Ahead of his first season in a Falcons uniform, Mike Davis happy to be home

Illustration by Evan Koenigs | The Signal

In March, Atlanta native Mike Davis signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract ($3 million guaranteed) to return home and play for the Atlanta Falcons. 

Davis hasn’t played football in Atlanta since his days as a four-star recruit at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain. At Stephenson, Davis tallied 3,390 total yards and 34 total touchdowns in only three seasons for the Jaguars. 

Following the 2015 NFL Draft, where the San Francisco 49ers selected him in the fourth round, Davis’s path in the league has been a bumpy one. The running back has played on four different teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. 

In his first media presser with the Falcons, Davis expressed joy in coming home to play in front of his family. 

“It’s really amazing to be home. You can’t beat it. I have a lot of family here, so it’s really good to be here,” Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Outside of wanting to play for his home city, Davis also said Atlanta was the “best fit” for him, and he didn’t want to be too far from home. 

“Atlanta was basically the best fit, and to be honest, I didn’t want to go anywhere far from home,” Davis said. 

The most important thing with Davis’ decision to return home was to live out a dream his late father had of him playing for the Falcons. Back in 2019, Davis’ father, Mike Oliver, passed away due to a battle with prostate cancer. 

“If there’s anybody that would be the most excited, it would be him,” Davis said.

“If anybody wanted me to play for the Falcons, it would be my dad, and he would be going crazy right now,” Davis told the AJC. “I just wish he could see how far I came, and how everything went for me last year, and just playing for him, and he’ll just love it.” 

Last year, Davis saw an increase in opportunity playing for the Carolina Panthers due to All-Pro Christian McCaffrey’s high ankle sprain in Week 2. 

Davis started 12 games, finishing the season with career highs in carries, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns. Behind those career highs, he also eclipsed the 1,000 total scrimmage yards for the first time in his career. 

If Davis becomes the starter for the Falcons, he could mimic the success new head coach Arthur Smith had with last season’s rushing yards leader Derrick Henry. 

When asked about the role Smith has planned for him, Davis chuckled and said he doesn’t know yet. 

“We haven’t really talked about my role yet and what I’ll be doing, and actually, I don’t want to even say what my role would be yet,” Davis said. 

After finishing 27th in rushing yards per game last season, the Falcons will hope Davis can help revitalize their run game heading into the new season.