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Davis, Williams Reflect on Jenkins' Departure

Posted Aug 19, 2013

Kyle Williams and Vernon Davis spoke about outgoing teammate A.J. Jenkins, who was traded Monday morning.


When players arrived at 49ers headquarters for a new day of work Monday morning, many were surprised to see a teammate on his way out.

Kyle Williams, for one, said the news of A.J. Jenkins being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, hit him “like a brick wall.” Quinton Patton, another wideout, said he was watching a good friend walk out the door. Vernon Davis was clearly losing a pupil.

All were in agreement that San Francisco shedding its 2012 first-round draft pick presented a new opportunity for both player and team.

“Knowing A.J. the way I do and having a chance to see him grow over the past year, I know that his talent is there,” Williams said. “He didn’t get drafted in the first round for nothing. He’ll get that opportunity, and it will be him to make the most of it, as it’s up to the rest of us to make the most of every opportunity we get in this league. It can go so fast, that you got to take advantage.”

Jenkins will be reuniting with former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith in Kansas City, which would seemingly ease his transition to a new city and team.

“He’s got Alex over there – that’ll definitely bring him up to speed,” Williams said. “I think he’s going to be a great player in this league. It didn’t work out here. A fresh start will be good for everybody.”

Asked how Davis, who endured times of tumult early in his career, would advise Jenkins going forward, the 49ers Pro Bowl tight end offered sage words.

“Maybe take his approach toward the game up a notch,” Davis said. “If he really wants it inside his heart, it will work out for him.

“It could be a wakeup call for him,” Davis added. “I thought he was a tremendous player… To me, he has a lot of potential. His career is not over. I wish him the best, and this is a great opportunity for him to embark on because he gets to start over.”

A handful of 49ers asked about Jon Baldwin, the ex-Chiefs receiver acquired in the Jenkins swap, were not familiar with him as a person. Williams, for one, shared memories of watching Baldwin as a player -- when Baldwin was playing collegiately at Pittsburgh.

“Big guy, and he can make plays,” Williams said of the 6-foot-4-inch Baldwin, Kansas City’s 2011 first-round pick. “We’re all open to it over here. We’re open to the competition. We’re open to his play-making ability. Can’t wait to get him in here and see what he can do.”

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