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Butch Davis on Nicks


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Just spoke with North Carolina coach Butch Davis, who didn’t have enough nice things to say about Hakeem Nicks. While a lot of people make comparisons between Nicks and Anquan Boldin or Larry Fitzgerald – Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross did just that yesterday – Davis chooses to compare Nicks to another big-bodied receiver: Michael Irvin.


Davis was on the staff at the University of Miami when Irvin played there and then went with him to the Cowboys beginning in 1989, so he has a lot of reference points involving Irvin.


“(Nicks) is a big, physical kid with the ability to run routes and the ability to catch the ball with bodies all over him,” Davis said. “In the NFL defenders will press you, jam you, and he has the ability to catch balls with people draped on him as well as the ability to push off. I’ve seen Michael do that for many years, just use a little elbow to get some separation and make the catch.”


Davis wasn’t quite ready to say that Nicks will have the same kind of Hall of Fame career as Irvin. “But in the door, there are an awful lot of similarities.”


Nicks, by the way, wore No. 88 in college. Same as Irvin wore in the NFL.


As for Nicks, Davis said in general, the bigger the game the better he played. Anyone who saw him in the Meineke Car Care Bowl game against West Virginia in December knows that. “His starpower doesn’t disappear in big games,” Davis said. “He’s determined to play well. He was our sole go-to guy for big plays here. For him to have the number of catches and touchdowns he had when defenses knew he’d be the target for us is remarkable.”


Davis also said Nicks’ hands are “phenomenal.” “Catching the football comes naturally and easily for him,” he said. And he said that Nicks should have no problem fitting into the Giants’ locker room (Davis is still close with U of M product Jeff Feagles, so he has a little inside dope on the Giants and their personalities).


The big question, though, is whether Nicks will require the same kind of double teams and attention from safeties that Plaxico Burress garnered. As a former defensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL, Davis is probably in a pretty good position to answer that one.


“I don’t know if he’ll require double teams,” Davis said, “but if he gets a lot of single coverages, I can tell you he’ll have a lot of catches.”


(AP photo)

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These rooks are gonna get little to zero respect from opposing defenses at first, which could work to our advantage. They disrespect the pass game, focus on our run game and Eli lights em up by hitting Nicks and Smith for numerous 1st downs. Then, with our big redzone target in Barden, we score at will on em. That'll make em respect our pass game, and then we are back where we started. ;)

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I can see it now......we're on the 8 yd line in the redzone and we lineup Barden to the right, Nicks to the left, put in Smith....and then throw Beckum into the mix....and of course, they have to be aware of Jacobs.


Man....I'd hate to figure out a defense to hold those boys down. I can't freakin wait for the season to begin. Great, great defense and now we have unlimited firepower on the offense. Wow!!

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