SANTA CLARA – Vernon Davis spoke with Bay Area reporters in the 49ers’ media tent Sunday morning. Here’s what he said.
Q: How is your on-field chemistry with Colin Kaepernick?
VERNON DAVIS: We have a great relationship. We’re putting it all out there. We’re working in training camp, and that’s what training camp is all about. It’s about developing that relationship. I think we’ve come a long way since last year. It takes time to get that connection, that relationship, and just to develop something special.
Q: What was there in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl that wasn’t there in the previous six or seven games when you were catching one pass a game?
VERNON DAVIS: Experience. You saw Colin developing into a great quarterback and you saw the rest of the guys, including me, following him and trying to figure him out, getting the timing down.
Q: Do you think he has a better feel for your speed now?
VERNON DAVIS: Yeah, he’s gotten a lot better. You have to keep in mind that we had mini-camp and we had OTAs as well, so we had an opportunity to get some things corrected and get our timing to where we wanted it to be. Now that it’s training camp, it’s even better. We’ve got a lot of time, a lot of practices.
Q: Has he improved the touch on his passes?
VERNON DAVIS: I can tell you this: From the time he started to the Super Bowl, totally different guy. Touch. Precise decisions. He’s talking more. He’s being a leader. He’s working hard. He’s working extremely hard. He’s not just a worker on the field he’s also a worker in the weight room. Every time I turn around he’s working. That’s the unique thing about this situation. We know we’re going to get 110 percent out of this guy.
Q: With Michael Crabtree out, do you see your role in the passing game growing?
VERNON DAVIS: I’m just here to contribute. I’m just a piece of the puzzle. That’s all I am. I’m not here for statistics. I’m not here to go to the Pro Bowl. I’m just here to do my job and that’s all I can do. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m up for it. I’m up for the challenge, whatever they want me to learn. I’m all about it. That’s what I believe in.
Q: With Crabtree out, which of the young receivers have caught your eyes so far?
VERNON DAVIS: I really like Chad (Hall). He’s quick. He’s fast. He’s doing everything that the coaches are asking him to do and he comes to work. Ricardo Lockette. Fast receiver. Talented. He’s just blessed with tons of talent, but it’s going to take him some time. But he’s learning. But I think once he gets it, he’s going to excel and he’s going to be a tremendous player. I really like Kyle Williams. We all know about Kyle Williams and what he can do. He’s a vet with a lot of experience and he’s ready to go. A.J. Jenkins. A.J. is coming along. He’s making some smooth transitions as far as being that elite receiver that they want. I believe in him. I think when the season comes around, he’ll be one of those guys who is ready to step in and fill the void.
Q: What have you seen from Vance McDonald throughout the practices?
VERNON DAVIS: He has a lot of potential. He’s working really hard. He’s trying to be the best that he can be. His ambition is very, very strong. It’s an honor to have him because it takes me back to when I was a young guy coming in. I see some of the same qualities in him that I saw in myself, as far as wanting to be good, wanting to fine tune everything and be the best at the position. He has it.
Q: I’ve seen you doing more wide receiver drills in practice. What are you trying to improve, and do you see yourself playing that position more this season that you have in the past?
VERNON DAVIS: Like I said before, I’m willing to step up and do whatever they ask me to do, and they’ve been having me work with the wide receivers, work with the wide receivers, pretty much all over the place. It’s a good thing that I get that opportunity to work with those guys because it not only helps me at the wide receiver position, it also helps me at the tight end position because my feet can get quicker, my route running is better, I get to play around with the routes and figure out how I want to run them and all sorts of things. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to work with the wide receivers. I’m ready for the challenge.
Q: At the end of practice yesterday you caught a deep pass from Colin Kaepernick and you beat C.J. Spillman. After the play he said, “I knew that was coming,” or something like that. Do you remember that play? Can you explain that route?
VERNON DAVIS: That was just a corner route. I’ve ran a number of those in the pasts. Just a simple corner route.
Q: Did you say anything to C.J.?
VERNON DAVIS: No, I just listened. I just go out to work. I don’t talk. I just do my job and try to get better each and every day.
Q: Did you play wide receiver as a kid?
VERNON DAVIS: In high school a played a little wide receiver. In college, they started me out at wide receiver but Coach said, “You’ll be too big.” I said, “Coach, I want to play wide receiver.” He said, “You’ll be too big.” I said, “What do you mean I’ll be too big?” He said, “I’ll have you play H-back, Vernon.” I said, “OK, whatever you want, Coach.” I played H-back. I actually did get bigger. I got up to about 248 pounds. By the time I got out of Maryland I was at 255. But I’m definitely familiar with the position. It’s just like tight end. It’s just running routes. That’s all it is. If you want to get better at anything, you have to put the time in. For me, if I want to get better at wide receiver I put the time in.
Q: Are you still 255?
VERNON DAVIS: No, 245. I’ve been 245 for the last four years.
Q: Is your body different than it was in 2006?
VERNON DAVIS: Oh yeah, a lot different. I feel faster, quicker. My feet are quicker. I can move around a lot better. The NFL is all about speed. It’s all about being able to get from Point A to Point B in seconds. It’s good being this size. I can’t get bigger. If I get bigger, I get slower.
Q: Can you visualize yourself playing into your late 30s?
VERNON DAVIS: Take it one day at a time, that’s all you can do. Who knows? I don’t know the plans God has for me, but I plan on being in the league until I can’t play anymore. I always said to myself, “When I lose my speed, I’m going to retire.” Hopefully, I’ll keep my speed for the next six or seven years.