When San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree went down for the year and tight end Vernon Davis was spotted working exclusively with the receiver corps during the Niners mini-camp, questions arose. Are the Niners going to move Davis into a wide receiver role? Not according to them.
The Niners say Davis’ work with the wide receivers was completely overblown and that he’ll be staying at tight end, though, they do have a few ‘wrinkles’ in the works:
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 Niners 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.