The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

49ers Hope Davis Can Channel His Emotions

From the San Francisco Chronicle

Red flags, flashing red lights, wailing sirens and gasps of "Uh, oh!" arose on Aug. 4 during a training camp scrimmage by the 49ers when tight end Vernon Davis foolishly engaged offensive teammate Larry Allen in a scuffle on the sideline. Davis was unhappy at the offense's failure to score a touchdown in a goal-line setting and voiced his displeasure. It is believed that Allen, the most impassive of souls, told him to pipe down. Wrangling ensued. Asked if he was surprised to be set upon by an offensive teammate, Allen smiled and said, "Not with Vernon."

Those who saw the outburst and its after-effects - the 49ers' team chaplain was enlisted to help soothe Davis - couldn't help but wonder if this was another Terrell Owens in the making, a man who went from "sir" to surly in record time. "We're two totally different players," Davis said at the time. "He's a totally different guy than I am, especially off the field. I'm going to play, show off when I catch the ball. When it comes down to team, I need these guys the most." From that point on, Davis had a quiet and uneventful training camp and preseason, save for the last exhibition game in San Diego on Aug. 30 when the tight end launched into what appeared to be an absurdly vainglorious celebration after catching a mere 11-yard pass.

Turns out Davis was imitating (he's big on that) the "Lights Out" sack dance of his former college teammate at Maryland, current Charger Shawne "Lights Out" Merriman. It was nothing more than good-natured needling, Davis said, no malice aforethought. Davis denied the incident with Allen led him to temper his emotions the remainder of training camp. He's just working hard, he said. The 49ers' most tempestuous player will be in evidence this season, perhaps as soon as Monday night at Candlestick in the opener against Arizona. "I'm not quiet," he said. "I'm just focusing. Me being loud will never change. It's about competing. I'm just focusing on what I got to do. I'm excited, man."

His rookie season got off to a great start a year ago on the road when Davis used his unusual tight end speed (4.4 seconds for 40 yards) to get behind the Arizona defense on a 31-yard touchdown reception, his first. The middle of his season was interrupted with a broken leg on Sept. 24 that kept him out of six games. "I just want to play a full game, a full season," he said.
As the No. 6 overall pick in the 2006 draft by the 49ers, the 6-foot-3, 253-pound Davis is not lacking in confidence and is a favorite in jock-themed commercials and muscle mags. His belief in his ability is absolute. With not much so far to back it up. His rookie season was limited to 10 games and eight starts. He averaged 13.3 yards per catch on 20 receptions and had three touchdowns. "Very bad - like bad," is how Davis described his desire to have a full and productive second season with the 49ers. "I just want to go out and make plays, as many as I can."

Coach Mike Nolan was indulgent of Davis' emotional outbursts because he saw them as a sign of competitiveness. Now that the season is here, he said he will judge Davis on his ability to contribute to the offense.

"Vernon has some rare physical talent," Nolan said. "He is very strong and explosive and can jump. It's about productivity in games. There are some guys who aren't as explosive as he is in the Hall of Fame. We're working on getting him to be productive."

New offensive coordinator Jim Hostler said there will be times when Davis is the first receiving option for Alex Smith and other times when he'll be asked to serve as a decoy so others can benefit, like wide receivers Arnaz Battle and Darrell Jackson. "We understand what he can do with the ball in his hands," Hostler said. "We've got to get Vernon involved. At times he'll be the primary guy. Vernon is going to be used as the No. 1 receiver, and he's going to be used to (help) get the ball down to other receivers." Davis did not look like a natural receiver as a rookie, even though he had 93 catches at Maryland. With the 49ers last year he looked a little stiff in his movements and coming out of his breaks. That may have been due to learning an NFL playbook. "Now I can go out and concentrate on other things instead of worrying about what route I got and how to run it," he said. "I can just run."

His ideal situation, Davis said, would be to "get the ball in open space. I love it. I'm thinking end zone. I don't think catch the ball and get tackled. I'm thinking end zone."New Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said he is well aware of what No. 85 can do on the field. In a conference call he said, "He does a good job blocking in-line, and you certainly notice his speed. You have to know where he is."It was suggested to Whisenhunt that Davis' emotional displays could be an advantage for the Cardinals in the form of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taunting. "I hope he does have a bunch of penalties," the rookie head coach said, laughing. "I've been around some excitable players in Pittsburgh, more notably Joey Porter. That can be a good thing. The fire he brings can be a good thing."

Red flags during training camp are one thing. The 49ers just don't want their tight end drawing yellow ones during games.

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