SANTA CLARA – Vernon Davis spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said.
Q: How much has Colin Kaepernick developed this offseason?
VERNON DAVIS: Colin has come a long way. Last year when he first got the starting job, we would be in practice and he would overthrow me. I would be running as fast as I possibly could and Colin just kept overthrowing me. But now when we get out there, it’s like night and day. He’s putting the ball right there. Man, he’s come a long way. I’m very impressed with Colin right now.
Q: Is that a product of you guys working together and getting the timing down?
VERNON DAVIS: I think just getting the timing down because when you get a new quarterback and he steps in and he doesn’t really know his wide receivers that well, then it’s going to be a little off. You have to expect that. We’ve been working at this since OTAs and mini-camp. He’s definitely improved. I know the coaches have been working with him and getting him right, telling him about his throws and things like that.
Q: Other than Anquan, have you seen any of the wide receivers step up to the point where you feel like they could take some of the heat off of you?
VERNON DAVIS: I really like A.J. Jenkins. He has a lot of potential. He’s still learning the game. He told me yesterday, he was like, “Hey, I’m still learning.” I said, “I know, it will take time, just continue to work and get better.” I also explained to him that when he comes to work, he’s got to be serious. You’ve got to be serious about this. You can’t play. You’ve got to learn as much as can and get better and grow, not just as an athlete but as a person. He said, “Yeah, I understand.” He really wants to do well. He wants to succeed and I can see it. I can tell from the way he talks to me. I think he has all the potential to do it. It’s just taking him a little time, but I think he will get there and he will be prepared for the start of the season.
Q: Everybody grows at a different rate, why do you think it’s taken him this long to put it all together?
VERNON DAVIS: I think everybody is different. Last year was his rookie year. He’s got time. I don’t think we can rush him, because it’s up to him change his mindset and really take off. Not only change his mindset, but really grasp whatever it is the coaches are trying to give to him, whichever role it is, and just blossom. I think he’s got it in him, it’s just taking him a little time.
Q: What do you like about his game?
VERNON DAVIS: He’s smooth, he’s fast and he wants to succeed. Those are the three main things that jump out to me. It’s hard to find speed. We all know that. That’s something you just can’t walk into. You look at this team now, A.J. is one of the top-three fastest guys on the team. He’s definitely a tremendous asset to this team.
Q: Who are the other two?
VERNON DAVIS: Colin is extremely fast, and I would have to go with Frank Gore. Psyche, just kidding.
Q: What about you?
VERNON DAVIS: You could say that. I probably wouldn’t.
ME: You’ve had some big practices this offseason. I’ve noticed you beating man coverage, single coverage. During the regular season, you tend to face double and triple-coverage. Have the coaches been simulating that for you during practices this offseason?
VERNON DAVIS: I think with them playing me in different spots – I’m now playing Z, X, F, I’m all over the place. I’m everywhere. I think that kind of distracts our opponents from double and triple-teaming me. It’s a good thing that they’ve got me learning so much more because it helps in situations like that. And if they try to double and triple-team me, we have other answers. We have Anquan Boldin, Vance McDonald – he’s coming along, continuing to develop – A.J. Jenkins, once he takes off then we’ll be even better.
Q: Will it be strange to play against Alex Smith on Friday?
VERNON DAVIS: It’s business. I wish Alex the best. He’s going to do everything he can to be great, and I know that about him because I was his roommate the past two training camps. But we have to do what we have to do over here in order to get back to the Super Bowl. That’s all we play for, but it starts here. What we do today pretty much says it all.
Q: Have you talked with him recently?
VERNON DAVIS: No, I haven’t spoken with Alex. I want to stand back and let him do his own thing. I have enough to worry about over here.
Q: What’s your impression of Michael Wilhoite?
VERNON DAVIS: He’s impressive because for one, he’s athletic. And he competes. Discretely – I don’t think anyone really notices him or sometimes they don’t notice he’s there. I don’t know why, but that’s the feeling I get. He has some good skills. I’ve gone against him quite a few times. To me, going against linebackers, it’s really easy at times. But with him, I really have to approach him as if he’s a safety because he’s quick, he’s fast and he’s a tremendous athlete.