Vernon Davis might get fewer style points nowadays for his touchdown parties – and he’s totally OK with that.
The emotional San Francisco tight end learned from his blunder with the goal post crossbar after scoring in a Week 1 win against the Packers at Lambeau Field. Therefore every time he scored in Sunday night’s 27-19 victory against the Detroit Lions, Davis opted to shoot jump shots over the bar.
Complete with an ideal, pretty follow-through.
”Very smart,” left tackle Joe Staley said with a grin. ”I was absolutely certain he was intending to do that. I know he didn’t want to shame himself twice, because I’m pretty confident if he attempted to dunk it again I believe he’d have been rejected again. … He knows it. The goal post told him that.”
Davis said ahead of time that he might think twice about dunking the football over the goal post after all of the razzing he took the prior week from teammates.
He blew it after his third-quarter score in Green Bay, though the touchdown was quite athletic as he went to his knees to make the reception on a 4-yard pass from Alex Smith.
When the 6-foot-3 Davis jumped to put the ball over the bar, it hit the crossbar and bounced back onto the field – and Davis came down, as well. He said he hurt his left foot during training camp and felt it on the touchdown catch, so giving him less power in his legs when he jumped in the celebratory move.
And, oh did he hear about it afterward.
Particularly from Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree, two previous basketball players who still claim they’ve got game. And from others on the team plane home from Wisconsin when the highlight – if you can even call it that – was shown on TV.
Because of it, Davis found himself forced to address his athleticism again after Sunday’s win over another NFC power that put the reigning NFC West champs at 2-0 heading into this week’s game at Minnesota. Betting lines
”I think my vertical is leaving me gradually,” he cracked afterward Sunday. ”I’m teasing. I am able to still dunk it.”
The 28-year-old Davis has had plenty of big moments on the field so his missed dunk will shortly be forgotten – outside the locker room, anyway. He has been committed in recent times to finding better methods to channel his excitement on the field.
He caught touchdown passes of 73 and 28 yards in the Niners’ 20-17 overtime loss in the NFC championship game to the eventual Super Bowl champ N.Y Giants. But he received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the 1st touchdown for jumping onto a camera box.
Davis also made a jumping 14-yard touchdown catch under pressure with 9 seconds remaining as San Francisco surprised Drew Brees and the favored Saints 36-32 in the NFC divisional playoffs.
He is depending on a lot more such moments for the 49ers, which have high expectations of reaching the Super Bowl after coming so close last year.