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Vernon Davis: It’s been a tough season

San Francisco 49ers v New England Patriots Getty Images

In the Divisional Round of last year’s playoffs, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis had seven catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 14 seconds left to play.

Things haven’t been quite so robust in the passing game for Davis this season. In his last seven games, Davis has six catches for 61 yards and no scores. The sluggish production is right in line with what’s been happening on offense in San Francisco since Colin Kaepernick took over at quarterback and Davis admitted Tuesday that it’s been difficult to adjust to a lower profile role as a receiver.

“It is a different feeling for me because it’s been a tough season as far as just the feeling of being involved,” said Davis, via the Associated Press. “To me, it’s not a bad thing, because it’s something I had to get used to this year. Each and every season in the past, I’m used to helping the team in ways where I’m just catching balls and things like that. This year’s been a little bit different. It just feels different going into these playoffs, as far as my role and things like that. It’s not a bad thing, I’m not mad at it. That’s just how it is sometimes. It takes a little getting used to.”

Davis pointed out earlier in the season that he and Kaepernick have to develop chemistry, but he hasn’t made a stink about the impact changes to the 49ers offense have had on his own output. If they don’t win this weekend with Davis playing the same limited role, however, it’s a good bet someone in the Bay Area will make a stink about his lack of touches.

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31 Responses to “Vernon Davis: It’s been a tough season”
  1. pencilmonkeymagic says: Jan 9, 2013 8:49 AM

    It’s an absolute crime that the best player on their team is being left to rot.

  2. elmaxoh says: Jan 9, 2013 8:54 AM

    Kaepernick can’t use a great TE like him

  3. johnnyjagfan says: Jan 9, 2013 9:15 AM

    He ought to keep quiet until the season is over. Can’t believe I’m saying this but he ought to take a cue from Moss.

  4. keepingitrealdumb says: Jan 9, 2013 9:21 AM

    i think this proves that football is indeed a team sport. davis was great because alex smith was looking for him all the time, and he made alex smith look good. now that kap is in there .. he looks for crabtree and davis doesn’t look good.

    no player is standalone .. you need teammates to complement each other’s play. put alex smith back in and davis will have an offensive impact again.

  5. elliottcovert says: Jan 9, 2013 9:25 AM

    I feel bad for Vernon Davis. His through-the-roof talent level kind of went to waste for the first couple of years of his career with inconsistent QB play from Alex Smith. Now, just as Smith was beginning to come into his own and just as VD was starting to put up killer numbers, there’s an abrupt change at QB and he’s back to putting up less than stellar numbers.

    I can only imagine what he could have done on a team with more offensive stability.

  6. theysone says: Jan 9, 2013 9:30 AM

    The following offensive players have had a significant drop off in production since Alex Smith was benched for getting a concussion: Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, and the guy Jim Harbaugh called the bell cow of the offense, Frank Gore. The only player who’s production has gone up (and only slightly, at that) is Michael Crabtree.

    Look it up. I’m not making this up. The offense is worse as a whole with Kaepernick in at qb.

  7. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Jan 9, 2013 9:34 AM

    That insane QB change is going to cost them now and in the long run.

  8. getweird4u says: Jan 9, 2013 9:38 AM

    Jim Harbaugh is crazy….. no really he is talk to him sometime

  9. 49erdynasty says: Jan 9, 2013 10:05 AM

    I’m wondering how many of the above commentators have watched VD play?

    -The guy short arms most passes thrown his way.
    – He often jumps for passes that he doesn’t need to jump for.
    – When he does catch the ball, instead of using his size and running through people… he will try to juke the entire defense.
    – Very rarely does he attempt to lay out or jump for the deep balls that are put in a place that only he can catch.

    While the guy clearly is gifted from an athletic standpoint, there’s far more to being a good football player than athletic skills alone.

    That being said, I still support the guy and hope he and Kaep can make it through their recent struggles.

  10. waxthat says: Jan 9, 2013 10:09 AM

    Anyone who says Alex is better than Colin does not watch the games.

    VD will come up big in the playoffs

  11. hooahitsnotatomthing says: Jan 9, 2013 10:21 AM

    Come to Chicago, Davis. We have a tight end that couldn’t catch the Flu in an Emergency Room.

  12. cosanostra71 says: Jan 9, 2013 10:22 AM

    Obviously VD isn’t going to have as much production with Kaep… He doesn’t check down as much as Smih.

  13. annes22 says: Jan 9, 2013 10:28 AM

    After this weekend he won’t have to worry because the 49ers won’t be relevant anymore. If their field
    is as bad as everyone says, there will be more injuries like last weekend on that “cow field” in Washington.

  14. whatjusthapped says: Jan 9, 2013 10:30 AM

    Dissension right before your QB’s first playoff game, ya, that’s teamwork.

  15. mmsierra says: Jan 9, 2013 10:44 AM

    It limits our offense when Kap doesn’t look to all his receivers
    Davis and Moss must be utilized more as receivers
    To say nothing of Grank Gore and LaMichael James
    Hopefully, Harbaugh will recognize this during the playoffs and in the future
    Actually, Kap has not been as effective as Alex

    Good Luck on your new team, Alex

  16. hopper15 says: Jan 9, 2013 10:46 AM

    Crabtree has way better hands than Vernon Davis. It’s for the best that Crabtree is the focal point of their passing attack.

  17. bigbluecrew420 says: Jan 9, 2013 11:02 AM

    Vernon Davis, quite possibly the worst teamate on the planet. Extremely selfish.
    Glad he’s not in my team

  18. hart089 says: Jan 9, 2013 11:04 AM

    Ironic how no other 49ers are complaining about their roles on the team. Going to laugh when a VD strong game plan comes through for us in the playoffs because Harbaugh manupliated the media yet again. Go Niner

  19. hart089 says: Jan 9, 2013 11:04 AM

    Ironic how no other 49ers are complaining about their roles on the team. Going to laugh when a VD strong game plan comes through for us in the playoffs because Harbaugh manupliated the media yet again. Go Niners

  20. 49erstim says: Jan 9, 2013 11:11 AM

    There is definitely room for VD to get more looks in this offense. SF has not done a great job opening this thing up. Too many gadget plays.

  21. brenenostler says: Jan 9, 2013 11:20 AM

    Vernon still thinks Colin is “the man.”

  22. aces79 says: Jan 9, 2013 11:21 AM

    it’s a team game not one player thats why its called the westcoast offence

  23. mikeinsanfran says: Jan 9, 2013 11:54 AM

    Facts:

    1. Davis had his most productive game of the season with Kaep at the helm (Chicago).
    2. Davis was also NOT getting the ball when Alex Smith was QB.
    3. Jacksonville – We can thank Greg Roman for that. Enjoy him.

  24. realninerfan22 says: Jan 9, 2013 12:04 PM

    Vernon is the Calvin johnson of TE. The sides, speed, and strength. Teams dont double crabs they double Vernon. Vernon numbers the last 2 years have gone down under harbaugh, and that’s a fact. Its funny all these so called niner fans talkin bad about Alex and Vernon smh… If it wasnt for Alex and Vernon making all those big plays last year in the postseason niners wouldn’t have gone as far as they did. Kap limits the offense, he done overtrew Vernon 3 or 4 times wide open, kap done got Vernon killed twice with late trows across the middle of the field. Just up until last year crabs was a bust and a diva and now he’s great. Fickle ass fans smh….

  25. paythevig says: Jan 9, 2013 12:06 PM

    The Tape Factor… VD’s always had the talent, and finally reached his potential (thanks Singleterry); but he’s been the only recieving option for the niners in recent years. Majority of his success came from 8-12 yard pass plays and the occassional seam route that’s friendlier to Alex Smith’s skill set and comfort level. The niner’s still are fairly balanced and his efforts in the running game don’t show up on the stat sheet, and sure as hell doesn’t get him into the pro-bowl. He’s had his opportunities as well and didn’t take full advantage of them.. with Kaep under center, the offense opens up a lot more than just running between the tackles and dump offs to the tight ends. They’ve become more dynamic and it shows on the field. In last years NFCCG, our WR’s combined had 1 catch for 3 yards. While Davis went for 100+ and 2 TD’s.

    We’re not as TE friendly as last year, but even Delanie Walker (2nd TE) is getting his looks and has found paydirt.

    Vernon’s lack of production has been a combined factor of being game planned against and having a more diversified offense.

    I’d rather opposing defenses start to take focus off of him so that he can light it up in the playoffs. Time and time again the media asks Kaep about his chemistry with Crabtree. Simple response – He’s Open.. not rocket science here. When VD get’s open, he’ll have his chances.

  26. realninerfan22 says: Jan 9, 2013 12:48 PM

    The passing game hasn’t got any better. Alex was hitng crabs aswell. Crabs have been ballin all year long. Kap was suppose to make the offense better but he hasn’t at all. Teams like GB, saints,pats,dallas. They have way better weapons with then the niners and they still get the ball to their TE, just look at those TE stats. Get Vernon the dam ball. If those other teams could get their TE the ball why can’t the niners do it? I thought harbaugh was suppose to upgrade the offense, he hasn’t. 2 years under jimmy raye Vernon numbers were way better, even broke the TE record for tds until gronk broke it last year. 2 years under Roman his numbers have gotten worse

  27. blabidibla says: Jan 9, 2013 1:18 PM

    Kaep doesn’t look to throw to TE’s. It’s a long throw or he runs it his damn self. Too many turnovers and wasted timeouts.

    Let’s hope the good Kaepernick shows up this week.

  28. selbyrj82 says: Jan 9, 2013 1:56 PM

    The debate here should not be about Kap vs Smith. That’s a separate discussion. The fact is, VD’s stock going into this year as an elite pass catching TE was pretty high. Following the first few weeks of the season, it was even higher. It’s not as if this guy has been struggling, dropping passes, causing picks to be thrown due to poor route running…he’s just flat out not been targeted since mid-season. It’s an enormous mystery to me considering the first 4 games of the season, he looked like he was their guy. Then he cooled off (With Smith at the helm) and then had his best game in weeks when Kapernick made his first start vs. the Saints; he’s been non-existent since then. I personally absolutely agree it’s a waste to not even look in his direction. There are a lot of NFL teams who would probably love to take a chance on VD to help them get over a hump on offense due in part to a void at TE. VD also seems to be a relatively stand-up guy. It’s all a mystery to me.

  29. jibberator says: Jan 9, 2013 2:17 PM

    Except davis has not been involved as much ALL season. Even when Alex was playing he had simmilar production numbers. Defenses are making him a priority simple as that.

  30. jt38 says: Jan 9, 2013 2:40 PM

    Uh, if the QB has TD chemistry already working with his #1 wideout, why would he throw to the TE that’s not open? duh!

  31. ngbradley says: Jan 9, 2013 2:58 PM

    @blabidibla

    “Kaep doesn’t look to throw to TE’s. It’s a long throw or he runs it his damn self. Too many turnovers and wasted timeouts.

    Let’s hope the good Kaepernick shows up this week.”

    ————————————————

    Except he has a perfect QB Rating to the other TE!

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