Vernon Davis won't morph into a full-time wideout

National Football Post - [Full Article]

There’s no doubt that San Francisco coaches are concerned about the absence of wide receiver Michael Crabtree (Achilles) from the passing game. But the suggestion that the 49ers are considering moving Vernon Davis full-time to wide receiver, based on his extensive “reps” at the position in recent sessions, are overblown, the 49ers tell NFP. There are some new wrinkles planned for Davis, who can stretch the field like few tight ends and who possesses unique abilities, but he won’t morph into a full-time wideout. The coaches note that, while it took Colin Kaepernick a while to develop the same chemistry that Alex Smith had with the tight end – Davis had 29 receptions (and 41 targets) in the nine games Smith started and just a dozen receptions (and 20 targets) in Kaepernick’s seven regular-season starts – the two hooked up 11 times in San Francisco’s final two playoff games. Although the Kaepernick-Davis tandem connected only six times in the last six regular-season outings, Davis was targeted 14 times in the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl. And he had over 100 yards in both those contests.

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Still, it's nice to hear that the team has installed new "wrinkles" for Davis. The article is right about his strong finish. His 3.8 targets per game during the regular season ranked 29th in the league below guys like Anthony Fasano, Rob Housler and Lance Kendricks. Davis was 9th in that category in 2010 and 10th in 2011, so the 49ers should get Davis more involved in 2013. He followed up a 6-106-1 line against the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game with 8-104 in the Super Bowl. When he saw 6+ targets in 2012, he averaged 5.3-88-.83. Those are Gronk-type numbers.

Filed Under: 2013, Preseason