I've been all over the place when it comes to San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and my opinion of him. I, like many others, wanted Davis gone just before Mike Singletary took over the team. But Singletary did something right and Davis wound up breaking out. He quickly became one of the best tight ends in the league, and I was totally pleased to be wrong (yet again).
But I think a whole bunch of people are right there at the "get rid of him" point again. Davis snagged 13 touchdowns, 52 receptions for 850 yards and a career high in yards per catch with 16.3 -- in 2013. This past season, Davis didn't even come close to those numbers. To even list them next to those numbers would probably bring a few 49ers fans to tears.
So I've taken some pity and have spaced it out a little bit. Last season, Davis caught just 26 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns, with a per-reception average of 9.4 yards.
Earlier this offseason, I asked whether the new head coach, whoever he may be, would be able to turn Davis around. That head coach, we now know, is Jim Tomsula. I'm honestly not sure what it is Tomsula can do to fix Davis' issues. We still don't know who the offensive coordinator will be.
But what about the new tight ends coach? Davis' worst season came with Eric Mangini as the tight ends coach (hey don't worry gang, he only coaches the entire defense now), but the 49ers recently went out and brought in Tony Sparano to take over as the tight ends coach. I think Sparano is here to add some veteran assistance to Tomsula, but he will be in charge of Davis and getting him back involved in the offense.
Looking over Sparano's history with tight ends, there's nothing particularly remarkable ... outside of the 2003 and 2004 seasons, with Jason Witten in Dallas. Those were Witten's first years in the league and Sparano definitely did right by him. Is there anything beyond that that makes you guys think Sparano is the guy to turn Davis around? Is he a lost cause? Or will it depend more on the offensive coordinator than anything?