Why Vernon Davis Missed the Voluntary Workouts (Not about the Money)

davis-leaving-san-fran

There are only three reasons I could come up with why Vernon Davis would skip over 200,000 smackaroos just to come to voluntary practices for the 49ers. Which, I also believe, are less strenuous due to the labor deal passed a couple of years back.

1. He is out of money, and trying to get a new contract. This can be a possibility, but a huge risk to lose that much money from voluntary workouts. Easily could voice his discontent and threaten/ask to be traded if he doesn’t get money.

2. He had some bigger issues going on. Shit happens. But this would’ve been known by now. 200Gs though….

But here is what I wrote on CBS Sports page on the real reason Vernon Davis hasn’t shown up: Harbaugh’s coaching:

Doesn’t make sense. His contract was front-ended and he was getting paid good money in 2012 when his stats are mediocre. BUT, let me defend this here.

 

Their offense puts him on a lot of blocking assignments, and a great deal of his yards with Kapernick have been 15+ yard plays. Most of the time its pretty physical, and half the season he’s playing against very physical defenses. That brutal style won’t get you those stats or even keep you well physically over time. He is reaching that age where if he’s only going to get one contract left, why toil on a team and lose most of your speed by 32 creating holes for running backs or cutting off linebackers on screens?

 

This doesn’t happen on a … let’s say Eagles or Saints, where they’ll treat the TE more as a receiver and less as a bruiser. This might be a situation where he doesn’t like his role at all regardless of the money. He signed his last contract before Harbaugh came in and expanded his blocking assignments under Smith. And Harbaugh seems like a type who will bury a player into the ground to win the SB.
And rightfully so, and so should Davis. But I wonder if Davis is scared to sacrifice the last of his physical prowess on a team that doesn’t seem to have answers against the Seahawks past two years. He’s probably looking at it that he can gracefully do a Shannon Sharpe and play/get paid another 5-7 years on a less-intensive team, then possibly take the edge of his career to a contender.

 

He plays this year and he plays well. But I think he is willing to have one more year of this type of style and I think he bolts regardless if they win the SB. But he’s counting on a ring this year, so this will be his only stir.

 

Don’t be surprised if you see Gronk do this next year either. These guys are waaayyyy above in their game and seeing the money (and pretty much softer assignments) and winning ways of Jimmy Graham they might forego being on the best teams to extend their careers. But they will take the beating in the short-term to get that ring. Gronk is now an injury risk (remember, his forearm injury happened because Belly has him on SPECIAL TEAMS for EXTRA POINT BLOCKING) and Davis’s stats might be sacrificed and physical toll heightened.

They know their coaches can win it all, but in 2016, Houston and Indy might be up there too. And will pay them more with less physical strain on their bodies. They are aware of this, and when this game can take out the best players in the blink of an eye, they might not chance it for their current teams further then their current contract’s expiration date.

Harbaugh already seems to have recent player and management issues popping up that this could be more as a concern with how he is coaching than how much the current contract entails. Even getting to the NFC Championship and Superbowl hasn’t crowded out some of the friction happening on this squad. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Davis just another symptom for the growing conflict between staff, management, and players.

Maniac Notes Daily: Moss Redeemed, Delonte West, & Nike’s Black Santa

Randy Moss redeemed

Randy Moss scores three touchdowns in the Patriots rout of the Jaguars today. The fans were cheering “Randy! Randy!” as the game wound down.

For those fans ( Randy Moss quote: “My real fans” ) who have stood behind Moss this season, you were redeemed with this game ( although it was an “ok” game by Moss, nothing spectacular ). For those fans who were bashing Randy Moss over the last couple of weeks ( *cough* WEEI *cough* Big Show *cough**cough* Michael Felger ):

Go Screw Yourselves

Bandwagon jumpers will nonetheless get back on Randy’s side, even though we all should’ve been on his side the whole time. Good job Moss.

Belichick’s “Ghost Defense”

This is the 2nd game that Belichick is using his Ghost Defense. Essentially having a bunch of guys at the line of scrimmage moving around without being set, making it hard for the offensive line to know who is rushing the QB or who’s staying back.

Wilfork and Warren didn’t play in this game, so Belichick had to come up with some zany schemes to stifle the run game. Getting after Garrard with great pressure by the line was a bonus; the pass-rush looked amazing today, and it had a lot of help since the lead nullified the Jags from using the run game to  their advantage.

Wouldn’t be surprised if this Ghost Defense becomes part of the normal defensive play-set going into the playoffs; it has been used so little over the years, there probably isn’t enough video to overcome this gimmick defense easily.

This Ghost Defense today was different because they employed two down-lineman on the edges ( the five gaps ), and stuffed the middle full of linebackers/small lineman. I don’t think I have ever seen this in the NFL, although I have seen other Ghost Defenses used with Eric Mangini and I believe Rex Ryan over the last couple of years.

At the same time, using it too much will allow teams to defend against it better in the future. Kudos to Belichick for thinking of this scheme, and keeping it fresh for games such as these ( ie: games with enough injuries to result in unorthodox play-calling.

Delonte’s Success Equals Cleveland Cavs Success

It does. When he is on his game, he creates a huge distraction on the court for a lot of teams. He can shoot, he has good court vision to pass the ball off, and he will take it to the hoop in a heartbeat. He has had some off-the-court and mental issues that have plagued him this season, and it has affected his playing time.

Lakers fans were too busy acting like animals to notice the trend on the court on Christmas day; when Delonte plays his best, he solidifies the bench, and gives Lebron another weapon to pass it off when he gets surrounded going towards the hoop. Delonte West is the X-Factor for the Cavs; they don’t win the championship if he isn’t on his game. Period.

Nike’s Black Santa: A point to make.

I have seen some comments to the Nike commercials with The reindeer rap and Santa, Lebron, & Kobe Bryant muppets. Some people were quick to point out that Santa was black ( the Santa rap was performed by KRS One, which is great to see an old-school hip-hop homage ), which is fine. But, in case anyone is bothered by Nike’s depiction of an “urban” Santa, here is some history for you.

Quoted From The Book “For God, Country, & Coca-Cola”:

While Coca-Cola has had a subtle, pervasive influence on our culture, it had directly shaped the way we think of Santa. Prior to the (Haddon) Sunblom illustrations, the Christmas saint had been variously illustrated wearing blue, yellow, green, or red. In European art, he was usually tall and gaunt, whereas Clement Moore had depicted him as an elf in “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

After the soft drink ads, Santa would forever more be a huge, fat, relentless happy man with a broad belt and black hip boots- and he would wear Coca-Cola red.

Coca-Cola commissioned artist Haddon Sunblom to create a marketable Santa that would fit Coca-Cola’s advertising campaigns to get more people to drink soda in the colder months. Not only did this campaign work, but it etched one of the most important and popular icons in American, and possibly human, history. (Note: There were other similar versions of a jolly fat Santa before Sundblom, but Coca-Cola cemented the archetype that stayed with our culture up until the present.).

So, any perception of Santa is reasonable, considering our current perception was created by a corporation to push a sugar drink. Merry Xmas.

Bobby Bowden To Resign; Was This Guy Even Coaching His Team?

From The Wham Articles:

It was pretty well-known that the complexities of football preparation and gameplay had passed Bobby Bowden a long time ago.

The current head coach of the Florida State Seminoles is allegedly planning to announce his resignation tomorrow, according to sources from ESPN. He has many coaches on his staff, and although as figure he is one of the most powerful and influential people in college sports, it has been questioned how much influence he has on his football team’s day-to-day operations.

If you don’t believe, here is a quote from Mr. Bowden in 2005 after a loss to the Gators:

“I don’t feel like I need to be as hands-on as I used to be. In the old days everything started and stopped with me, but now I have a good staff of assistants. Real dependable guys. Hell, I don’t need to wear no headsets or crazy microphones during games. I don’t have to do jack shit. I can just stand there and read the paper if I want. Or better yet, have one of my assistants read it for me.”

Also remember the infamous transcript where he forgot the score to a game against Clemson earlier this year ( re-printing transcript ):

Bowden: “Both of us made errors. We probably scored on some of their errors — I didn’t keep up with it. But we’d turn the ball over and they’d go down and score. Then we’d turn it over and they didn’t score. They’d turn it over back. And the game kind of went that way. We felt very comfortable. We knew it was a battle.

“How late was it 24-21 in our favor? How late did it get? Did that get into the fourth quarter?”

Reporter: “Nine and a half minutes left.”

Bowden: “Left in the game?”

Reporter: “Yes.”

Bowden: “So you’re feeling comfortable, but you know that it ain’t won yet. Then of course the dam broke.”

A few minutes later, Bowden was asked this question by another reporter.

Reporter: “In the second half, when it seemed like momentum started to switch, how hard was it to try to reverse that?”

Bowden: “You mean when they got it (momentum)? Well, actually … you know, they had to kick off to us. We had a what? A three-point ….? Did we have the lead at the half?”

(Reporter nods).

Bowden: “We had a three-point lead at the half, I think. Then they had to kick off to us. We needed to take it down and win the darn game right there. We didn’t do it. They stopped us. Then we kicked it to them and then they probably scored.”

Reporter: “They went ahead and then you guys came back.”

Bowden: “Huh?”

Reporter: “They went ahead and then you guys came back again.”

Bowden: “Did we get ahead of them again after that?”

Reporter: “Yeah.”

Bowden: “Then we got back ahead, huh? Umm, it was going that way, you know it? I felt very comfortable that if they could score, we could score. That’s the way I felt, you know it? We’ve done it all year. But then we started turning the ball over.”
Transcript from Deadspin.com

Would you want Bobby to have an extension to coach your team if he isn’t really coaching? Do you think he still means something to the program, considering he built the thing from scratch?