SAN FRANCISCO — Here’s an all-time great postgame transcript, courtesy of Vernon Davis and the 49ers.
If you haven’t noticed, Vernon Davis is becoming the voice of the team. He relays Harbaugh’s message as all the other players do, but he’s also honest and he goes deep when answering a question.
Vernon, what’s it like to say you are on a winning team? You have been here for a long time and this is your first winning season, really.
“It feels great, it feels great to be on a winning team. Like I said each week, I’ve never been in this position before, 9-1. It’s all the hard work. It’s all the hard work me and my teammates put in since we got here, since day one and it’s just starting to payoff.”
Has Head Coach Jim Harbaugh ever talked to you about the fact that now this is a winning season? Has he brought that up or has he just sort of slid past it?
“He kind of slides past it. We take each game one game at a time and that’s all you can do. Someone asked me not too long ago ‘Vernon, are you thinking about the playoffs?’ I said no. You can’t think about the playoffs. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve just got to take our time and focus on the things that are right there in front of us.”
Was coach Harbaugh’s message in the locker room different than after other wins given the game that you have coming up. Was there any talk about the Ravens being right around the corner?
“He spoke briefly about the Ravens, not too much. He just said it’s going to be a short week. We have to get off our feet, celebrate about two to three hours, get home, and get ready for tomorrow.”
This kind of will be seen as a measuring stick game, you played the Giants recently. What can you prove on national TV against a team that’s won a lot of games over the years?
“Are you talking about the Ravens?”
“They’re definitely a good team. They have a lot of weapons. A lot of good players on defense and we really have to be on it. We can’t take them light and if we do, we’re just throwing ourselves off. We have to get off of our feet like coach Harbaugh said, get ready to study the Ravens and take it to them.”
In the locker room after the game, was there anybody ever mentioning nine wins and we’re a winning team for the first time in so many years?
“No not really. Like I said, we can only take it one game at a time. We don’t talk about the simple fact that we’re a winning team now. We kind of just go with the flow and expect the win now that we have been winning. It’s a blessing, a blessing, and it feels great to be in this situation.”
There is frequently a lot of talking between the Cardinals and the 49ers before you play, when you play. Was it more so today even than usual and how much does that motivate your teammates?
“Pardon me, can you repeat that?”
Was there more of that today than usual and how much does that kind of stuff motivate you and your teammates?
“Talking about the Cardinals?”
Yeah, just the talking back and forth.
“It was more than usual. I would have to say today, [DT] Darnell Dockett, he was really talking a lot, but we expect that out of him. He is an emotional player, but I think he did a great job today. He really executed and made some plays and went hard. We answered it, we answered it. I give a lot of credit to my offensive linemen. I think they did a great job today blocking, they were physical. They matched the Arizona Cardinals intensity.”
A couple of moments ago you said ‘we expect to win now’. Before this season, was there some times when you might not necessarily have expected to win?
“There was a little doubt because we were losing. We were losing two, three years in a row. We always had a lot of confidence. We had a lot of confidence. That’s something we have always had around here. Each week is different and when you are losing it’s kind of hard. It’s hard because you are down and you’re trying to find an answer. You’re scraping and just trying to find an answer. Why, why us, why are we losing? Why can’t we win? We have the players, we have the talent, but we just can’t put it together. Now this year, we’re starting to put it together.”
It must feel a lot better this year when you can put it together as opposed to, you said doubt, doubt must not feel very good.
“Doubt doesn’t feel good. Like I said, we got a lot of confidence around here. We got a lot of play-makers, we got a lot of plays on defense and offense that can get the job done. We have a great coaching staff in Harbaugh and all the guys he brought in. Now we’re just putting all those things together, the confidence, the doubt, we washed it away. The coaches are always on us about the little things. That’s one thing that I can say about this year that these coaches on the little things all the time. That can be the difference. It makes a big difference in my eyes, I believe.”
What are some little things? What’s an example of a little thing?
“A little thing could be me getting the correct depth on my route that’s 12 yards. Don’t get 11, get 12. Don’t get 14, get 12, those type of things. Catching the ball with your eyes, whether it’s [T] Anthony Davis getting his second step down right after his first step. Those little things right there can make a difference, a big difference.”
Had you not been really focused on the little things? Not you yourself, but the coaches not really focusing on the little things in prior years?
“One thing that I found out is that you can focus on the little things as much as you can. Year after year after year, but you revert back to your bad habits. You always revert back. That’s what the coaches are there for: to get on you. Sometimes you get coaches that don’t really talk about the little things. You might be doing so well that they don’t mention the little things to you.”
Your touchdown catch, did you feel that that was finally the nail on the coffin for you guys? That it gave you the breathing room you needed?
“It did, it did. That touchdown catch that I had, it gave us some air to breathe. It really helped us out. Whether it was me, [WR Michael] Crabtree, [TE] Delanie Walker, whoever it was, I would have been excited. I just wanted to take it to them. We needed this. I think we deserved it. We went out and played a hard game, we played tough, we were strong and we stood up to the Arizona Cardinals. It was rough in the beginning, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Your touchdown catch set the team record for tight end touchdown catches, passing Brent Jones. Does that mean anything to you? Will you say anything to Brent next time you see him?
“It means a lot to me. I was just aware of that today. It means a lot, it definitely does. Anytime you can make history is a good feeling. It’s a great feeling. The win meant more to me today. I’m more excited about the win than anything. I can celebrate the touchdown catch later. It’s all about winning right now and that’s what I’m most excited about.”
With the expectation to win, has that increased you guys’ big picture goals? Are you talking NFC Championship and things like that?
“No, we’re not talking championship right now at the moment. We can’t. I don’t think that’s something we should be focused on right now. Keep it in the back of our mind, each and every guy individually, yeah, but as a team, I don’t think we should come together and start talking about a championship. We should talk about the next game which is the Ravens. That’s what we need to talk about. That’s something we need to discuss. Me and Delanie should talk about the DBs and what they’re looking like. That’s more important.”