NASHVILLE – Nate Davis arrived with the Titans in 2019, a third-round draft pick from Charlotte just trying to fit in.
Now, heading into his fourth NFL season, he can hardly believe all the changes around him.
And, it includes himself.
"I was actually thinking about that last night," Davis said on the eve of the team's recent minicamp. "It's night and day. I was kind of wide-eyed (as a rookie), just trying to figure out my role, and figure out the city. There was a lot going on. But now it's more comfortable. I understand what I need to do for this team. I understand where I need to me, how to conduct myself off the field as well as on the field. So, I would say a big difference."
But, make no mistake, Davis is still the same perfectionist as he was back then, before he'd played a game in the league.
Davis has played in 43 games for the Titans over the past three seasons, with 42 starts at right guard. He's also started all five of the team's playoff contests.
"I was always a perfectionist, that's going back to when I started playing football when I was seven years old," Davis said. "I am probably my worst critic. Being able to hone in on those little details (moving forward), should help me out a lot."
After starting all 16 games in 2020, Davis played in 14 of 17 games in 2021.
Davis said he battled COVID-19 twice in 2021, and it impacted him physically and mentally.
"Getting it twice, it affects you," Davis said. "Your conditioning, your strength, and even a little bit of your confidence."
Davis said he feels great now.
Offensive line coach Keith Carter said the key for Davis now is to develop consistency.
"Like everything in professional football, executing at a high level on a consistent basis (is key)," Carter said of Davis. "He's done that. I think he improved as the year went on last year. We can come up with a million excuses, but he missed camp because of injuries and everything else it took him a minute to get in his groove from a protection standpoint and I think he did, and I am hoping he can build from that.
"He works really hard to figure out how to get the most out of his body … and I think he (looks) big, strong and all of those things, and in condition."
In fact, Davis said he feels stronger and quicker than ever after adding a nutritionist and personal chef to help him with a strategic plan to get ready for the 2022 season.
"I have put a lot of emphasis on my diet, just researching things, and it's starting to pay off," said Davis, who is listed at 6-3, 316 pounds on the team's offseason roster. "I was able to keep my weight, while also adding muscle. I am excited. I feel great."
Heading into this fall, on a roster with spots to be won at left guard and right tackle following the departure of Rodger Saffold and David Quessenberry, respectively, Davis knows his mission at right guard alongside returning center Ben Jones.
"My job," Davis said, "is to be the best teammate, and best player possible for this team."