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Keith Davis Takes A Long Road Back Home

going to always be in the right place. He's going to anticipate when the offense is trying to attack him, and he's always going to give himself a chance to have a successful down." 

  Sometimes, Davis guesses wrong. San Francisco's tight end Vernon Davis beat him for a big play two weeks ago when by his own admission, Keith took a chance on a route to try to make a big play and got burned. 

  Mostly, though, Davis has been solid. Maybe not spectacular, but the drop-off from Pro Bowler Roy Williams has not been calamitous. 

  The least surprised person in the house, of course, is Davis. 

  "I always knew I was capable of getting the job done," he says directly but not defiantly. "I knew where I stood when they brought me back. I knew Roy was the guy.   I knew they had Pat playing in the dime. I was willing to play whatever they wanted me to play to help this team be successful and win games, and that was special teams. Well, it's unfortunate that Roy went down and then Pat went down, but I'm going to try to make the most of the opportunity." 

  Playing safety for Wade Phillips, Davis suggests, is different than playing for Parcells. Like many others, Davis said he felt like he was "playing with a noose around my neck, if I went too far from what Coach Parcells wanted. Coach Phillips gives you a chance to play football." 

  True or not, it's how Davis feels about it, and we know other defensive players feel the same way. They also feel the same way when Davis makes a big hit, as he did in the second Washington game. That was Williams' trademark.  

  "Roy's Roy and I'm me," Davis says. "We have similarities in the way we play, but also differences. I love to play physical, of course, but if you want me to cover, I can cover." 

  Mostly, Davis is having fun. "Having a blast, man. Darren Woodson was always my favorite player, and he texted me after I hit (Clinton) Ports in the game and said when I hit him it changed the game. That felt good coming from someone like him." 

  Keith Davis won't be the most well-known safety on the Heinz Field turf Sunday. He may not be the best. But you can't say he's not a survivor. 

  It's not where you start, as the song says, it's where you finish. Davis and his teammates are trying to be walking reminders of that.                                                                                         

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