SANTA CLARA – I spoke to Vernon Davis at his locker on Friday. Here’s what he said about his level of involvement in the 49ers offense.
ME: What do you think of the Diamond formation? The offense used it 17 times last week, and it doesn’t feature a tight end. You lined up at wide receiver and fullback.
VERNON DAVIS: It’s fine. I’m pretty much a supporter of anything the coaches put in. I can’t complain about anything. I just go with the flow and play hard, play fast.
ME: Do you feel like this will be the game where you reemerge as a featured receiver in the passing game?
VERNON DAVIS: It all depends on how they play me. We can’t just turn on the film and watch how they play tight ends, because they play me differently. That’s one thing that’s kind of been a setback for me, because they don’t play me the same as they play other guys. They take a lot of my routes away, especially my deep routes. But in that case, I expect Crabtree and Moss and the other guys to get open.
ME: Why do you think defenses play you differently than other tight ends? Aaron Hernandez is also highly acclaimed, and he gets about 10 targets a game.
VERNON DAVIS: They play me differently than the rest of the tight ends for some reason.
Q: Do you think your game against the Saints in the playoffs last year has something to do with it?
VERNON DAVIS: That probably did it. And then the first five games of the season I was taking off up the sideline, so they probably looked at film and said, “We’ve got to stop this guy.” But I didn’t expect them to do it consistently. Normally they’ll do it, and then the next week, couple of weeks, I’ll get open. It’s not like the coaches aren’t putting things in for me. They’re putting plays in for me every week, but it just doesn’t work out. The defenses are taking me away.
ME: That’s John Morton putting in plays for you?
VERNON DAVIS: Greg Roman, John Morton – they work together. They put in plays for me all the time. If you come to practice, you’ll see. You’d say, “Vernon’s their primary guy.” But when we get to the game, it just doesn’t work out.