Question: Matt, what do you make of Vernon Davis' inabilaty to get involved in the passing game? This guy was supposed to drastically improve an anemic offense and become one of Alex Smith's go-to guys. In three games, however, he has been practically non-existent. Now he's out a month and I find myself looking forward to Eric Johnson being out there so the 49ers can get some production out of the TE position again. Not a good sign for a #6 overall pick, is it?
-- Kevin, Vancouver, Wash.
Answer: I don't think it's time to hit the panic button yet. Davis has all the raw, physical tools to be a big part of the offense. He's very strong, a willing blocker and is faster than most of the DBs in the league. He also wants to be great, which is a big part of the equation. What he needs is refinement. His hands aren't very good and his pass-catching technique needs work. I agree with you, Kevin, that it's a bit bewildering that the highest-paid tight end in the league isn't a great pass catcher. But that's something that can be coached. Don't forget, Jerry Rice dropped so many passes his rookie year, people accused him of having hands of brick. I think he turned out ok.
-- Matthew Barrows