The Packers' fastest man: Trevor Davis' game needs to catch up to his speed

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Try to think of more than one play Trevor Davis made last season.

As a rookie receiver, Davis caught one touchdown pass – a 9-yarder from a scrambling Aaron Rodgers on Oct. 30 against the Atlanta Falcons that was notable because he was one of three receivers to catch their first career regular-season touchdown pass in that game (Geronimo Allison and Jeff Janis were the others).

Outside of that one game, which included all three of his receptions last season, there wasn’t much else.

The Green Bay Packers think that may be about to change.

“I think he’s going to have a really big August for us, and he’ll be one of those guys that are going to show up,” receivers coach Luke Getsy said. “And he’s shown that this spring. He’s made a ton of really, really impressive catches, and assignment wise he’s been so much better, so I’m excited to see him grow in August.”

Davis is one of the fastest players on the Packers’ roster, if not the fastest. When asked who the fastest man on the Packers’ roster was, an NFL scout picked Davis. But he rarely showed off the 4.42-second 40-yard dash speed as a rookie.

“You can’t utilize it when you’re thinking too much,” Davis said of his speed.

The Packers even tried to take advantage of that speed on special teams, but after he fumbled a punt return and dropped a pass in the Nov. 13 game against the Tennessee Titans, Davis rarely saw the field. He was either a healthy inactive or dressed but did not play in four straight games in December.

This offseason, Davis not only worked out harder than ever – bulking up to 193 pounds, a five-pound increase over his rookie playing weight – but also threw himself into the playbook, which he said is far more complex than his college offense at Cal.

“Last year was difficult for me because I was learning the playbook – I mean it’s difficult for everyone who comes in here – and you’re focusing more on the plays than anything else,” Davis said. “You want to run the right thing rather knowing why you’re running it, how to run it against the type of technique you’re running it against. Now I can think about those things and go into camp really knowing the offense better and just being able to make the right decisions.”

The receiver spot is chock-full once again this season, so Davis will have to stand out to make the cut. He can't just rely on being a fifth-round draft pick with too much potential to cut like he was last year, when he was one of seven receivers to make the roster coming out of training camp. There’s the possibility that seven could stick again, but there’s new competition with a pair of draft picks (DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre). Among the young receivers, Dupre stood out the most in the offseason program.

“He’s made big improvements this offseason, both in his approach and in how fast he’s picked up on things,” Getsy said of Davis. “You’ve got to remember he’s a guy who played in that college system where he had to run a slant, he had to run a post and he had to catch a bubble. The mentality part that he had to pick up on, he had a long way to go, and I think he did a great job of slowly coming along, and I think this spring his confidence level is much higher. I’m excited for Trevor.”