While saying that the Buffalo Bills would keep their options open, linebacker Andra Davis does not expect to be back in 2012. He also made it clear he has no plans to hang up his spikes and retire either.
In a conversation with ESPN reporter Josina Anderson, the 33-year old said the Bills had good things to say in his exit interview after the season ended, and then offered up an interesting tidbit at the end of his quote.
“I definitely don’t plan on retiring, at least not by choice,” Davis told Anderson. ”I was questioning whether or not to play anymore after I hardly played after week 6. But the good news is I feel more rested now, and I feel like I still have a lot to offer. In my exit interview they told me they appreciated the way I handled things and that their options are still open, but I think they like smaller linebackers now.”
Davis began the 2011 season starting at inside linebacker but gave way after six weeks to third-round Kelvin Sheppard. While many veterans would consider such a demotion a slap in the face, Davis handled things professionally and in fact, Sheppard often credits with him for being a positive influence in his life on and off the field and an incredible teacher.
“He’s one of the classiest and smartest guys I’ve ever met in my life,” Sheppard told me last month. “I can’t begin to explain how much I’ve learned from him and with the lockout and a short camp, he’s been even more important to me. All class right there.”
In 22 games with the Bills over two seasons, Davis racked up 51 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. He missed the last 10 games of 2010 with a season-ending shoulder injury.
While many anticipated his Bills career being over– he’s no longer a start and doesn’t play special teams, it’s interested that he said the Bills like smaller linebackers now. Shawne Merriman likely enters training camp starting at linebacker alongside Sheppard and Nick Barnett, but Buddy Nix is sure to find a better “Plan B” this time around whether it’s the draft of free agency.
Seems like that linebacker may be of the smaller variety.