On Saturday, Vernon Davis received a record contract.
Twenty-four later, even before the opening kickoff, Davis received a strong indication that a bullseye will share space with the No. 85 on his jersey this season.
“(Seahawks safety Earl Thomas) came up to me before the game. He said ‘If we get you out of the game, Vernon, we’ve got a good chance to win,’” Davis said. “He told me that was part of the game plan.”
According to Seattle safety Lawyer Milloy, the Seahawks game plan involved taking away the run and Davis. After that, they were content to let the rest of the 49ers’ offensive cast attempt to beat them. Based on the outcome, it figures to be a blueprint other teams will mimic.
Gore averaged 2.2 yards on 17 carries while Davis wasn’t exactly shut down (8 catches, 73 yards), but his 9.1 yard-per-catch average was more than three yards less than last year’s.
“Once we controlled the run … we put it into (Alex Smith’s) hands,” Milloy told the Seattle Times. “Vernon Davis is one of his go-to guys, and you take that (away) and you make him make decisions and you saw the outcome.”
Due, in part, to the ex-49ers on Seattle’s roster, Davis thought the Seahawks had a firm grasp on San Francisco’s offense. And he suggested the Niners would have to get more creative after the Smith-to-Davis seam route burned countless secondaries last year.
“I think they were prepared. They watch films. They know what’s going on,” Davis said. “They know when we go three-by-one with our receivers, there’s a high chance the tight end’s going to take the middle. We just got to game plan for them and come up with some different stuff, switch it up.”
• Great news. I almost made it through my first week on the beat without embarrassing myself.
Almost. This week, I learned about the potentially humiliating hazards of rising before dawn.
Nearly nine hours after a 4:15 a.m. wake-up call in Seattle on Monday, I was interviewing tight end Delanie Walker in the Niners locker room. As I spoke with Walker, someone came up from behind me and began feeling the fabric on the back of my shirt.
I turned around. It was offensive lineman Barry Sims. Was he admiring my short-sleeve, button-down that I’ve worn for, like, eight years? Did he want to know where he could also purchase such a spiffy garment? Was he atypically touchy-feely for a 300-pound lineman and just wanted to introduce himself to a new face in the locker room?
I gave him a confused, can-I-help-you look.
“Dude,” Sims said, “your shirt’s on inside-out.”
There’s really no way to tell this story without looking like a fool. But I will say that you – I? – couldn’t tell the shirt was on inside-out if you just saw it from the front.
But I suppose the tag hanging out in the back was kind of a giveaway.
Anyway, it’s a learning experience. And I’m confident I can put all my clothes on correctly in Kansas City.