49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 1, 2009
Raye on Nate Davis: We're very pleased

Nate Davis might be a bit behind the curve as far as knowing the 49ers' offense. But it has everything to do with Shaun Hill and Alex Smith getting the lion's share of the practice repetitions throughout the offseason and little to do with Davis' learning disability. "The young rookie didn't get .... very many snaps," Raye said. "His normal development was retarded by the fact there were snaps divvied up between Hill and Smith, so he was a little bit behind in terms of his workload in practices. So what he got was kind of an after-fact deal. To be where he is with the kind of work that he's gotten - we're very pleased."

Both Raye and Singletary are trying to manage expectations with Davis, who has out-shined his fellow quarterbacks this preseason. Both have noted that Davis is working with a limited playbook when he goes into the game. Asked just how limited, Raye said he tries to limit some of the formations and shifting as well as some of the longer calls when Davis is in the game. "But other than that, we give him the same plays," Raye said. "We may cut some of the things down that are a little more difficult for him to call. But the fact that he can take the ball, get the design of what is called and then find the open guy and complete it has been very refreshing."

What would happen if Davis were thrust into a starting role, Raye was asked. "I think he would play right on par with most of them (rookie QBs)," Raye said.

The other significant thing that Raye said was that he was looking for a 60-40 ratio of run to pass this season. Here's what Mike Singletary said on the topic after he was named the team's head coach for 2009:

"My offensive philosophy is more of a traditional one, more of a run to pass, when it really comes right down to it, sometimes you have to pass more, sometimes you have to run more, depending on the clock situation, depending on the score. But if I'm going to go into the game, my philosophy is to run a little bit more than passing and hopefully have a balance, 50-50, but the most important thing for me is to be able to run. You have to know that you can run the football. I'm not trying to outsmart anybody, I'm not trying to be a magician, we are playing football and we need to be able to run the football."

So far this preseason, the 49ers have run the ball 102 times and attempted 81 passes. That's a 56 to 44 ratio if my math is correct (And keep in mind I was an English major) ... ***Turns out my math was a little fuzzy. As the Merc's Dan Brown points out, I forgot to factor in the 49ers' eight sacks, which are passing attempts. With those sacks, the ratio is 53 to 47. ***

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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