Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels led the Broncos in receiving Sunday, combining for ten catches for 137 yards in Denver’s 17-15 road win over the Bears.
Davis, who was traded from San Francisco to Denver earlier this month, caught all six of his targets for 68 yards and has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Broncos, especially since Gary Kubiak’s offense emphasizes tight ends.
“Oh, let me tell you: From the first day of practice, I just fell in love,” Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “(I thought), ‘Wow, this is a beautiful place to be,’ and I’m having fun again. Sometimes you face situations where football is not fun. It’s not fun. My case was being in San Francisco where I was going through some things where things – it just hasn’t happening the way I expected it to happen. All the goals that I set in front of me, it just wasn’t happening. But like I tell everybody: You’re not going to have things always happen when you want them to happen, but during that time when there’s turmoil and setbacks, those things build you not just as a player, but as a person.”
Davis, 31, spent the first 10 years of his career in San Francisco, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler and played in three NFC Championships and a Super Bowl. Overall, he had a wonderful time in the Bay Area.
Toward the end, however, it wasn’t fun.
“It wasn’t,” Davis said, “but I knew one thing: I knew that I had to stick in there with my guys and I had to continue to work as hard as I possibly could because when moments like this arrive, this is when you really have to work extremely hard. You have to work and work and expect other guys to follow and just continue to just keep growing as a team. I would tell some of the young guys and let them know: ‘This is one we really have to (have). This is where we have to work the hardest.’”
When the 49ers parted ways with Jim Harbaugh, Davis admitted he had moments of doubt, that he wondered if what the franchise had built over the years was coming undone. Then he got over it.
“I like to stay on the positive side,” he said. “I’m always optimistic about things. So to me, going into this year, I thought we had a shot at the Super Bowl. Some people might laugh at me, but that’s just my mindset. I’m always positive. Even during times of turmoil and adversity, I just try to remain positive.”
Davis had just 18 catches for 194 yards in six games for the Niners this season – a far cry from his 2013 output, when he caught 13 touchdown passes. Eventually, Colin Kaepernick, who seemed to regress in recent years, was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. Kaepernick has since been placed on season-ending IR and appears on his way out in San Fran.
“You depend on each other,” Davis said of the relationship between a quarterback and a pass-catcher. “You guys have to be on the same page. You have to have chemistry. If it’s not in sync, then nothing’s going to happen. But you can’t put the blame all on Colin. He’s had some tough couple years, yeah, but like I tell everyone: Colin is such a strong-minded individual that I genuinely believe in my heart that he’s going to come back and he’s going to play better, he’s going to be a better person – everything is just going (to be) good. I know him personally and I feel like he works extremely hard, so something has to pay off for him.”