll see if the Raiders trot him out on the field this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.