Feature story on Davone Bess from the Dolphins’ website

MD = MiamiDolphins.com, the official website for the Miami Dolphins.

Asked how unreal it is for him to be starting for an NFL team as a rookie free agent, Bess said:
“I wouldn’t say unreal because I believe hard work pays off and everything happens for a reason. I would say I’m very fulfilled right now, but at the same time I’m kind of surprised it came this early. That was my goal, to eventually become a starter and eventually try to be a key guy and a key part of the offense. I would say I was kind of surprised but happy at the same time it came so early. It’s too bad that it had to happen the way it did because Camarillo helped me out a lot.” (MD)

Asked what was his mind-set coming into training camp, Bess said:
“First and foremost it was to make the team. I told myself I wanted to come in and work as hard as possible and become, I wouldn’t say No. 1, 2 or 3, but I wanted to be one of the main guys in the rotation and be able to be a playmaker for the Dolphins.” (MD)

Asked at what point did he realize that he was likely going to make the team, Bess said:
“I think I felt a little more at ease probably in the New Orleans Saints preseason game (the last preseason game) because I had some pretty good returns. I just felt like my whole performance and everything I’d done and everything I had learned through our whole training camp all came together around that time.” (MD)

Asked how big of an advantage he got by playing at Hawaii, which threw the ball so often, and how much help it was having Colt as his QB, Bess said:
“It helped me so much. A lot of people say that’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t get drafted because of the system I was in, but I think that system helped me more than anything. It taught me how to read coverages. It taught me how to find open, soft zones and get in and out of my breaks real quick. It taught me everything that you need to know to be a receiver on this level. And having Colt helped a lot, especially knowing how in sync we were and how accurate he was.” (MD)

Asked how fortunate he feels that he got a second chance at Hawaii and made the most of it, Bess said:
“I’m very fortunate. First and foremost, I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason and God has been so good to me and I just feel like without me being a believer, and then Hawaii and just the state itself and Coach (June) Jones and the whole coaching staff at Hawaii giving me a second chance, none of this would be possible. So I’m a true believer that all of those steps happened for a reason – for me to go through that, for me to need Coach Jones, for me to go to Hawaii and then for me not to get drafted and then to end up here, I just feel like it all happened for a reason. Everybody deserves a second chance. Sometimes people are put in situations where they just have to deal with the consequences, just like myself, so I would say perseverance is the perfect word to describe it.” (MD)

Asked how he views his potential as a role model for teenagers who get themselves in trouble, Bess said:
“Every time I go back to Hawaii or even back to my hometown in California I always go to local juvenile detention facilities or juvenile halls, whatever the case may be, and talk to the kids. I go up to them and just let them know that, “Look at me. I’m a physical example of hope and if I can do it, anybody can do it, especially with what I’ve been through. Just don’t take life for granted. It can be gone so quick.” Me, I thought I was on top of the world. I graduated from high school and was going to college and, bam, it ended in 2.3 seconds. Wrong place, wrong time.” (MD)

Asked about his work ethic, as he used to show up before the break of dawn at Hawaii to catch balls, from the ball machine, Bess said:
“After I got out of my situation and right after I graduated from high school I told myself if I were to get another opportunity I’m going to make the most of it. I felt like that was a way of solidifying myself a spot on the Hawaii team and just making myself better as a player because not only did I get better from it, other people got better from it from coming out with me. Even though I’m here, they’re doing the same thing right now, so it’s something I kind of left behind and something I’m kind of happy about.” (MD)

Asked what he thinks has allowed him to succeed despite his lack of great size or speed, Bess said:
“My work ethic. All the things that run against me I’m pretty much using to my advantage and that’s my size and quickness and hands. I’ve got to have every other intangible to make up for the size and speed. In any game, size and speed isn’t everything. Obviously it helps, but at the same time it’s not everything.” (MD)

Asked what was the biggest adjustment he’s had to make going from college to the pros, Bess said:
“I would say probably the preparation and how intense it is getting ready for another team. In college it wasn’t this much into detail, and how much you study.” (MD)

Asked what is the one thing he wants people to say about him when they watch him play, Bess said:
“He plays every down like it’s his last. He doesn’t take a play for granted.” (MD)

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