I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with NFL Network and FOX Sports analyst Charles Davis. For some of you who don’t know Charles (@CFD22) , he spent his college years as a defensive back for the Tennessee Volunteers and became one of the biggest voices in the football world. Whether it’s on NFL Network doing NFL Total Access, Path to the Draft, or on FOX doing play by play on Sundays, Charles is one of the brightest football minds out there.
I wanted to pick Charles’s brain on a couple of Dolphins and also general NFL questions. Below is my interview with Charles Davis.
Daniel Eliesen: What are your thoughts on Chad Henne? Can he be the guy in Miami?
Charles Davis: I definitely thought so two years ago, but now I am not as sure as I was then. I called a Dolphins game a bit back, it was a Lions game and Henne had a great 3 quarters but down the stretch he started to make mistakes and that’s when I realized he needed to get his act together a bit. I still think that he can start next season but the Dolphins will definitely have to consider other options, but I do think that Henne will take the steps next year and take the starting job.
Daniel Eliesen: With the progress of the Jets and the consistency of the Pats, how far away do you think Miami is from the division or even playoffs?
Charles Davis: I don’t think there that far off right now. In fact, I was talking to a friend of mine in the Jets organization and I told him I think that Miami is the team to watch out for. Solid running game, a Mike Nolan defenSe, the addition of Brandon Marshall and Cam Wake coming off the edge. There are a couple of pieces that they need to look into, like the running game and whether or not to bring back Ronnie and Ricky but a Mike Nolan defense in it’s second year should be very solid. There not that far off right now but Henne is obviously the key. I think their still in the mix, and it also depends if the team wants to get behind Sparano who is on the ultimate hot seat.
Daniel Eliesen: You’re very in touch with the college game. How do you feel Miami did in this year’s draft?
Charles Davis: Pretty nicely. I think they hit all their needs with quality players. Pouncey was a no brainer and Gates will give them speed and I especially liked the runner Thomas even if Ronnie and Ricky are back.
Daniel Eliesen: How often do you go home after a long day and just go DAMN I wish this lockout was over?
Charles Davis: Every day man, every day. We all do. We want it for all of us, for the fans, for the analyst, for the merchandisers, the hotel owners, the concession stands, everybody is getting hurt by this lockout. Football is a part of who we are.
Daniel Eliesen: You call games on FOX. How much work do you guys put in behind the scenes before each game?
Charles Davis: Well we get to the city on Friday, and we go to the home team’s practice, we speak to the coaches, the coordinators, and some players and then the team’s media people and we try and figure out as much information as possible before the game. We will also try and talk to a local guy we know and get the scoop, and as soon as we’re done calling a game right away we get started for the next week. We certainly put in our work.
Daniel Eliesen: Knowing that you’re a former Volunteer, does that mean your Manning over Brady?
Charles Davis: Well yeah, we Volunteers got to stick together, so I’ll go Manning, but I certainly wouldn’t shed a tear if Brady was my QB either. We got a saying though VOL for life, so yeah I’ll stick with Peyton.
Daniel Eliesen: Lots of guys come on the NFL Network, which player has impressed you the most with his NFL knowledge?
Charles Clay: The guy I work with Warren Sapp. His knowledge of football and of assignments and where to be and understanding of the game is amazing. I call him Professor Sapp. You wouldn’t think because he is a defensive linemen he would be so knowledgeable, but it’s amazing watching him talk football and the terms that he knows. I try to take it all in when he talks. So I could chose a lot of guys but Ill go with Sapp.
Daniel Eliesen: This is a bit of a fan question but do you ever sit there and just think I got the best job in the world?
Charles Davis: All the time. I try not to do it on air and to focus but when I am alone or I am tired or stress you just realize how great this job is. I have plenty of guys who wouldn’t mind being in my shoes.