Saturday, September 11, 2010
A few more thoughts on Vernon Davis' deal
By Mike Sando
CHICAGO -- A few thoughts on Vernon Davis during a layover and after the San Francisco 49ers extended the tight end's contract through the 2015 season:
- Davis can do it all. He went to the Pro Bowl last season mainly because he caught 13 touchdown passes. Davis has caught passes thrown over the wrong shoulder. He has out muscled Pro Bowl-caliber players for the football, including the Arizona Cardinals' Adrian Wilson. He has used his speed to outrun defenders -- especially down the middle. I've also appreciated Davis' approach to blocking. In going through my notes over the past two seasons, I found examples of Davis containing or taking out Mathias Kiwanuka, Patrick Kerney, Chike Okeafor, Charles Grant, Will Smith, James Hall, Calvin Pace, Jacob Ford, David Harris and others. I recall him blocking the Chicago Bears' Nick Roach aggressively enough last season to injure the 250-pound inside linebacker. Those are the plays that can make Davis a dynamic all-around player.
- Davis doesn't always do it all. He seems to have lapses in awareness at times. My notes over the past couple seasons also include dropped passes, costly penalties, an instance when he failed to get out of bounds to stop the clock, missed blocks and potential failures to recognize blitzing defenders (resulting in pressure or incomplete passes when Davis failed to look back at the quarterback). Davis can become more consistent.
- Davis has good intentions. This is what makes the 49ers feel good about rewarding Davis. They can be confident he'll continue working at his craft. Naming Davis a team captain seemed to help Davis act more like one. The 49ers should expect this contract extension to promote more consistent play from Davis. He's been great at times, but not all the time. It's fair to hold him to a higher standard after this extension.
The laptop battery is about to expire. Catching a connecting flight to St. Louis here shortly. Enjoy your Saturday night.