Davis defends Couch

Butch Davis gave quarterback Tim Couch a vote of confidence on Monday.

Couch didn't have one of his best days Sunday in a 30-7 loss to Green Bay. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 203 yards, but he was intercepted three times. Tyrone Williams returned one theft 69 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.

"He is that guy. There's no doubt in my mind," Davis said of Couc. "Six or seven of the same offensive players who started in the Super Bowl for the Cowboys were the same guys who went 1-15 (in 1989). There's an incubation period with an offense. You can't do it if you're rolodexing players in there."

For the season, Couch has thrown 18 interceptions compared to 14 touchdown passes. Davis doesn't think Couch's recent run of interceptions is entirely his fault.

"We went back and looked at film of Tim's last 18 interceptions," Davis said. "Of those, seven were his fault. It's tough when you're down 23-7 and trying to force the ball down the field. For him to grow, he has to make some throws and put the ball down field, but it makes it more difficult. I believe Tim is growing and becoming a better quarterback."

Davis had a conversation with Couch on the flight to Cleveland Sunday night. He's convinced that Couch will work through his problems and not be adversely affected by media and public criticism. "He clearly sees them as learning opportunities," Davis said. "What tricks him one time doesn't trick him (again). You look for trends, and then you get concerned.

"It's a tip one week, a batted down ball another week and getting hit in the mouth another week. Quarterbacks get an enormous amount of praise, and everyone wants to pat them on back. When he throws interceptions, they (critics) want to throw him into Lake Erie."

STEPPING UP: Davis sees no reason why running back Jamel White can't be an every-down back despite his size (5-foot-9 and 208 pounds).

"All the guys (backs) we have on the team are every-down backs," Davis said. "They're in the game because we think they can play first, second and third downs."

MUCH BETTER: The play of the revamped offensive line was better after a second week into the transition period.

"We played seven offensive linemen, and all seven played better than at any time in the last several weeks," Davis said. "Ross Verba was more comfortable (at left tackle), and it was the same thing for Shaun O'Hara (at left guard)."

MAKING STRIDES: Rookie receiver Andre King is becoming more a part of the offense each week. The seventh-round draft choice is 28-years-old, and his maturity was evident earlier in the season when he was rarely active.

"Andre has always been more mature at each level," said Davis, who recruited King to the University of Miami. "(Rookie receivers) Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss should give him a percentage of their contracts. He took them under his wings and taught them how to study. He's not a rookie by any stretch of the imagination. He realizes that these opportunities don't come around that often."

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