'Slot machine' Bess works for success

Posted Aug 7, 2013

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns added veteran slot receiver Davone Bess during the 2013 offseason, and the six-year veteran has drawn rave reviews from his teammates and coaches.

BEREA, Ohio -- As the sun sets on another day at training camp for the Cleveland Browns, some players head to the cafeteria for dinner or the training room for treatment after practice.

If you’re looking for veteran slot receiver Davone Bess, you usually can find him at his locker, studying film.

Bess constantly strives to make himself a better player, and through his first five NFL seasons, it has paid off. He has caught 321 passes, and 183 of them (or 57 percent) have gone for first downs. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Bess the “slot machine,” because he tends to be money on third down.

“For me, film study is everything,” Bess said. “It gives you the ability to go out and play fast because you’re not thinking. You’re reacting to what you’ve been studying all week, and now, it’s just a matter of making the play.

“A big part of it is preparation, getting ready for the game and the coaches doing a great job of putting me in a position to make a play. Without those two, I don’t know that I’d be able to be as efficient as I’ve been in the past, but it goes hand-in-hand: for them to put you in a position, and then, for you to study and know your opponent and execute it.”

In short order, Bess’ work ethic has been noticed by his teammates and coaches.

“He’s a pro,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “He communicates well. He’s a guy that will talk to you about certain things. He’s a great target, a hard-working guy, runs great routes, creates a lot of mismatches underneath, and he’s going to be huge for us.”

Coach Rob Chudzinski added, “He is an unbelievable worker to begin with. He’s a student of the game. He really understands the game and understands leverage and how to run routes. He’s got good quickness. Everything that he does is right. He’s a leader by example and a great guy to have on our team.”

Bess learned the importance of film study during his college days at the University of Hawaii, and the process continued when he earned a roster spot with the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent in 2008.

“The older I got, the more experience I got, the more reps I got, the more I understood how important it was because it was taking my game to another level,” Bess said. “I would sit back and watch how the older guys did it. It was just something in me to want to get it done. The more and more confident I got, the more and more reps I got, the more I prepared, the better my game went. Ultimately, it helps the team win.

“Not being fortunate to be drafted, and people believing in you, you kind of have to find a road to prove not only to everybody else, but yourself, that you can get the job done, and you can be a productive receiver in this league, no matter if 32 teams believed in me or not.”

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