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Old 07-28-2004   #157
Lucky
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Since I'm pretty sure most people here realize that Hollings isn't going to Miami and this thread has morphed into something altogether different, I thought I'd share my thoughts about Hollings & Davis.

The things that jumped out at me watching Tony Hollings at training camp last year were 1) he has special speed, and 2) he was small for a NFL RB. I've taken a lot of flak from infantrycak & others on Tony's size (and please don't list the weights of all the NFL RBs again), but hey that was my perception. I think it was backed up by his performance has Hollings seemingly was knocked around by defenders like a pinball hitting bumpers. Tony's propensity in dropping the ball after a big hit was another indicator of his lack of strength.

But, there was never any question about Hollings' speed, as he showed the ability to turn the corner both in the preseason and the Chief game. Now, Tony is coming off his 1st NFL off season training program. I feel that the time between a player's 1st & 2nd year is where he will make the biggest jump in physical development. I'm expecting a bigger, stronger Hollings this year with the same type of speed that can put fear into an opposing defense. If so, Tony can be a real weapon for the Texans this year.

I saw Domanick Davis in the 1st Texan night practice last year and my impression was probably the same as what the Texans thought they were getting. Quick to the hole, good hands out of the backfield, caught punts with his hands not his body. Davis was also on the small side, but about the size you'd expect in a 3rd down back/return man. Then Domanick injured his hand, and I completely forgot about him. I was actually a little surprised the Texans didn't put him on IR at the beginning of the season and only go with 3 RBs. I'm glad they didn't.

I guess DD caught my attention 1st in the "Leap of Faith" drive, were he almost single handedly drove the Texans into position for the winning TD. Then he looked good again in the Titan road game, then the Jet game, then the Colt game, then the...until I realized, "Hey, we've got something pretty good here in this Davis guy". Domanick's success kind of sneaks up on you, because he's not special in any obvious way. His moves, his ability to slip tackles, his vision, how he uses his blockers, everything about him is subtle. I mean his college coach considered moving Davis to defense at one point at LSU, even Saban didn't know what he had. But DD has something, look at his stats compared to the other Texan RBs last season.

Davis - 238 rushes, 1031 yards, 4.3 ypc
Other Texan RB's - 136 rushes, 369 yards, 2.7 ypc

I'm sorry, but a 4.3 ypc behind a decent, not great, o-line means something. A difference of 1.6 yards per carry between DD & the other backs means something. Looking at Davis and saying, "I don't see anything special", doesn't mean that the guy isn't special. Will Domanick become a HOF RB? It doesn't matter. What matters is if the combination of Davis & Hollings can help the Texans win games. I think they can.
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