2014 DRAFT GUIDE
49ers TE Davis sees himself as 'piece of puzzle'

    2013-07-28 18:22

(Eds: Adds byline. With AP Photos.)
By JOE STIGLICH
Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Vernon Davis refers to himself as ``just a piece of the puzzle'' when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers' offense.

Reality suggests he's selling himself a bit short.

With leading receiver Michael Crabtree sidelined at least until November due to a torn Achilles tendon, all signs point toward the eighth-year tight end becoming a primary target for quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Perhaps that's why Davis has spent some of training camp lining up at wide receiver.

His speed and athleticism make him a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators, and it makes sense for the 49ers to get creative in finding ways to get him the ball.

``I'm willing to step up and do whatever they ask me to do,'' Davis said Sunday. ``They've been having me line up at wide receiver, pretty much all over the place. It's a good thing that I get the opportunity to work with those guys because it not only helps me at the wide receiver position, it also helps me at the tight end position. My feet get quicker, my route-running is better.''

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh did not address the prospect of Davis playing receiver, but he said he likes what he's seen from his tight end so far in camp.

``I see a lot of improvement, in his ability as a football player, his route-running,'' Harbaugh said. ``He looks really good, in the prime of his career.''

Davis' 2012 regular season stats - 41 catches, 548 yards, five touchdowns - were disappointing compared to past seasons. But he busted out under the spotlight of the postseason.

Davis had five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown in the NFC championship game win at Atlanta. He hauled in six catches for 104 yards in a losing effort against Baltimore in the Super Bowl.

The difference, he said, was the chemistry he began developing with Kaepernick, who took the quarterback job from Alex Smith with six games left in the regular season.

Davis, 29, talked openly last season about him and Kaepernick not being on the same page in games.

What changed in the playoffs?

``Experience,'' Davis explained simply. ``You saw Colin developing into a great quarterback, and you saw the rest of the guys, including myself, following him and figuring him out. Getting the timing down, just figuring him out as a person and a quarterback.''

With Crabtree out, it stands to reason that opponents will key on stopping Davis. That's why it's important for new No. 1 receiver Anquan Boldin and whoever starts opposite him to develop as threats in the passing game.

But perhaps Davis himself will split out wide on occasion.

He said he played some receiver in high school and hoped to play there once he got to the University of Maryland, but his head coach said, ``You'll be too big,'' Davis remembers.

``I actually did get bigger. I got up to 248 pounds, and by the time I left Maryland, I was 255.''

Davis, who is 6-foot-3, says his weight has remained 245 for the past four years. He's faster than most NFL tight ends, and he doesn't think playing receiver would be a huge adjustment.

``I mean, it's just like tight end,'' he said. ``You're just running routes.''

And if playing out of position on occasion is what it takes to get the 49ers over the hump to win a Super Bowl, Davis says he's all for it. He took inspiration from Atlanta Falcons star tight end Tony Gonzalez's decision to postpone retirement and come back for another season at age 37.

``This is a guy who has nothing to prove,'' Davis said. ``He's already (deserving) of the Hall of Fame, he's broken all the records. This tells me how important it is to him to get a ring.

``I don't play for the Pro Bowl, I don't play for statistics. Maybe in my younger days I played for statistics. It's all about that ring.''

Notes: Harbaugh said he sympathized with Tarell Brown after learning the cornerback lost out on $2 million, and that he believes ``there's a solution there.'' Harbaugh said team officials - not just Brown's agent - were not aware of the contract clause that obligated Brown to attend voluntary offseason workouts to receive all of his money. ``Unfortunately, nobody caught it,'' Harbaugh said. ``That's real torpedo that nobody really wanted to see happen. Now let's get the solution and solve the problem.'' The coach added that he'd like to be involved in discussions to help remedy the situation, but did not get into specifics.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

Manti Te'oOct 23 07:02p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Steve Williams, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Brandon Flowers, RB Donald Brown, LB Manti Te'o, LBs Jeremiah Attaochu and Cordarro Law inactive for Week 8.

Perry RileyOct 23 05:49p

Washington Redskins LB Perry Riley (knee) will start as soon as he is healthy enough to do so, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

John SullivanOct 23 05:46p

Minnesota Vikings C John Sullivan (concussion) is still in the testing phase to be cleared for a concussion, but he has not been cleared to this point. Head coach [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 23 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (bicep) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps), [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 23 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 23 05:42p

Chicago Bears DE Jared Allen (rest), S Danny McCray (knee) and WR Chris Williams (illness) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LBs Lance Briggs (ribs), Jonathan Bostic (back), CB [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 23 05:42p

Tennessee Titans LB Quentin Groves (ankle) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Ropati Pitoitua (hand) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) were limited.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 05:34p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has been named the starting quarterback for Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Jake Locker will serve as the backup quarterback.

Sharrif FloydOct 23 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia) and S Antone Exum (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring), C John Sullivan (concussion), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 23 05:32p

New York Jets OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 23 05:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), FS Dashon Goldson (ankle) and CB Keith Tandy [ More ]

Daryl SmithOct 23 05:22p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) and LB Daryl Smith (non-injury) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Colt McCoyOct 23 05:22p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy will start Week 8, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Josh McCownOct 23 05:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Brandon ThompsonOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth (rest) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OG Clint Boling (rest) and CB Leon Hall (back) were limited, while TE Kevin Brock (neck), LB [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) sat out of practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 23.

Morgan BurnettOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers S Morgan Burnett (calf) and CB Sam Shields (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Datone Jones (ankle) was limited.

James StarksOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, after not practicing Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Thomas DavisOct 23 04:33p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), OG Nate Chandler (thigh), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner (knee) and RB Fozzy [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 23 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber (ankle) and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 23 04:22p

New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas (ribs, shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 04:22p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unlikely to be ready to play Monday, Oct. 27, against the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said [ More ]

Mario WilliamsOct 23 04:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. WR Marcus Easley (knee) and FS Aaron Williams (neck) were [ More ]

Rashad JohnsonOct 23 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson (knee) underwent an MRI exam on his patellar tendon Monday, Oct. 20, that came back negative. Head coach Bruce Arians said Johnson is dealing with some tendonitis.

Jack CrawfordOct 23 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Jack Crawford (calf), OT Doug Free (foot) and S Jakar Hamilton (non-injury) all did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Bruce Carter (thigh) and DE Anthony [ More ]

Alan BallOct 23 04:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (biceps) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and is considered highly unlikely to play in Week 8, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Toby GerhartOct 23 03:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will start at running back in Week 8 even if RB Toby Gerhart (foot) is active, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Gerhart will [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

John BoyettOct 23 03:32p

The Denver Broncos released FS John Boyett from their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 23.

Gosder CherilusOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden (rest) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Jack Doyle (knee) was limited during practice, while CB Darius Butler (ankle), OT Gosder [ More ]

Brice ButlerOct 23 03:22p

Oakland Raiders WR Brice Butler could receive more playing time moving forward after making a big play in each of the last two weeks. Butler said he has not [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group