In the weeks after Demario Davis joined the Browns, head coach Hue Jackson didn't shy away from laying out his expectations for the fiery linebacker. Neither did Davis, the former Jets starter who has been lauded for his leadership ability since the day he entered the NFL.
And following the conclusion of offseason workouts, Davis continues to draw strong reviews before the team reconvenes for training camp in late July.
"He's a dynamic worker. He's in the building all the time. He wants to be a good player. He's always working to get better," inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland said. "He's one of those guys that he's going to lead. He's going to show up early and he's going to stay late."
Indeed, Davis has been an active and productive member of the roster both on and off the field, whether it's at practice or out and about in the Cleveland community.
"I don't really know if you can put it into words. I really try to lead by example. I know there are people watching me, so I try to do the right thing. I'm a firm believer that more is caught than taught," he said in May.
"I never try to speak lessons over anybody. If they want to know how to do, I want to act and live in a way that they can look at me and get a good example of it. I just try to show up with a good attitude and work hard every day because where we're at, we're going to have to be coaches. For us to take what the coaches are teaching us, we've got to put as much time into the learning as possible. Every meeting, everything the coach said, we've got to take notes, write it down and go and try to apply it. That's what's going to help us develop as a team."
Wednesday marked the second day of the team's mandatory veterans' minicamp.
It's an approach that's served Davis well over the past few months since joining the Browns as a free agent after four seasons with in New York. Considered one of the better run-stoppers in the league, Davis could be tasked with being a key cog on a Cleveland defense looking to improve against opposing ground games.
Behind Jackson and defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who returned to Berea after two seasons with the Titans, the Browns have laid out a blueprint for how they might do that next season.
Davis made it clear the players will have to execute such a game plan come fall, but said he's put considerable trust into the coaching staff.
"I've been around good coaches before, and I've never believed in anybody like I believe in Hue and Ray. I believe in what they're doing. I believe in the organization. I believe in our owner and our executive office, the people that they brought in, the moves they made," Davis said. "I believe in the direction that we're going, and I'm definitely excited in how good we can be. Only time will tell. The game is played inside the lines, not in talk or on film. It's played in the game. We'll see. I'm excited, though."
And in the meantime, Davis should continue to find his niche with the Browns.
"We're definitely pleased to have him. We just have to take his play to another level," Holland said, "and I think he's going to be a big-time player in this league. I'm excited about working with him."