NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Charles Davis is excited about the future of the Tennessee Titans, and he's ready to be a part of it.
Davis, a star defensive back at the University of Tennessee (1983-86), has been hired as the team's analyst for broadcasts of preseason games in 2016. He'll work alongside Dan Hellie, who will serve as play-by-play man, for three games on WKRN (Channel 2) in Nashville.
"I am a Tennessean,'' Davis said. "I was born in East Tennessee. I may have moved to New York state with my family when I was two, but I came back to Tennessee to go to college. So I am going to be a Vol forever -- that is part of who I am and Tennessee is part of who I am as well.
"So that is what makes this even more exciting. I was fortunate enough to have other opportunities, but this felt like a place where they really wanted me and that made me feel pretty good. And hopefully they'll want to have me around for more than one season and I'll get a chance to grow with this team."
The Titans kick off the preseason on August 13 against the San Diego Chargers at Nissan Stadium. Davis and Hellie will call that game, in addition to the team's game vs. the Carolina Panthers (August 20) and the preseason finale at the Miami Dolphins on September 1. The third preseason game, at Oakland on August 27, is a nationally televised game that will be handled by the CBS crew.
Davis and Hellie are part an NFL trend which has seen national broadcasters call games for teams. Cory Curtis of WKRN's Channel 2 and former Titans running back Eddie George called preseason games for the team in recent seasons.
"Teams across the league have moved towards adding national NFL voices for their preseason games as a way of replicating what our fans see on a weekly basis during the regular season," said Stuart Spears, Titans Chief Revenue Officer. "This made even more sense this year as Eddie had a conflict for the final game, wanting to see his son play at Vanderbilt. As graduates of the University of Tennessee, both Dan and Charles understand the passion for football in our region and have a deep knowledge of the NFL. They both will be spending time in Nashville to get to know the team on a more personal level and we hope our fans will enjoy their insight during the broadcasts. I personally would like to thank Cory (Curtis) and Eddie (George) for their work on the broadcasts over many years. I look forward to Cory hosting Coach (Mike) Mularkey's television show this Fall and continuing our long-standing relationship with Eddie on a number of media projects."
Davis has served as an analyst for the NFL, college football, Arena League Football, basketball, baseball and golf for NFL Network, ESPN, CBS, NBC, FOX, The Golf Channel, TBS, TNT, and the Sun Sports Network during his career. He began working with FOX on NFL games in 2015, when he worked two regular season games involving the Titans. Davis serves as an analyst on Path to the Draft and for NFL Network's extensive NFL Scouting Combine and NFL Draft coverage.
As a four-year starting defensive back at Tennessee (1983-86), Davis helped lead the Volunteers to four straight bowl appearances and was a member of the Academic All-SEC Team.
Hellie joined the NFL Network in August 2013 as host of NFL Access. Prior to that he covered the NFL for 15 years, including as the Sports Director for the NBC owned station in Washington, D.C.
Hellie also graduated from the University of Tennessee. He was in the same college graduating class at Tennessee with Peyton Manning.
Davis said he's joining the Titans at an exciting time.
"I like where this team is headed, and the direction,'' Davis said. "I like the new GM (Jon Robinson), and I'm looking forward to watching Marcus Mariota continue to grow and develop. Being a small part of it in the preseason is good for me.
"Football is almost here, and everyone is excited. We're all jacked up – players, coaches, fans, media and the broadcasters. And calling the preseason is a different way of calling a game. It is much more conversational with you and your partner and talking to the people at home watching the games. The preseason is so much about 'What are the position battles? How much can a particular player improve from Year 1 to Year 2? Are they doing anything different from the previous year?' And if I am lucky enough to get the Titans during the regular season, then this will help me greatly."