The Saints, And Specifically Demario Davis, Have Adopted 'The Mamba Mentality' In Shooting To The Top Of The NFL
USAToday- As the pregame clock ticks down from hours to minutes, Demario Davis always begins praying for forgiveness.
He envisions every scenario that could possibly present itself in any given contest. And the New Orleans Saints linebacker knows how he must respond. He knows the violent nature with which he must attack and the pain that he is expected to inflict. So before Davis can adapt the necessary mindset, he first pre-atones.
“It’s a lot of focus,” the 6-2, 248-pound seventh-year veteran tells USA TODAY Sports. “For me, it’s like, I have to ask for forgiveness for what I’m about to do on the field, and then when I’m coming off the field, I’m asking forgiveness for what I just did on the field, because you have to go to a killer mentality. Mamba Mentality.”
That’s right. Mamba, as in Kobe Bryant. The retired Lakers great has long fascinated Davis. He watches every interview Bryant gives, watches his "Detail" film breakdowns for ESPN, and bought his book “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play” hoping to glean insight on how to raise his level of play.
“I remember reading about why he had to create that Mamba Mentality and I try to bring that to my game because it’s like, ‘I’m Demario off the field, but I’m Magic on the field.’ Just like he’s Kobe off the court, but on the court, he’s Mamba. You can’t be that nice guy on the field. You’ve got to have that switch. For me, it’s a mental process. It’s a psych, to go to another place.”
"Mamba Mentality,” he said again. “You’ve got to play that one in front of you. … The biggest point Kobe talks about is, win or lose, your process has to be the same. If you win, gotta go and make your corrections and keep balling. If we lose, we go in and make corrections, come back stronger the next week. Mamba Mentality. It’s like, what’s your goal — your end goal? Our goal isn’t to win all our regular-season games. We have a bigger goal, the ultimate end goal.”
Welp, seeing as there is no bigger discrepancy between two philosophical mindsets than 'The Mamba Mentality' and 'Choppa Style', I don't think the phrase "get you a man that can do both" has ever truly applied more...
I'd imagine the only time Kobe Bryant ever moved his knees like that after a game was when they were falling apart with age, so while Demario Davis definitely has the quick strike ability of a venomous serpent, his personality definitely has a lot more versatility than that of his muse.
Honestly, that as much as anything has made him such a welcomed fit in the middle of a defense that's long lacked a player with his combination of physicality, leadership, and charisma. I hardly think he's the only guy that makes it a point to embrace the ruthless competitor inside himself when stepping within the unfriendly confines of the gridiron, but there's a hell of a lot of Lakers' players over the years that wish forgiveness and fun were also staples of 'The Mamba Mentality'.
That "other place" that Demario Davis goes to is back down-to-earth to join his dancing teammates as a relentless rug-cutter, an active activist, and a community leader, and I'm pretty sure it's a place that it took Kobe Bryant until retirement to fully find. There's a reason that he's been the most impactful addition the Saints have made via free agency over the years, and it's only partially because he's a fast, athletic, and versatile player who just flat-out fixed a suspect run defense by bringing the pain and punishment to the heart of it (despite being criminally robbed of a Pro Bowl bid)...
It's also because he's an incredibly selfless and likable person that fits seamlessly within an incredibly selfless and likable locker room whose team-first attitude, both on and off the field, is something that - well - never really materialized within the Mamba or his mentality.