I have to say, when the news first settled in that Alex Smith had been traded to Kansas City, one player crossed my mind. No, not Colin Kaepernick.
I could not help but think about San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and his relationship with Smith. These two had a bond on and off the field that was unconquerable. There was no amount of bad coaching or tainted locker room chemistry that was going to compromise the connection between Smith and Davis.
Only a day after the Smith news became official, San Francisco's Pro Bowl tight end went public with his thoughts on that matter, including the state of this team going forward. Davis made his rounds on ESPN, Mike and Mike and the Scott Van Pelt show, during which time I was able to gather some notes.
Forgive me if these re-air and the transcripts below are slightly off, I'm only a part-time stenographer.
Mike and Mike
On Alex Smith to the Chiefs:
It was tough for me because I really love the guy. It's the nature of the business and Alex [Smith] understands that as well. He's going to move on and be the best he can possibly be.
On responding well to the QB change:
I think it did because we were hungry. We wanted to win. We've been through so much. With numerous coaches coming in. But we still wanted to win, no matter what...
We had to support the coach. He makes the decision, he makes the calls. There is nothing we could say about the situation. We had to go along with [Colin] Kaepernick.
How good is he [Kaepernick]?
He's really good. And he's going to get better.
Is Harbaugh crazy?
[Inaudible] He's a great guy. The players love him. He's one of those guys that comes in in the morning, and he's wired up, he's ready to go. He's always saying 'You have to attack this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.' That's the kind of guy he is.
On this team's mentality going forward:
I think this team is excited. Because if you look at what we've done in that past couple years - especially with a young quarterback - we're very excited.
Scott Van Pelt
On Alex Smith to the Chiefs:
I'm extremely excited for Alex Smith and his future because i know his desire and I know what he can become.
On coach Harbaugh being crazy:
He's just an interesting guy. Sometimes he'll come in and he's got a cookie, a coffee and Coca Cola in his hand. Maybe he's on too much caffeine or maybe it's his personality. I think it's his personality...We're all one family. We still look at him the same way. He's still coach Harbaugh.
More on Harbaugh:
Once we get into training camp and things are starting to heat up, and guys are wearing down, coach Harbaugh's been there.
On Alex Smith being traded:
I was upset. I know his pain. I know he's going to go to Kansas and do his thing.
On dealing with the QB change:
I have to support my coach because he calls the shot. And Alex understands that because he's a classy guy. He knows the nature of the business.
More on the QB change:
He stated that he tended to go with the hot hand. He is a great coach and he's going to make the right decision and he did.
If Harbaugh asked players about his decision:
He did. He said 'Vernon, what do you guys think of my decision?' And I said, 'Coach, whatever you do , I'm here to support you. And if thats what you're going to do then I have to be excited about it.'
On acclimating to the change:
Well Colin, his arm strength. His arm his very strong. And the timing. Alex and I had timing. And that takes time...thats something I really have to concentrate on. And learning him as a person.
On the final play of Super Bowl XLVII:
To me, i wanted to win this game. I was willing to go to with whatever coach called. He wanted to go to [Michael] Crabtree. We should have gotten the holding call. Kap went to Crabtree and we didn't get it.
On the team going forward:
We have to do everything we did this season. We have to be under control, we have to keep our composure. We have to play focused.