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Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on December 28, 2009 – 3:42 PM

If Vernon Davis catches one more touchdown pass this week against the St. Louis Rams, he’ll tie Antonio Gates’ single-season record of 13 touchdown catches set back in 2004.

But the 49ers aren’t looking at it like it’s a one-man accomplishment for their starting tight end. It’s really more of a team feat.

“It’s a credit to the guys around him. We all depend on each other. But we’re happy for him, he’s worked really hard,” quarterback Alex Smith said.

In Davis’ first three seasons, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2005 draft had 103 catches for 1,132 yards (11 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns. To put his breakout year into further perspective, already this season Davis has 72 catches for 876 yards (12.2 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.

With numbers like that, Davis has the support of all his teammates in being a strong candidate to make the 2010 Pro Bowl.

“I’d love to see him on that list,” Smith said. “I’d love to see as many guys as possible, but especially him. He’s worked hard and had a lot of the stats this year to back it up.”

Davis and the rest of the 49ers will have to wait until 4:15 PM PT on Tuesday when Pro Bowl rosters are announced.

And while Smith was unaware of what Davis needed to pass the league milestone, the 49ers signal caller said he wouldn’t press the issue in St. Louis.

“I don’t think we’re going to force anything. We’re just going to let it happen. We’re going to try and win the game,” Smith said. “I think there’s something to be said about him and the work he’s put in over the last few years as well as this season.”

According to Smith, Davis’ development has forced opposing defenses to game plan for the 49ers versatile tight end.

“Definitely his speed up the field is something that causes problems,” Smith said. “I think you can see in these last few weeks defenses have acknowledged [that] and are making adjustments too.  I think they’re more conscious of him.”

Smith was pretty aware of Davis on a 2-yard rollout touchdown pass in which the quarterback could have kept the ball for a touchdown run. Ultimately, Smith decided to throw his 17th touchdown pass of the season.

“It looked better on film than what it looked like in my head,” Smith said. “It definitely would have been a bang-bang play at the goal line. I don’t think it would have been a walk in like I kind of had in my mind. Either way, it turned out the way it did.”

Asked if he’d taken up Davis on his offer to pick up a dinner tab this week, Smith replied, “Not yet, I’ll hit him up on that.”

More Monday Notes

-Mike Singletary opened his press conference by announcing the 49ers injury report following the Lions game. Right guard Chilo Rachal will undergo an MRI later on Monday on his knee, left tackle Joe Staley is day-to-day with a knee contusion, Glen Coffee remains questionable with a hamstring injury and cornerback Shawntae Spencer has a wrist sprain. “Should be fine,” Singletary said of Spencer’s injury.

-Later, Singletary said kicker Joe Nedney and cornerback Nate Clements will not return to action this season. Ricky Schmitt will get another chance to kick for the 49ers. He made 2-of-3 field goals against Detroit.

-Singletary said the offense planned on getting the ball early and often to running back Frank Gore, but Detroit countered by stacking the box with eight defenders. Singletary said the 49ers played a “cat and mouse” game early on and that’s why Gore only had seven carries in the first half.

-Singletary wasn’t happy that his offense struggled to convert the Lions six turnovers into points of their own. “It’s not acceptable. It’s never acceptable,” he said.

-The head coach also has reservations about continuing to use starting wide receiver Josh Morgan as a kick returner. It’s not just offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye who feels that way. “That’s a priority for us this offseason, to find a return guy,” Singletary revealed.

-The 49ers are the only team in the league to force five or more turnovers in three games this season. Singletary said the credit goes to the team maturing on defense. In particular, he highlighted the growth of free safety Dashon Goldson and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks. This season, both players are playing the most they ever had in any points of their career. Goldson leads the team with four interceptions while Brooks leads the team with 6.0 sacks.

-“Goldson has gotten more comfortable back there. He’s really doing a good job of reading the quarterback better,” Singletary said. “Ahmad has really stepped up in the second half of the season.”

-Singletary was asked if other linebacker had more range than 49ers two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis, he responded, “No.”

-Singletary made a great point to close out his press conference when fielding a question on the importance of finishing the season 8-8. The head coach reminded the media that beating the Rams is not a foregone conclusion. “You have to go earn 8-8,” he stated.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Monday’s Locker Room Talk”

  1. By Steve B Chase on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Good job COACH, going with Alex Smith. I hadnt given up on him either . I know about character, and what Smith has been through the last 4 years didnt keep him down. Most QBs would have cracked. I love your character Mr Smith and yours to coach. I look forward to both of you guys being with the 49ers for years to come.

    Thanks to all the 49ers for a great season,
    Steve B Chase
    45 year 49er faithful
    Lakewood, CO

  2. By thegoldrush on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks guys for a much more interesting season this year. I’m proud to be a die hard 49ers fan. Finally! The same offensive system two years in a row! I see greatness on the horizon for these 9ers!

    23 year 49er faithful
    Prattville, Al

  3. By John Davis on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Please dump Alex Smith and go with Nate Davis against the Rams. PLEASE! The Alex Smith experiment is dead and over. Time to move on with some fresh talent. Nate Davis is the future for the 49ers at quarterback, not Alex Smith.

  4. By The Rock on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    8 and 8 is better than 7 – 9….. But it won’t get better if we don’t get at least 2 good offensive linemen…. somebody has to see this too … If Alex is next years QB, he has to have at least 3 seconds to throw.. to many times he has had less than that…. and sorry, make that 3 offensive lineman…. this O line is just terrible……. (unfortunately, there may not be that many good ones in the draft)

  5. By Jake on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    The Rock is corect we need at least two offensive linemen and I think smith is the QB to take us to the playoffs as long as the only thing that changes is the O line

  6. By Iamavictory on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you NINERS! for an exciting season full of great play! I can’t wait until next year and watch the team put it all together and take bac k the division crown! Thank you all for all your hard work! Rock on!

  7. By Johne on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Dumping Alex Smith and blaming everything on him might be “a little harsh”!! AND going with Nate Davis as a “fresh aproach”, might not be such a bad decision. Mike Singletary “hopefully will open up” training camp and let the best person win. Alex now has a “full season” and might come back with a “more confidence” and comfort with the same Offense System…at least thats sound in therory?! I think next year is Alex’s defining moment, “win or its a bust” season for him. This week against St Louis is a “very interesting week” to see “The Drive” in him for at least an 8 & 8 season finish, go niners!

  8. By DeathValleyCarl on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Happy to hear that we will just be tweaking the system next year instead of restructuring it again. Lets everyone know who is capable of developing chemistry with who after a year of learning curve. I think it’s imperative that Alex Smith has an off-season camp with the receivers, like Manning and McNabb do with their receivers. Paid off for them.

    I would keep trying to trade for an Offensive Tackle – 9ers need the right part ready next year. I think Joe Haden is the best value added through the draft. I don’t think those teams that want to wait for Frank Gore in an 8-man box have enough to think about. Can’t we get a speedy halfback who can catch passes out of the backfield to distract them? Maybe even return punts/kicks in his spare time? Could CJ Spiller be our Percy Harvin?

    An original 49er Faithful – Austin, TX

  9. By TIM on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    Alex has now won 4 games this season and has only played good in one of them. The defense got 7 turnovers in one and 5 in another and 6 in last weeks game.Those are 3 of the wins the the defense handed alex.
    Alex has been a really bad QB for most of his career(when healthy) but this year he has improved a bit,but not a great deal. IMHO Alex was a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10 before this year(when healthy) and this season he is about a 51/2 or 6,
    Not nearly good enough .We desperatly need an upgrade on the O line but even more so at QB ! I hope Nate Davis reaches his potential as soon as possible.If he does he will easily beat out alex for the starting job(if Alex is still the starter and the staff doesn’t bring in a veteran to start in 2010,like they tried to do last off season).
    Alex may keep improving,we don’t know(he has looked rather pathetic most of the last month),if he does improve consistently over the next year,Alex may work his way up to becoming a good backp quality QB,maybe.

  10. By Jake on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    you all are to hard on smith there is a reason that davis is behind smith and hill if he was that good dont you think he would at least be the number 2 qb they wont bring in another qb to start smith is the guy and he will take them to the playoffs and you all will say how good he is doing like you never had a sacond thought

  11. By sean on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    im a true niner fan and we just need a top wr in draft like dez bryant and qb like jimmy clausen thats it

  12. By chello on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    hey i think everybody is being a little hard on alex i thought he sucked at the begging but she showed me this year he has potential but our o-line needs to block and everybody else has to be accounted for to we should be in the playoffs this year we lost about 5 games just on bad mistakes

  13. By buddster on Dec 30, 2009 | Reply

    I was over at niner nation when i saw a post that wanted J. Garcia come in as #2 and dumping Hill . Not a bad idea. As for A,Smith i think some fans hasben to hard on him. Its also my New Year wish we draft a explosive player for return.And find a solid #2 R/Band a powerful R/T. 9er fan 4ever and a day

  14. By Mack-Dz on Jan 4, 2010 | Reply

    We have only been a dismal team for about seven years.

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