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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
What changed with Vernon Davis

By Mike Sando

Mike Martz's hiring in Chicago is threatening tight end Greg Olsen's production.

49ers tight end Vernon Davis surely sends his condolences.

Davis faced lots of questions in 2009 about what he was doing differently. Davis was pretty consistent in his responses. The difference, basically, was that Davis was getting chances as a receiver. He had spent the 2008 season as a pass protector -- and a very good one -- while Martz tried to buy time for his downfield passing game.

Martz left and suddenly Davis reemerged as a receiving threat. He improved in that aspect, without question, but the increased opportunities were key. Let's throw out Davis' 2006 production because he was a rookie learning an NFL system for the first time, and he started only eight games. Davis caught 52 passes as a full-time starter in 2007, when Jim Hostler was coordinator. The figure fell to 31 with Martz before bouncing back last season.

The chart shows Davis' production by receptions by season and coordinator.