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Why does VD shy away from contact?

i love Vernon---sometimes though when say he catches the ball and has 4 yards to get a first down--and it's 3rd down---just smash forward and get the first down --run straight ahead---no juking and getting tackled a couple yards short. The longer that drives stay alive--the more chances for big plays. First downs keep drives alive!
I think it will be addressed in the offseason and he will be more physical next season, but he is used to getting all the receptions and being the main target so he has the mindset of a wide receiver instead of a tight end, which is good and bad........
  • ak49
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I'd just be happy if he just catches the ball and doesnt drop as much as I would in a game. Seriously, for a NFL player, he really doesnt know how to receive the ball and he has no business getting over the head catches. He's horrific in it. He was ok the last couple years, but he has reverted to what he did prior to that. Very disappointing.
  • ak49
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  • Posts: 161
Originally posted by sfninerfanMax:
i love Vernon---sometimes though when say he catches the ball and has 4 yards to get a first down--and it's 3rd down---just smash forward and get the first down --run straight ahead---no juking and getting tackled a couple yards short. The longer that drives stay alive--the more chances for big plays. First downs keep drives alive!

agreed about first downs keeping drives alive - which is why i dont understand why people on 3rd and short go for a long pass. shouldnt the focus be to get the first down and what gives you a better chance of getting that a deep pass or a short pass?
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
All golfers are good athletes, and the best work out a lot. Swimming is one exercise, however, where if you swim frequently, you build up muscles in shoulders, back that actually can screw up a good golf swing. When I played a lot, i realized my swing got worse the more I swam. I would assume that may apply to Vernon also, and less wt room, more time catching passes might be a good idea to try for a few months. You can get too muscled up as a receiver. I have wondered if that might not apply to Vernon.


Have been watching this for quite a while and VD improved a great deal when he concentrated on the jugs machine. This year he has regressed a bit, probably because he is still somewhat uncomfortable in the new system. 3 fumbles leads TEs and WRs I believe so he needs to concentrate on protecting the ball.

He is a monster but he is not a limber player. Can he improve on this? Yes, even Jerry Rice tried dance lessons to improve balance and flexibility.

Someone pointed out that he can drag tacklers from behind but goes down easily when the guy is in front of him. I agree and think that as Smith and VD get him the ball more in stride he will be running away from DBs and this will help his YAC. Many of his receptions over the years have been stationary--catch, turn and then run. This stops his momentum and it is difficult for him to regain that momentum quickly.

Conversely, Both Edwards and Crabtree have nice moves once the ball is caught that allows them to pick up extra yards. Just not VDs strength. Just as reading Ds is not his strength.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Dec 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM ]
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Yeah overrated.

965 yards and 13 TDs.

900 + yards and 7 TDs.

2 years in a row. 20 TDs in 2 years. More than any TE in the game. Tied for the lead of all WRs and TEs. Yup overrated. He's terrible.....

He's far from terrible, but he should put up 1200+ yards and 12+ tds every year.... He should be amazing after the catch, instead he's kind of embarrassing.
[ Edited by Evilgenius on Dec 11, 2011 at 3:58 AM ]
Vernon was the best blocking guy on the OL until Coach Harbaugh arrived and gave the coaching to the OL that ericson, noln, and BM knew nothing about. Matter of fact once drafted our coaches were very happy to just let a guy with 4.35 speed, just be an OL blocker....and that, in a nutshell, was pure stupidity, but characteristic of our "coaching" astuteness for the last 8 yrs. Coach H has taken advantage of the uncanny ability Vernon has to neutralize LBs, DEs, and corners. He was good at it, and now he excels at it. Just give Coach another season with Vernon, and my guess is he learns how to be the penultimate receiver. Most games over the past 3+ yrs, however, he literally tired himself out taking on blocking of bigger, meaner guys, and even tho Vernon is a big TE, he isn't in the league of DEs and OLBs. Yet that was his job until Coach H arrived. He did it and didn't complain. Now he is seeing what he should have been doing since the gitgo, which is become a seriously reliable receiver. I think taking his eyes off the ball, not running over DBs, dropping easy passes, and not getting underneath rainbows will change with the proper coaching, which he finally has. Look, JH has made the OL infinitely better, the Front 7 infinitely better, the Dbackfield, light yrs better, the qB 500% better, and so on. Vernon is going to benefit greatly from an intense coaching job by Coach H and I look for him to become that Witten, Gonzalez type. Maybe not AS good, but darn close. I also would put money on less wt room time as a request by Coach.
Originally posted by Evilgenius:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Yeah overrated.

965 yards and 13 TDs.

900 + yards and 7 TDs.

2 years in a row. 20 TDs in 2 years. More than any TE in the game. Tied for the lead of all WRs and TEs. Yup overrated. He's terrible.....

He's far from terrible, but he should put up 1200+ yards and 12+ tds every year.... He should be amazing after the catch, instead he's kind of embarrassing.

He's taken 5 yard passes 50 yards to the house this year. He's done that across many years. He's amazing after the catch. The best TE in the league IMO. His only real weakness is the ocassional drops. He needs to work more with the jugs machine like he did when Singletary (his daddy) was here. He improved that some and for a while it was less of an issue. It's become an issue again somewhat. Albeit blown out of proportion by the WZ IMO.

Vernon is not the most natural pass catcher so I think he will always struggle with that somewhat. But he has shown in the past he can improve that with some work on it. Gates is like a vacuum cleaner. He catches everything. I don't Vernon will ever be like that. But there is plenty of things Vernon can do that Gates can't do too. Like speed and explosiveness and getting behind the secondary. It's just a matter of catching the ball. He was 50 yards behind the secondary in the last game. He can do it. It's just about catching it. He caught plenty like that in his 13 TD year. So he can do it. It's just focusing again on improving the catching.

With Vernon the GOOD far outweighs the bad. He may not be the most natural pass catcher but he's a great player and just needs to work on that to be phenomenal.
[ Edited by SanDiego49er on Dec 11, 2011 at 7:41 AM ]
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Vernon was the best blocking guy on the OL until Coach Harbaugh arrived and gave the coaching to the OL that ericson, noln, and BM knew nothing about. Matter of fact once drafted our coaches were very happy to just let a guy with 4.35 speed, just be an OL blocker....and that, in a nutshell, was pure stupidity, but characteristic of our "coaching" astuteness for the last 8 yrs. Coach H has taken advantage of the uncanny ability Vernon has to neutralize LBs, DEs, and corners. He was good at it, and now he excels at it. Just give Coach another season with Vernon, and my guess is he learns how to be the penultimate receiver. Most games over the past 3+ yrs, however, he literally tired himself out taking on blocking of bigger, meaner guys, and even tho Vernon is a big TE, he isn't in the league of DEs and OLBs. Yet that was his job until Coach H arrived. He did it and didn't complain. Now he is seeing what he should have been doing since the gitgo, which is become a seriously reliable receiver. I think taking his eyes off the ball, not running over DBs, dropping easy passes, and not getting underneath rainbows will change with the proper coaching, which he finally has. Look, JH has made the OL infinitely better, the Front 7 infinitely better, the Dbackfield, light yrs better, the qB 500% better, and so on. Vernon is going to benefit greatly from an intense coaching job by Coach H and I look for him to become that Witten, Gonzalez type. Maybe not AS good, but darn close. I also would put money on less wt room time as a request by Coach.

I agree. Our past coaching was pretty stupid. LOL.
Don't think we should forget the progress VD has made since joining the 9ers. He could block better than most OLinmen but they could likely catch better than he could. Strength and speed got him drafted high but he had to learn to be a team player and then learn how to catch. That is something many never learn so I'm happy with the progress.

This year he has regressed catching but that may be due to his being used to block so much. Last year he started making those catches over his shoulder but missed badly last week. Having such a bad showing in Washington DC may help light a fire under him to get back to the jugs machine.

Was it Fitzgerald shown on the sidelines during the first Ariz game having someone throw the ball over his head from behind so that he could practice catching? VD needs to be that focused and diligent if he wants to be a hall of fame TE.
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Don't think we should forget the progress VD has made since joining the 9ers. He could block better than most OLinmen but they could likely catch better than he could. Strength and speed got him drafted high but he had to learn to be a team player and then learn how to catch. That is something many never learn so I'm happy with the progress.

This year he has regressed catching but that may be due to his being used to block so much. Last year he started making those catches over his shoulder but missed badly last week. Having such a bad showing in Washington DC may help light a fire under him to get back to the jugs machine.

Was it Fitzgerald shown on the sidelines during the first Ariz game having someone throw the ball over his head from behind so that he could practice catching? VD needs to be that focused and diligent if he wants to be a hall of fame TE.

LOL. I was thinking they should do that with VD. Maybe it would improve his hands and reaction time. That would be a good drill for him along with the jugs machine too.
I want VD to put up some good numbers in the cards game.
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by Evilgenius:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Yeah overrated.

965 yards and 13 TDs.

900 + yards and 7 TDs.

2 years in a row. 20 TDs in 2 years. More than any TE in the game. Tied for the lead of all WRs and TEs. Yup overrated. He's terrible.....

He's far from terrible, but he should put up 1200+ yards and 12+ tds every year.... He should be amazing after the catch, instead he's kind of embarrassing.

He's taken 5 yard passes 50 yards to the house this year. He's done that across many years. He's amazing after the catch. The best TE in the league IMO. His only real weakness is the ocassional drops. He needs to work more with the jugs machine like he did when Singletary (his daddy) was here. He improved that some and for a while it was less of an issue. It's become an issue again somewhat. Albeit blown out of proportion by the WZ IMO.

Vernon is not the most natural pass catcher so I think he will always struggle with that somewhat. But he has shown in the past he can improve that with some work on it. Gates is like a vacuum cleaner. He catches everything. I don't Vernon will ever be like that. But there is plenty of things Vernon can do that Gates can't do too. Like speed and explosiveness and getting behind the secondary. It's just a matter of catching the ball. He was 50 yards behind the secondary in the last game. He can do it. It's just about catching it. He caught plenty like that in his 13 TD year. So he can do it. It's just focusing again on improving the catching.

With Vernon the GOOD far outweighs the bad. He may not be the most natural pass catcher but he's a great player and just needs to work on that to be phenomenal.

Great analysis. He doesn't quite live up to the hype of being super-human, but is one of the 3 top TE in the league and arguably the best. I think simply holding onto a few long balls this year, there wouldn't be any arguments that he's the best.
Originally posted by ak49:
Originally posted by sfninerfanMax:
i love Vernon---sometimes though when say he catches the ball and has 4 yards to get a first down--and it's 3rd down---just smash forward and get the first down --run straight ahead---no juking and getting tackled a couple yards short. The longer that drives stay alive--the more chances for big plays. First downs keep drives alive!

agreed about first downs keeping drives alive - which is why i dont understand why people on 3rd and short go for a long pass. shouldnt the focus be to get the first down and what gives you a better chance of getting that a deep pass or a short pass?

Point being, the D are expecting you to go for short yardage. So every now and then going for long on 3rd and short shakes them up and forces them to honour the long pass as well. Which should make the short run or pass play easier next time.
Originally posted by father49er:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by Evilgenius:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Yeah overrated.

965 yards and 13 TDs.

900 + yards and 7 TDs.

2 years in a row. 20 TDs in 2 years. More than any TE in the game. Tied for the lead of all WRs and TEs. Yup overrated. He's terrible.....

He's far from terrible, but he should put up 1200+ yards and 12+ tds every year.... He should be amazing after the catch, instead he's kind of embarrassing.

He's taken 5 yard passes 50 yards to the house this year. He's done that across many years. He's amazing after the catch. The best TE in the league IMO. His only real weakness is the ocassional drops. He needs to work more with the jugs machine like he did when Singletary (his daddy) was here. He improved that some and for a while it was less of an issue. It's become an issue again somewhat. Albeit blown out of proportion by the WZ IMO.

Vernon is not the most natural pass catcher so I think he will always struggle with that somewhat. But he has shown in the past he can improve that with some work on it. Gates is like a vacuum cleaner. He catches everything. I don't Vernon will ever be like that. But there is plenty of things Vernon can do that Gates can't do too. Like speed and explosiveness and getting behind the secondary. It's just a matter of catching the ball. He was 50 yards behind the secondary in the last game. He can do it. It's just about catching it. He caught plenty like that in his 13 TD year. So he can do it. It's just focusing again on improving the catching.

With Vernon the GOOD far outweighs the bad. He may not be the most natural pass catcher but he's a great player and just needs to work on that to be phenomenal.

Great analysis. He doesn't quite live up to the hype of being super-human, but is one of the 3 top TE in the league and arguably the best. I think simply holding onto a few long balls this year, there wouldn't be any arguments that he's the best.

I agree. He catches a few of those and his #'s are better, his explosive plays are more often and he is clearly one of the best. He DID CATCH THEM in his 13 TD year and 965 yards. So he CAN DO IT. It's rediculous to say he can't IMO. He's done it. It's just a matter of work with the jugs machine again and do that drill Fitzgerald does on the sideline. Throw it from behind his head and have him catch it...