Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by dj43:
VD is a different type of TE. He is something of an enigma. He has WR speed but his body type does not allow him the agility to make those twisting, leaping catches that the good WRs make. As we all know, he is at his best when he is isolated on a LB or slower safety. As you noted, he is NOT good at making quick adjustments on short routes. If he were better on those he would see more of the ball. That would also set him up to come off a short route and go deep.
I would be fine with Davis if the 49ers did have another TE that could run those short pressure routes. Walker is not good at those either. My magic wand solution would be a Jason Witten-type to work the opposite side from Davis in 12 personnel situations. (For my money, the best typical TE is Witten - a sure 1st ballot HOF)
Agree DJ! As much as I think VD is a huge, unique weapon, he is not a traditional WCO TE. I wanted the 9ers to draft Fleener but he isn't exactly a typical WCO TE either. What has surprised me is that VD has learned to catch the ball in ways he couldn't when he first came in, so perhaps he can improve on D reading. I would have him watch film with Brent and other past greats to see if they can help him...he is a learner.
As far as being fine with VD? I am now because he represents the most potent weapon Smith has in his arsenal. I just want them to find a more WCO oriented TE who can be a safety valve. Gore has really improved in this area so maybe he will show VD the way.
That is my position as well. I like Davis. He is a unique weapon. That only means he is different than the prototype WCO TE, not that he is not a good player.
I believe NE and Denver are showing some cutting edge stuff in the TE position. The line up with 2 WRs and 2 TEs with the WRs typically running up or go routes and the TEs filling in the gaps between or underneath. One of the TEs is always tasked with being the safety valve while the other runs a deeper route. Denver, with two tall, strong, agile WRs is making it very hard on safeties to help with TEs when both of those big guys (both 6'3"+ and strong) go deep. They make it very tough on the secondary to cover their TE packages.
I understand Harbaugh's is more of a power running offense than passing but I would be surprised if we do not see the team picking up that safety valve type TE in the off-season.
Back to Davis; he has improved a great deal in numerous areas, which leads me to believe he can improve his reading of defenses. It may be just a matter of time. After all, by his own admission, it took him until the 12th game last year to begin to get comfortable in the new offense. However, his blocking prowess has led to his being held in to block on about half the offense. That may not change unless Harbaugh moves to a more pass oriented offense. In any case, I like Davis a lot. My comments here should not be interpreted as anything else. It is just that he he has other talents than the typical TE.