The San Francisco 49ers will face off against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013. There’s a ton of storylines to follow in this epic matchup with the powerful and soon to be retired Ray Lewis, the Harbaugh brothers Jim and John facing off as head coaches of each team and many more. But one story that’s taken a backseat is that of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. Read more after the jump.
Davis’ transition throughout his career has been one to keep an eye on. Davis’ combination of size and speed has helped revolutionize the tight end position creating records and making him a key target for his quarterback Alex Smith and opposing defenses. Running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, Davis is a unique, rare gem but his career hasn’t always been glitter and gold.
When the 49ers switched starting quarterbacks from Alex Smith to breakout QB Colin Kaepernick, Davis saw a drop in his production. The two just didn’t seem to have a connection and Davis was no longer one of the top targets. Davis notes that he would have complained and been a “cancer to the team” but that is no longer his persona. His patience has paid off as he had five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown in the NFC championship game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Though he’s catching passes once again, Davis notes that blocking has become more important to him. “My blocking, I dominate guys in the blocking game which is rare for a tight end to normally do and I do that pretty well” Vernon stated in a recent interview with The Source. He also noted where this confidence came from. “I noticed it cause my coach pointed it out a few years ago. He said Vernon is one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL, I said well ok I can run with this I can do this, if that’s what he thinks then imma continue to do it the way I’m doing it.”
Whether it’s blocking or catching passes Vernon Davis has proven to be a vital asset to the 49ers roster. As the big day approaches and regardless of what happens, Davis has shown not only growth and maturity on the field but off it as well.