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

field.”

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

that.”

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

Davis.

”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

man.”

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.