49ers Blog and Q&A

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

September 11, 2012
Davis' dunk gets an F ... but his TD deserves an A


David Akers wasn't the only 49er to hit the crossbar on Sunday. After his third-quarter touchdown catch, tight end Vernon Davis went to dunk the ball over the crossbar but ended up being Mutombo'ed and falling back to the Lambeau earth.

As you might imagine, the replay of the missed dunk got a strong reaction when it was aired during the team's jubilant charter flight home. "I heard the whole team just, 'HAHAHAHAHAH!'" Davis said. According to Davis, Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree - both of whom fancy themselves excellent basketball players - were his chief tormentors.

The spoiled celebration, however, shouldn't overshadow the touchdown catch itself. Davis had to go to his knees for the catch in front of two defenders, and it was thrown so low and fast by Alex Smith that either Davis was going to scoop it off the ground or it was going to skip incomplete.

He acknowledged that it wasn't the type of catch he would have made early in his career. But Davis has tirelessly worked on improving his hands and, in fact, was catching passes from the JUGs machine today, which traditionally has been a day off for players, as reporters were leaving the locker room.

"That's something I've been working on," David said. "It's something you have to go out a train your eyes and hands to be able to grab that ball. But it's just been working over the years and having it on my mind that, 'Gotta go get it (the ball). Gotta go get it.' It's just training your mind and your body."

For the record, Davis said he hurt his foot during training camp and tweaked it again on the touchdown catch. When he went up for the dunk, Davis said, he felt a twinge "and it distracted me from getting the ball over."

Moss and Crabtree probably aren't buying that excuse.

The ball that David Akers booted through the uprights for a record-tying 63-yard field goal is on its way to Canton to be loaned to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Akers' shoe will be there, too, but Akers needs it for a while. It's the only one he's broken in, and he'll continue to use it early this season. Once he works in a new shoe, the 49ers will send that to Canton as well.

I got a look at Joe Staley's helmet today. It needs a good scrubbing. There are blood stains on the padding along the brow and the chin strap is caked in dried blood. Staley was wearing a splint on the bridge of his nose today after an existing gash - it happened during training camp -- reopened on the first play of Sunday's game.

The good news, Staley said, is that his nose isn't broken. It's just that the wound - which is constantly getting worn by the bridge of his helmet - probably won't heal over until the bye week at the earliest.

Your 49ers sack leader after one week? Cornerback Carlos Rogers. Well, Rogers actually is tied for the lead with linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith, but he says he's been razzing Smith about it every chance he gets. It was Rogers' first sack of his seven-year career.

Punter Andy Lee had his right thumb protected Tuesday, the result of his attempted tackle of return man Randall Cobb two days ago. On Jim Harbaugh's orders, Lee declined to discuss the injury but said he'd play Sunday against Detroit. Lee is the team's holder on field goals and extra points.

-- 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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