‘It’ll be weird’ see­ing Davis play for Browns

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By Ed­ward Lee

By the very na­ture of be­ing em­ployed by the Ravens, Wil­lie Henry views the Cleve­land Browns as the ad­ver­saries. But the de­fen­sive tackle’s feel­ings are tem­pered by the fact that one of his clos­est friends is a mem­ber of the Browns.

When the Ravens visit FirstEn­ergy Sta­dium in Cleve­land on Sun­day, they will reac­quaint them­selves with Carl Davis, a de­fen­sive tackle who had spent the first three years of his ca­reer in Bal­ti­more.

“It’s go­ing to be weird be­cause that was one of my clos­est friends on the team, and see­ing him fi­nally in a dif­fer­ent team’s jersey on the other side as like an en­emy — but he’s not an en­emy be­cause he’ll for­ever be my brother — it’ll be weird,” said Henry, who joined the or­ga­ni­za­tion one year af­ter Davis did. “That’s still my dog, that’s still my brother, but it’s go­ing to be weird. It’s all love, and it just comes with the game.”

“It’s go­ing to hurt,” nose tackle Michael Pierce said of the in­evitable re­union. “He’s like a big brother to me. So it’s go­ing to be tough to see him there. We all talk to him at least once a week. He’s our brother. We don’t want that much suc­cess for him this week of course, but it’s go­ing to be awe­some to see him play and do well.”

Davis, 26, was the Ravens’ third-round draft pick in 2015 and made 11 tack­les and two bat­ted passes in 13 games (three starts) as a rookie. Af­ter an an­kle in­jury in the pre­sea­son side­lined him for the en­tire 2016 sea­son, Davis started nine games last year for de­fen­sive end Brent Ur­ban (Lis­franc foot in­jury), fin­ish­ing with 19 tack­les, a half-sack and one tipped pass.

But the team re­leased him Sept. 1, part of the fi­nal wave of cuts be­fore the open­ing of the reg­u­lar sea­son. The next day, Cleve­land claimed Davis off waivers. He has yet to make a start for the Browns and has only one tackle, but the statis­tics are not what mat­ter to his for­mer team­mates.

“I think the whole D-line is happy for Carl,” nose tackle Chris Worm­ley said. “He’s play­ing well in Cleve­land, and he gets to do what he loves. But I think it’s go­ing to be a lit­tle bit­ter­sweet. Ob­vi­ously, we want Carl to be here with us and play­ing with us like he was for the last three years. But it’s go­ing to be fun see­ing him out there. Hope­fully, he doesn’t make too many plays against the guys, but we’re al­ways happy for other guys’ suc­cess, es­pe­cially guys that have been here with the Ravens.”

Henry and Worm­ley said they were not reach­ing out to Davis this week, while Pierce said he an­tic­i­pated talk­ing to Davis. They all agreed they ex­pect Davis to share his knowl­edge of his for­mer em­ployer with his cur­rent em­ployer to gain a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, and coach John Har­baugh an­tic­i­pates a strong show­ing from Davis.

“He was a Raven. Once a Raven, al­ways a Raven,” Har­baugh said. “But I know he won’t be a Raven on Sun­day. He’s a guy we have a lot of re­spect for as a player, and we ex­pect to get his best game out here on Sun­day.”

LYNNE SLADKY/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

De­fen­sive tackle Carl Davis, tack­ling Dol­phins run­ning back Buddy How­ell in a pre­sea­son game in Au­gust, spent his first three sea­sons in the NFL with the Ravens.

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