NGSC Sports

Vernon Davis Rebuilding His Brand

The San Francisco 49ers reported to camp yesterday. One of the most welcome arrivals was that of Vernon Davis. By now, everyone is aware of his failure to report to OTAs and mini camp due to his desire for a new contract along with his need to “build his brand.” Holding out was more of a detriment to his brand than anything else. Reporting to camp on time was a major step towards truly rebuilding his brand.

I previously wrote an article about Davis’ initial attempt to “build his brand” when rumors of his holdout first surfaced. He has signed on with a company called Fantex which trades shares of professional athletes. You can check out how to invest in Vernon Davis here: Vernon Davis Fantex Profile

[airesizeimg src=”http://ngscsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Vernon+Davis+St+Louis+Rams+v+San+Francisco+gKtOREy_7f6x$-238×300$.jpg” alt=”Vernon+Davis+St+Louis+Rams+v+San+Francisco+gKtOREy_7f6x” class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-5534″ ]The 49ers have added plenty of weapons but Davis is still a key part to their success. He has established himself as not one of the most dangerous receiving options in the game. This is shown by his 13 touchdowns which only trailed Jimmy Graham (16) and Demaryius Thomas (14). He also averaged 16.3 yards per reception. His involvement in the offense extends beyond just catching the football.  Davis is one of the most complete tight ends in the NFL. His blocking ability is very underrated.

The 49ers look to Davis as the leader of their offense. Yes, Colin Kaepernick is the quarterback, but he is growing into that role. Frank Gore is certainly a driving force on the offense as well. However, when the team comes together in the middle of the field to conclude pregame activities, if it isn’t Patrick Willis, it’s Vernon Davis that is giving the motivational speech to his team.

Davis has grown very close with his teammates. He said that thinking about them weighed heavily in his decision to report to camp on time.

“It’s great being back. I am extremely excited to be here working with the guys. It was an easy decision to come back. All I had to do was think about the team, especially some of the guys like Frank Gore who are in the end of their contract. Guys who I love and would die for. There’s nothing like being here. It’s great, it’s such a blessing to be able to go out here and practice with these guys and get better.”

Each player has to worry about his own business as far as contracts are concerned. That is no different for Davis. However, he showed how mature he is when he spoke about what his focus is. “The contract is in the past. I am not worried about that. That’s between the team and my agent. It’s not my focus. My focus is being out here trying to get better. Anytime that I am away from these guys, I am hurting. I love playing football. It hurt me to be away from this group because we have such a special group. We definitely have a playoff team and want to get back to where we left off.”

[airesizeimg src=”http://ngscsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Vernon+Davis+Green+Bay+Packers+v+San+Francisco+ifR5tJSlaF6x4$-202×300$.jpg” alt=”Vernon+Davis+Green+Bay+Packers+v+San+Francisco+ifR5tJSlaF6x” class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-5540″ ]Missing time was not something that the 49ers looked lightly upon. When asked whether or not the team fined him for missing time, Vernon said; “absolutely, oh yeah, absolutely I was fined for missing the time.” Nothing can replace the value of practice time. Davis said that he trained just the same as he did every off season and was sure to do the proper things that he needed to in order to be good at his craft.

The 49ers are said to have refined their playbook this season. That’s a good thing because the addition of Stevie Johnson, Bruce Ellington and Brandon Lloyd along with another year in the offense for Quinton Patton gives the receiver unit depth that it has not had during the tenure of Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman. Getting into the playbook was a priority for Davis even though he wasn’t at OTAs or mini camp.

“I think some of the changes to the playbook that were made are great. I can’t really get into it with you like I want to because that’s our business here. The playbook is tough, it’s challenging. The key is staying on top of it during the off season. That’s something that I had the opportunity to do. Even though I wasn’t here I did that because I knew that eventually I would be.”

As Coach Harbaugh says, the facility in Santa Clara is their football fortress. Harbaugh vocalized his feelings about Davis and Alex Boone not being at mini camp last month. Here is what he said; “Yeah, I’m disappointed in that decision, for them not to be here. There’s a voluntary segment to the off-season and we appreciate those guys volunteering to make the team better. Now it’s mandatory and wish they–not the decision that I envision being the 49er way. Really nothing more to be said about it than, the focus will be on what’s going on here.”

Some players would react to comments like those in a negative way. Not Davis. You see, he gets it. That’s why the holdout was so confusing to me in the first place. Further evidence of how Vernon gets it can be seen in his response when he was asked about Harbaugh’s comments.

“Coach Harbaugh didn’t have a conversation with me but as a coach, you know you’re supposed to do and say the right thing. You’re supposed to be all about the team, your team. I don’t have anything against Harbaugh, he’s my coach. He can say the worst things in the world about me. I am still going to love him regardless. We look forward to the future, we are optimistic about the season. We are just trying to get from point A to point B. We can do that by going out here and putting it all together.”

The opinion that Davis’ teammates have of him is clear, they feel that he is a team player. Kaepernick shared the sentiment when he said; “Vernon’s not the type of person that’s going to walk out on his team like that. He’s done a lot for this organization and he’s made a lot of great plays for us.”

The team first attitude was summed up with a simple statement by Vernon Davis near the end of his press conference. He put it best when he said that he is “in it to win it. It’s all about the team and winning games.”

Those are the kinds of comments that portray a team first guy and as a result “builds a brand.” The table is set for the 49ers to make a deep run in the playoffs and a large part of that run will come from the contributions of Vernon Davis, especially against the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

Follow on Twitter: @TDavenport_PPI

Email: tdavenport@ngscsports.com

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