WR Davis seeking fresh start with Buffalo Bills
Receiver Craig ”Buster” Davis is so intent on getting a fresh
start to his career with the Buffalo Bills that he’s willing to
forgo his nickname.
After four unproductive and injury-filled seasons in San Diego,
Davis is tired of hearing critics joke that you can’t spell
”Buster” without ”Bust.”
Davis wasn’t laughing Friday, a day after signing a one-year
contract with the Bills.
And he was also aware that dropping the nickname his grandmother
gave him was merely a cosmetic change. The former LSU star
understands the only way to change perceptions is to show he can
finally live up to the expectations people had when he was the
Chargers’ first-round pick in 2007.
”The name has nothing to do with it,” Davis said of his
production. ”It’s up to me to take care of the situation on the
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Davis is feeling healthier
than he’s been in years. He had surgery to repair a groin injury in
November and spent the NFL lockout working out in Arizona. Once the
Chargers – not unexpectedly – released him last week, he found a
team in Buffalo where he at least had some familiarity.
He’s reunited with Bills general manager Buddy Nix, who played a
role in the Chargers drafting Davis.
”It feels good to come to a team that’s willing to work to get
better. And that’s the same thing I’m trying to do,” Davis said.
”The new scenery is going to be a good thing for me. It’s a great
situation here, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Davis’ pro career has been mostly a dud. Selected 30th overall,
he failed to make an impact on a Philip Rivers-led Chargers offense
that has featured an undistinguished group of wide receivers.
Davis has 51 catches for 558 yards and two touchdowns in 26
career games, including two starts. He has seen more time on the
NFL injury report, where he’s been sideline by sore hips, ribs,
hamstrings and an Achilles’ tendon. Then there’s a nagging groin
injury for which he’s had two operations.
”It’s just not understanding my body, just freakish injuries
and not knowing about it,” Davis said. ”I’ve been doing a real
good job of keeping my body together and trying to prove to this
front office that I can last a 16-game season and beyond
Davis, first, has to make the Bills.
A week into training camp in suburban Rochester, he’s getting a
late start in trying to break into what’s become one of Buffalo’s
deepest positions. It’s a group of receivers led by Lee Evans and
Stevie Johnson and rounded out by Roscoe Parrish in the slot and
third-down specialist David Nelson.
That leaves Davis competing for the fifth receiver spot with a
group that includes 2010 fourth-round pick Marcus Easley, who
missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury.
Coach Chan Gailey is keeping his options open regarding
”Craig has a ton of ability, but he’s just never really done
it,” Gailey said. ”He’s worth taking a look at to see if he can
do something special. He’s really an extremely talented young
Notes: The Bills signed RBs Bruce Hall and Anthony Elzy on
Friday. Hall rejoins the Bills after spending parts of the 2008-09
seasons on the team’s practice squad. Elzy is an undrafted rookie
free agent out of North Carolina. … To make room on their roster,
the Bills released RBs Emmanuel Moody and Vai Taua, both undrafted
rookie free agents.