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Vernon Davis’ Blocking Seals Win

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Facing a 2nd and 7 from Seattle’s 12-yard line, Vernon Davis figured he’d have his first catch of Thursday’s night game against the Seahawks and possibly his first touchdown grab since Week 3.

Davis was wrong on both counts.

With Seattle utilizing a cover-2 defense on the second-down play to take away Davis and wide receiver Randy Moss, fellow tight end Delanie Walker ran freely underneath on a shallow crossing route.

Smith threw the ball immediately to Walker, who got behind a Davis seal block on Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner to score on a 12-yard touchdown reception. It was Walker’s first touchdown of the year and sixth receiving score of his career.

“It didn’t work,” Davis said of the play designed for him to be Smith’s top option, “but actually it did work, because Delanie scored.”

Walker’s catch was the only reception by a 49ers tight end on the day. It was Davis’ first game without a reception since 2008.

Still, Davis, the 49ers leader in touchdown receptions with four in the first three weeks took pride in seeing his close friend find the end zone in a 13-6 win over Seattle.

“That was a great thing because I am an extension of Delanie,” said Davis of his teammate of seven seasons. “When he’s had success, I feel like I’ve had success because we’re so close and we work well together.”

Jim Harbaugh said there were plays designed for Davis, but they never were able to get the ball to the dangerous tight end.

Even so, the 49ers coach praised the blocking efforts Davis had on 350-pound Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant. The blocks, according to Harbaugh, helped Frank Gore spring several big runs in the second half on his way to a 131-yard rushing performance.

“We couldn’t get those (runs) without Vernon Davis,” Harbaugh said. “He was wearing the sombrero.”

Harbaugh also applauded Davis for tackling Browner inside the 5-yard line following Smith’s red zone interception.

In a second half Harbaugh called the most physical 30 minutes of 49ers football he’s ever seen, Davis was a big reason for it.

“Vernon was one of the tips of the spears,” Harbaugh said.

Davis wasn’t down about his quiet night on the stat sheet.

“I’m excited that we won,” the 49ers tight end said. “As long as we get the win, I’m excited.  I know the more we win, the stage is going to get bigger, playoffs and things like that.”

Davis said his competitive nature makes him want to do more in the passing game, but he also understands that he’s able to help the team in a myriad of ways, not just catching footballs.

“Helping this team is my No. 1 purpose,” Davis added. “Everything else will fall where it needs to fall.”

Besides Davis, Harbaugh listed a number of players who demonstrated physical, team-first football.

Game balls went on offense to left tackle Joe Staley and center Jonathan Goodwin. Defensively, they went to Justin Smith and Dashon Goldson.

“Many contributed to the most physical 30 minutes,” the 49ers coach said.

Harbaugh also praised Gore’s tough play which included carrying a heavy workload in the second half with bruised ribs.

“Great game from Frank,” Harbaugh said. “Tough runs, does what he does, gets low and get through holes – had a lot of yards after contact.”

Trap running plays especially worked for the 49ers.

“I’ve never seen a team run through the guards like that,” Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh said the passing game adjusted in the second half to take check-down passes as a result of Seattle’s deep coverage. Gore led the team with 51 receiving yards. Kyle Williams posted the longest reception of the game, an 18-yard catch.

With the 49ers set to play next Monday night in Arizona, Mario Manningham told reporters he expects to be back healthy from an injured shoulder.

Manningham told reporters he’d be back for Monday Night Football. Gore, who dealt with bruised ribs, said he had an x-ray after the game and the team doctors were encouraged with the results.

“Now I’ll just take it one day at a time,” Gore said.

The 49ers, themselves, will get the weekend off before returning to work on Monday.

The time off will be spent with family according to Harbaugh. Time away for the coaches is especially important for a coaching staff that dedicated itself to working long hours prior to Thursday’s win over Seattle.

“It’s going to help our whole team,” Harbaugh said.

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