In Basement Lions Den, Jarrad Davis Took 'Life Into My Own Hands'

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Hey, did you work out during quarantine? 

Did you add 20 pounds of muscle? Did you drop your body fat below 10 percent? Did you increase your bench press by 75 pounds? Did you push yourself to the point of exhaustion every single day for 20 weeks? 

You didn't? That's lame. 

Maybe you don't have an NFL career on the line. Jarrad Davis doesn't have such job security heading into his fourth season with the Lions. 

"I worked out for about 20 weeks and I took maybe two weeks off," Davis told reporters Tuesday with the Lions starting training camp. "I ate super clean and I just pushed my body to a limit that it hasn’t been ever, really. My body’s never felt this good." 

It's certainly never looked this good. Through an intense training regimen designed by Michigan Elite Conditioning for Athletes, Davis replaced 'a lot of fat' with a lot of muscle. He's weighing in at 245 lbs. after starting the offseason at about 225. 

"Took a lot of two-a-days, a lot of hard work, a lot of pushing myself to the point where I wanted to quit almost every single day," Davis said. "Just being resilient and mentally sharp and just having the ability to push through the workouts, that mindset is going to help me stay focused and learn how to be locked-in in pressure situations this season.

"So yeah, I made a physical transformation, but I feel like I’m mentally better than I’ve ever been in my entire life." 

To stick to his workout plan during quarantine, Davis set up a make-shift gym in his basement. He trained down there twice a day with fellow LB Christian Jones, and they dubbed it the Lions Den thanks to a picture of a 'big old Lion' that Davis hung on the hall. 

"I just put it there as a little bit of motivation. It's just a really cool picture," Davis said. "Got us a little squat rack, a little bench, some dumbbells and a couple hundred pounds of weights and we just went in there and went to work every single day. To still have a place to really push yourself to the limit and not fall victim to the circumstances around us, it was awesome." 

Both Davis and Jones have something to prove in 2020, Davis in particular. The 2016 first-round pick hasn't met expectations in Detroit and the Lions declined his fifth-year option this offseason. They've also sunk considerable resources into other players at his position. If Davis' play doesn't improve this year, the club will likely move on. 

Davis knows this, whether he acknowledges it or not. So when the offseason was thrown out of whack, he knew had no choice but to adapt. He said it became his 'calling' to maximize every day -- starting each morning with steak (or chicken) and eggs for breakfast. 

"With the way things played out, I had to make a decision to say, OK, I’m either going to fall victim to this and be like, 'Man, I can only do so much' or I’m gonna take life into my own hands and manipulate my situation and make the best out of it. And I did that every single day," Davis said.

He added, "Some days were harder than others, but just getting up and answering the bell every single day was my calling. I just made it my move every day."

The results are evident. Now it's up to Davis to answer the bell on the field.