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Davis Stays Patient and Optimistic


In a few fan polls this summer, most of the 49ers Faithful expressed their firm belief that 2008 would be the break out year for former first-round pick Vernon Davis.

With only five catches in five games, those same fans are venting their frustration over on the team's message boards. They're not alone.

"I don't think anyone would be happy with five catches," said Davis.

Davis' frustration over not getting the ball was evident when he shouted "I want more," after making a catch two weeks ago against New Orleans. While he might sometimes get caught up in those emotions on game day, Davis understands that it's a long season and remains optimistic that opportunities will eventually come his way.

"During the game is probably the most frustrating time," said Davis. "You want to help out. I learned that, have patience and your time will come."

49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz promised as much, saying to local reporters on Thursday that opportunities for Davis and the rest of his playmakers will come as the offense does a better job of grasping the offense and holding onto the ball.

"He'll have his opportunities for sure," said Martz. "There's nothing wrong with Vernon. All those things are an indication of nothing other than we're learning this offense, and as we move along, we're just trying to win games. The longer we keep the ball, the more opportunities those guys will have, no matter what position they play. We just have to do a better job on third down."

The 49ers starting tight end meanwhile understands that a lack of catches doesn't mean he's not playing quality football.

"I play well every game," said Davis. "That's what I do, I go out there and compete. I try to win every battle, whether it's running a route or blocking on pass plays, whatever it is. That's what people don't see, they expect me to be a good pass catcher and they think for me to have a good game I have to catch passes. I don't think it's always about that. It depends on playing fast, blocking, dominating your opponent as far as the pass protection and blocking."

Davis said he's stayed in and done more pass protection than ever before, something he didn't quite expect. But, it's a role he takes as serious as he does catching balls.

"I don't like to get beat. I don't like to lose," said Davis. "Whether it's pass blocking or run blocking, I'm going to do my best and make sure I can do everything to win, everything it takes to win."

Martz elaborated on Davis' blocking abilities when talking to local reporters on Thursday.

"Vernon is really, really an unusual blocker at that position. I don't know if there's anybody in the league any better at that," said Martz.

Davis was held without a catch in Sunday's loss to the Patriots when he dropped the only ball thrown his way, a short pass on a 1st and 10 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Despite the drop, Martz insisted that Davis is "absolutely an outstanding receiver."

And even when the ball wasn't going his way, Martz pointed out that his speedy tight end was drawing serious attention from the Patriots.

"Let me make a point, the second play of the game to Delanie Walker. Do you guys remember that play?" Martz asked reporters. "You see how wide open he was? They were all running with Vernon. They had three guys chasing Vernon down the field. Delanie came inside and had we completed that, he might have been in San Diego before we stopped. So even though he may not be getting the ball, he's a huge factor in what we do. If somebody goes to sleep on him, he's going to make a big play."

In the meantime, Davis just keeps reminding himself to be patient for those big plays to finally arrive.

"Sometimes it's hard," said Davis. "It's hard when you set goals for yourself and it seems like you're taking a long time to get there. But that's something that everyone needs to work on, as far as being patient, controlling yourself."

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