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Vernon Davis and the 2013 NFL playoffs

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49ers tight end Vernon Davis could have a huge effect on the post season.


I seem to do this a lot with Dylan's work, but I everybody should take a quick look at his piece on Randy Moss and his possible contribution in the playoffs. It is some seriously good work. Smart work too. I think Randy will need to go off this postseason if we are to get anywhere. I mean, go off for 49ers Moss standards. He doesn't need to be a true number one guy - just an effective, and occasionally deadly, number two guy with some serious deep threat.

In the comments, though, some people strayed a bit from the topic and discussed Vernon Davis. Again, this is smart stuff. I am seriously hoping that Vernon has a repeat performance of last year's playoffs. The dude was crazy good all over the place. And, it was after he had disappeared for a while toward the end of the season. Maybe we can expect something similar.

Or maybe not. There are some problems with this. I see two major problems. First off, the QB change. Alex Smith really had a knack for throwing to Davis. He couldn't throw a football ten yards downfield to anybody else (okay, that's not true - he was super good at throwing downfield ten yards to people's feet), but he could deliver the most amazing 30 yard passes to Davis running a seam down the middle of the field. So far, Colin Kaepernick has shown a greater affinity for throwing to WRs or TEs who have forgotten how to catch a football. This, I think, leads us to problem number two: Vernon is still getting crazy covered on every play. The guy attracts defenders like MTG players snatch up Fog Bank. Colin, in general, has probably been right to avoid Davis. Don't risk giving away the rock. Remember, when Davis was open against Chicago, he had a great game. I think Kaep will throw to him. As a consequence, Michael Crabtree has been getting more and more touches. He is open more frequently.

What this likely means, then, is that the coaching staff should scheme in order to get Vernon more involved. Colin throws better to WRs? Start lining Vernon up on the outside. This would also help limit the amount of coverages he has to work against. It's hard to double cover a guy running down the sideline. It happens, but it takes more effort.

By scheming Vernon a bit more heavily into the game plan, the offense has a chance to open up much more. Coverage has to be spread around. It taxes the defense to face a more versatile offense. I think Vernon could be a huge part of that.