Maybe they would’ve made the same plays last summer as rookies, but Allison and Davis came better equipped to make them this year.
“I think Trevor’s definitely matured. And I think the biggest thing is you see it in the players that go from Year 1 to Year 2, and especially in Trevor’s case, where you have a huge adjustment just as far as the terminology and the language and the whole operation of playing in our offense compared to his college experience,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s very comfortable, he’s done a great job in the weight room. Geronimo and him have really taken that step physically that you look for in Year 2.”
Allison and Davis had very different rookie experiences. Allison, an undrafted free agent, started out on the practice squad but became a significant contributor late in the season. Davis, a fifth-round pick, saw his role decline after he caught his first -- and only -- touchdown pass in Week 8 at Atlanta. Two weeks later, he muffed a punt in a loss at Tennessee and barely played after that. He finished with just three catches for 24 yards.
“I would say I got down for a bit, just for a second,” Davis said. “Of course, you don’t like dropping a punt. You get mad when you drop a pass or whatever. I really put things behind me. You’re going to get another opportunity and you can’t be thinking about what happened on the last play. You have to put it behind you. It’s a hard thing to do. But that’s what I try to do.”
Despite the fumble, Davis is getting another shot at the punt-return job. He and Randall Cobb have shared the duties so far in camp.
Davis, who might be the fastest player on the Packers’ roster, set out to get bigger and stronger. He’s thicker across the upper body and said his weight is “in the 190s” after being in “the 180s” last year.
Allison, too, says he’s bigger and stronger than he was last year, when he became the Packers’ No. 4 receiver and caught 17 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games, including the playoffs. But his season debut will have to wait until Week 2 because of a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy following his marijuana arrest last year.
It’s a deep receiving corps behind Nelson, Adams and Cobb. Allison and Davis face competition from rookie draft picks DeAngelo Yancey (fifth round) and Malachi Dupre plus returning practice-squad member Max McCaffrey.
But among that group, Allison and Davis have stood out so far.
“I think they’re just more comfortable with our offense, more comfortable with their role and understanding the opportunities that they have and making the most of those,” Cobb said. “Those two guys I think are two of the brighter young guys that we have. They pick up on things really well, they understand our offense really well, and they work really hard in practice, and I think it shows.”