SANTA CLARA – Vernon Davis spoke in the media tent this afternoon. Here are selected quotes from his group interview.
Q: We just talked to Greg Roman, and he said the past four or five weeks that he can tell you’ve become really comfortable in this offense. Would you say that time is right for you, too?
VERNON DAVIS: I’d say the time is right. When I first got in this offense it was almost like I wanted to quit, like, “This is too much.” It was too much information at one time that they were throwing on me and Delanie (Walker) and the rest of the tight ends, but we stuck with it, we learned as much as we possibly could and here we are. We’re getting better and better each and every week.
Q: Did they dial back a little bit?
VERNON DAVIS: No, they just keep adding (laughs).
Q: The Saints have struggled with tight ends your size in big games. Is there anything you’ve seen on film that makes you think you could have a big game this Saturday?
VERNON DAVIS: Just beating man coverage. No. 41 (Roman Harper), he’s usually on the tight end when they go man, so you just have to win your battle. That’s all.
Q: Earlier in the season did you feel you were thinking on the field and playing slower because of all the information the coaches were throwing at you?
VERNON DAVIS: It was a lot of things that they wanted me to do different, No. 1 changing my stance – bringing my feet in closer together. And a lot of reading, I had to read a lot of coverages on the run. So, that was a little different for me. In the past I didn’t really have to read it as much. I’d just run and get open and read whether the middle of the field was closed or open. Now I’ve got to read man and Tampa-2, you know? Just all those things. It takes time when you’re just jumping in to it.
Q: Did Patrick Willis cover you in practice last week?
VERNON DAVIS: Yeah, he had a chance to cover me a little bit. I gave him the works (laughs). But nah, me and Patrick always joke around. He looks forward to the challenge every time we match up against each other because he knows that it’s only going to make him better. And when we go, we go full speed and we compete. He’s definitely gotten better.
Q: He’s been the backbone of the defense for a while. What can you say about his resilience?
VERNON DAVIS: He’s one of those guys who’s always working. He’s always working hard and he’s always going to get you 100 percent. Probably 110 percent. And he’s just one of those guys that you enjoy having on your team. If someone’s coming in as a rookie, I’d advise them just to follow Patrick. Look at him and watch everything he does on the field and off the field.
Q: You’re facing such a high powered offense, do you feel like you’ve got to keep up with them? How do you guys approach this on offense?
VERNON DAVIS: No, I don’t think it’s about keeping up with them because if you have a defense like the guys that we have, I don’t think you really have to worry about anything. They’re going to show up. I believe in them. I just keep my faith. There’s a lot of talent over there. Very talented group of defensive guys that we have. So on offense we just have to do our job, take care of our responsibilities and just keep the ball moving, score touchdowns in the red zone. That’s one area that we had to get better at. There’s been a lot of talk about our red zone problems, but I think we got them corrected. I think we corrected all those things and now we’ve got a chance to get better today.