It’s been one hell of a week for New England Patriots defensive tackle Davon Godchaux.
The 27-year-old tackle agreed to a two-year, $20.8 million contract extension with New England that includes $17.85 million guaranteed on the first day of training camp, setting him up for a hefty pay day and a solidified future in New England. One day after that, he received a compliment from Bill Belichick that would make the surliest man blush. Now, he’s feeling even more love. This time from defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington.
“We’re excited to have Davon on our football team,” Covington said, per video provided by the Patriots. “You know, for (defensive) lineman you might not know exactly what they do, or they might not get the recognition they should. He’s one of those guys that does a lot of things well for us that we love and we appreciate here in New England.
“So for us, we’re happy to have that and hopefully he can continue to play at a high level for us. And that’s why he got that big contract, so he can play big-time football for us.”
Covington’s words ring true as defensive tackles (Los Angeles Rams megastar Aaron Donald excluded) fail to garner the same level of notoriety as their peers. Part of the reason is because that position — specifically in New England — is designed to be fulfilled by players with unselfish attitudes who will improve the play of those around them.
“His ability to stop the run, his ability to defeat blockers and also his ability to push the pocket is one of the best in the league,” Covington said. “So for us, if he continues to do that, he’ll help us win some football games. Some people might not notice that — the guy defeating blockers — somebody might not notice him effecting the quarterback by pushing the pocket. But those are the little things he’s doing on a day-in and day-out basis, on a consistent basis that help our football team be in a good position to win.”
Godchaux was effective for New England in his first campaign, staying healthy following a lost final season in Miami. He played in all 17 games with 16 starts and finished with 65 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and five quarterback hits.
In year two — following the hefty extension — New England is hoping Godchaux can lead them to improved play against the run. The Patriots finished 10th in Football Outsiders? run defense DVOA last season but 25th in yards per carry. Improvements on the front lines should help a younger, faster linebacker corps contribute to the cause and help open things up on Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick’s defense.
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