The question many 49ers observers asked last season was, “What happened to Vernon Davis?”
The Niners’ elite tight end almost disappeared from the San Francisco offense in 2014, catching just 26 passes after catching 52 in 2013,
Now, however, it appears Davis may be en route to a bounce-back season in 2015.
During the first session of organized team activities (OTAs) last week, Davis was notable for his involvement and energy.
As Taylor Price of the team’s website noted, Davis was extremely active during OTAs last week, catching passes and showing good chemistry with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He also was a leader of a tight end group that was bolstered by the draft and now includes seven others.
For Davis and the rest of the 49ers, 2014 was a bad time that can now be wiped away. A new coaching staff has taken over, several star players have departed and new free agents and rookies – including a pair of drafted tight ends – have been added. Davis apparently knows that he needs to rebound quickly if he wants to maintain his place on the roster.
“We have a chance to come off that season and really think back on all the things we didn’t do right, all the things we didn’t do well,” Davis told the media recently, of the team’s 8-8 season. “We can take that and put it to this season with the additions that we have, offensively, defensively, and we can play our hearts out.”
The 49ers were disappointed not only in Davis’ production in 2015, but the production of the entire tight end group. Vance McDonald, a high draft pick who also hasn’t yet produced as a receiver, was also put on notice when the team selected Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell in the fourth round of this year’s draft, then took Rory “Busta” Anderson of South Carolina in the seventh round.
Davis, seeking a new contract, didn’t participate in much of last season’s offseason program. Now, however, he’s been notable for his presence, participating fully in what the team is doing. Said general manager Trent Baalke, to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee: “I think he’s looking, as are we, to the future and coming back and having a heck of a year.”