SANTA CLARA, Calif. —
The difference, he said, was the chemistry he began developing with Kaepernick, who took the quarterback job from Alex Smith with six games left in the regular season.
Davis, 29, talked openly last season about him and Kaepernick not being on the same page in games.
What changed in the playoffs?
“Experience,” Davis explained simply. “You saw Colin developing into a great quarterback, and you saw the rest of the guys, including myself, following him and figuring him out. Getting the timing down, just figuring him out as a person and a quarterback.”
With Crabtree out, it stands to reason that opponents will key on stopping Davis. That’s why it’s important for new No. 1 receiver Anquan Boldin and whoever starts opposite him to develop as threats in the passing game.
But perhaps Davis himself will split out wide on occasion.
He said he played some receiver in high school and hoped to play there once he got to the University of Maryland, but his head coach said, “You’ll be too big,” Davis remembers.
“I actually did get bigger. I got up to 248 pounds, and by the time I left Maryland, I was 255.”
Davis, who is 6-foot-3, says his weight has remained 245 for the past four years. He’s faster than most NFL tight ends, and he doesn’t think playing receiver would be a huge adjustment.
“I mean, it’s just like tight end,” he said. “You’re just running routes.”
And if playing out of position on occasion is what it takes to get the 49ers over the hump to win a Super Bowl, Davis says he’s all for it. He took inspiration from Atlanta Falcons star tight end Tony Gonzalez’s decision to postpone retirement and come back for another season at age 37.
“This is a guy who has nothing to prove,” Davis said. “He’s already (deserving) of the Hall of Fame, he’s broken all the records. This tells me how important it is to him to get a ring.
“I don’t play for the Pro Bowl, I don’t play for statistics. Maybe in my younger days I played for statistics. It’s all about that ring.”