Word came out yesterday that Vernon Davis got in another fight in camp, this time with Larry Grant. Apparently Davis was doing some blocking on a DeShaun Foster run and Grant took exception. Maiocco is reporting that after Jonas Jennings came over to calm them down, some swings resulted and Grant may have been punched in the stomach. After things calmed down, Nolan took the Duke aside and had a man-to-man talk with him.
This is not the first time this training camp Davis has gotten in a fight, and I'm wondering if a troubling pattern is emerging. I figure there's good and bad in the fights. On the one hand it seems like it comes as a result of him sticking up for teammates, which is certainly admirable. On the other hand, he's always been a bit of a smack-talker and we certainly don't want his head out of the game because he wants to beat up an opponent.
I've seen Davis talk smack during games but I don't think he's ever come to blows with an opponent. Of course if he had been the one Romanowski spit on several years back (instead of Stokes), he probably would have tried to take his head off.
We certainly want emotion and energy in practice, so if it takes some punches to fire the team up, so be it. However, considering how much talent Davis brings to the table, we don't want him alienating the rest of the team. I don't see this as a TO situation in the slightest. If TO had just gotten in some fights in practice that would have been one thing. When he started using the press in his war with Garcia and others that was a little more of a problem.
So what do people think with Vernon Davis?
EDITOR'S UPDATE 12:10PM - Not sure if anybody has seen it, but the 49ers have a somewhat new "official" blog run by Chrissy Mauck (more on that later today either on the front page or in a FanPost). Apparently there have been some attacks on Vernon Davis in the sf49ers.com message boards (which I hoped to avoid in this post). So Chrissy had some interesting comments about Davis:
I’d like to make a quick comment in defense of the attacks on tight end Vernon Davis over on our message boards. Yes, Davis tends to mix it up in practice, but Vernon truly is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He gets under the skin of a lot of the guys on defense, particularly in the run blocking game, because he’s so physical. He doesn’t take it easy, or let up just because it’s practice. He’s not the jerk that some people think he is over on the boards. Granted, I did tell him yesterday that if he breaks his hand getting in a stupid fight in practice that I’d kick his butt, but he had an answer even for that. “I will yell and shove, but I’m not going to ever swing first. I’ll swing back, but watch me, I never make a fist. I keep my hand open like a slap.” See, he is using his head.
Take it for what it's worth, but something to factor in I'd imagine.