NFC West: Paul Calvisi

The San Francisco 49ers' recently posted item on former defensive back Eric Davis joining the radio broadcast booth does not mention one detail.

Gary Plummer is out.

It's too early to say whether Davis will take on the team as strongly or frequently as Plummer did while in the role from 1998 through last season. If he does, I would expect him to do so with less volume and possibly upon further reflection.

Plummer wasn't afraid to level sharp criticism when he felt it was warranted, and it was warranted quite a bit over the last decade or so. He called Michael Crabtree and his advisers "morons" for refusing to accept the team's contract offer. When the defense struggled under former coach Mike Nolan, Plummer called for changes even while Nolan said there would be none.

Plummer's own experiences as a hard-nosed, undrafted linebacker defined his in-game commentary. He was emotional and wouldn't hesitate to criticize players for poor tackling, blown coverages or what he considered to be substandard effort. He would question coaches' strategies as well. At one point, I recall him saying the 49ers' defensive line got pushed around when it ran a 3-4.

Davis' credentials are strong. He was a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, once with the 49ers and again with Carolina. He played six of his 13 seasons with the 49ers and won a Super Bowl with the team following the 1994 season. He's done postgame analysis and preseason game commentary for 49ers TV broadcasts, in addition to other duties in the market.

Plummer was also part of that 1994 championship team. He spent four of his 12 seasons with the 49ers, retired following the 1997 season and transitioned to the radio booth in 1998. He commuted to games from San Diego, whereas Davis lives in the Bay Area.

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