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Davis “off to great start”

Posted Aug 5, 2010

The fourth-year receiver seems to be playing as well as ever less than two weeks before the first preseason game.

SAN DIEGO – For all the gusto about competing during training camp, there are plenty of caveats.

Be physical, but don’t injure a teammate.

Push your body, but don’t jeopardize the season.

That’s why, for the most part, daily participation reports are no more than fodder for message boards. The majority of injury-related absences are precautionary or far from impacting the season.

Don’t tell that to Buster Davis. He’s stated more than once this offseason that he’s out to prove himself as a player, and he might grit through a few bumps and bruises as he attempts to capitalize on his fourth NFL season.

“He’s had some unfortunate injuries. He hasn’t quite gotten the opportunity to have the role he’s going to have this year and he’s really been steady this whole offseason. I know he’s excited about the weeks to come,” Philip Rivers said.

“I think the consistency of which he’s practicing stands out. He’s tired, he’s beat up like a lot of our receivers are, but he’s fighting like crazy to have himself out there every practice. He seems to have developed a mentality and a toughness. He’s as hungry as I’ve ever seen him and excited about the opportunity he’s gotten.”

Davis made a splash during the offseason while Legedu Naanee still was waiting to get clearance following a foot injury and before Malcom Floyd signed his tender. Now, during camp, he’s displayed a similar skill set.

“Buster’s had a great offseason,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “He’s picked up where he left off. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll stay healthy. That’s been the biggest thing that’s held him back.

“He’s got the toughness, he’s got the size, he’s got the speed and he’s off to a great start.”

Davis caught six passes for 52 yards during a Week 17 win against Washington last season. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound receiver  approaches his job differently than he did as a rookie in 2007.

He feels that he’s progressed as a route-runner and can better read defenses. Rehabbing also has taught him the value of maintenance. He visits the training room regularly as a preemptive strike.

“If I had known when I came in what I know now, it would’ve made a big difference,” Davis said of his initial time in the NFL.

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