The biggest surprise of last week’s preseason opener against the Houston Texans was the performance of second-year running back Mike Davis. Last season, Davis rushed for 58 yards on 35 carries, had 38 receiving yards on seven catches, while missing half the season on the short term injured reserve list. On Sunday, Davis rushed for 72 yards on five carries, had 17 receiving yards on two receptions. When you surpass a season total in one game, something good happened (and something bad happened the year before).
Davis will be a guy we’re all watching closely on Saturday against the Denver Broncos. Shaun Draughn is currently looking like Carlos Hyde’s primary backup, but if Davis can build off last week’s game, the 49ers running back depth could look a lot better than expected.
Davis met with the media earlier this week, and discussed what he did this offseason to prepare for the season. Most notably, he gave up Cheetos. He was a big fan of chips, but quick cold turkey. Someone asked why he gave up entirely, and he said he just had to give them up completely. I gave up Diet Coke a few years back, and had to quit entirely cold turkey. If I didn’t, I’d slip back into drinking it. The struggle is real, Mike!
Here’s the full transcript, and you can watch video here.
On what he did this offseason:
I probably changed the way I eat, and worked my butt off, like real hard this offseason. That’s probably the only difference. And the offensive scheme is a great scheme. And Coach Kelly has been doing a great job. He’s been making us press and do all the little things right.
What it means working his butt off:
Offseason, it means I grind. I went hard. Me and a bunch of my other running back friends, me, Todd Gurley, a lot of us went went and killed it this offseason.
On diet changes:
Changes was eating fresh fruits, just a lot of it. Cutting out all the fried food, and just making sure I eat healthy.
On toughest thing to get rid of:
Chips. That was like a heart breaker.
On if poor rookie year was reason for the change:
It really wasn’t that. It was like now I’m healthy, I feel like I was my sophomore year in college. It was really me going out there and playing angry and basically proving everybody wrong.
What about scheme suits him:
Similar to what I ran in college. That’s a big one for me.
On what specifically about his style fits it:
Well the thing about that is, we got a great coach in Tom Rathman, and he expects the best out of all of us. So he is the guy, if he doesn’t trust you, he’s not going to put you in. He makes us, we run extra, we do all the little things in the meetings, and he makes sure we know everything we need to know before we’re out there.
On where he trained in offseason:
In the offseason, I was training in LA, at EXOS, at StubHub, and once I came back from there, I was training at D-1 in Santa Clara.
On if he knew Todd Gurley before training:
I’ve known Gurley since high school. We’ve known each other since then.
On poor rookie numbers:
Well I mean, it motivated, not really. My motivation is to help my family out. That’s the main reason why I’m here. Struggling, growing up as a kid, I want to make sure everybody in my family is great.
On if outside noise distracted:
I didn’t let in much, but some stuff you can’t help but see. But I didn’t let that type of stuff get to me. I just want to come out here and do great things for my family, and put a great name on the Davis family.
On if he weighs the same or is lighter:
That’s the thing. people think I got real light for some reason. I actually gained weight, I just got a little more lean. As Chip, as much as we run, he wants us to be in the best shape.
On if he feels different from a year ago:
Actually, I really do. I feel great. Being able to open up more, and more powerful, and it’s a lot of things that factor in, but it’s just, as a rookie, sometimes you don’t feel as comfortable. So now, once you get that confidence, it’s all about having that
Man, I can’t…my favorite chips were hot Cheetos. And I haven’t had those in months. I just got to stay away from chips … no types of chips at all. I gotta stay away from them.