Vernon Davis on What he Was Thinking On the Final Drive: “I’ve got to be Superman to help my teammates win”

January 17, 2012 – 9:00 am by Chris Fedor

A few years ago, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis was the target of a lot of criticism from San Francisco 49ers fans and from former head coach Mike Singletary. Singletary even went as far as to send the former sixth overall pick to the locker room early in the second half of a game against the Seahawks in 2008. That led to an epic post-game rant by Singletary when he talked about wanting winners.

Flash forward to a few days ago and Davis has gone from one of the more scrutinized 49ers to playoff hero. Davis was a monster in the playoff game against New Orleans and when the game was on the line and the 49ers defense couldn’t keep New Orleans off the scoreboard, Jim Harbaugh turned to Davis and he delivered a catch that will not soon be forgotten. Saturday’s game was one of the most memorable playoff games in a long time and after his performance on the big stage and his game-winning catch, Davis has now etched himself into 49ers history forever.

Vernon Davis joined KNBR in San Francisco with Razor and Mr. T to talk about what he was thinking late in the game against the Saints, whether or not it bothers him that he hasn’t gotten the same publicity as some of the other tight ends in the NFL, if he still talks to Mike Singletary, what it means to be a captain, what the turning point was for him in his NFL career, and what he was thinking on Sunday during the Giants-Packers game.

What he was thinking late in the game against the Saints:

“Just winning the game. Getting that win man. First I thought about the play that Jimmy Graham made over the middle. He broke it for a touchdown. I was just thinking about how I felt at the moment. Then I started thinking about what was going through my mind. What was going through my mind was that ‘we’re gonna get this. Forget overtime. We gotta get this.’ I said ‘I gotta be Superman to help my teammates win. I gotta be.’ Whether it was me or someone else.”

If he thinks about where he ranks among NFL tight ends:

“I don’t think about all that stuff. I’m here to help my teammates win games and that’s what I’ve been doing since the beginning of the season. I might not have gotten the amount of catches that every other tight end has gotten but I’m still a part of the puzzle. That’s the big picture right there. I’m not really into what everybody else thinks because to me I’m playing my best football yet.”

What he thinks about when he reflects on the things he has gone through:

“Man just going through a lot and it’s just been a tremendous ride with me and my teammates and just taking this journey. This journey has been great man. It’s a blessing to be here and having Coach Harbaugh is even more fun. Just having him around and he’s just one of those guys that you don’t want to replace as a head coach. He brings so much energy to the team, it’s amazing.”

If he still talks to Mike Singletary:

“No. I haven’t spoken to him in awhile.”

What it means to him to be a captain:

“To me being a leader it’s an honor. It’s quite an honor and an accomplishment and it means a lot to me. I’ve been through so much. I’ve been up, I’ve been down, and I’ve been criticized. To be a leader, to be named a captain a few years ago, it’s something that I will cherish. I will cherish the rest of my life.”

What he thinks changed from when he came into the NFL until now:

“Just Singletary. Having him around. He taught me a lot. I actually learned a lot from Coach Singletary. I’m glad he was aboard from the start because I learned so much from him and not just about football, but about life, about team, being a part of a team, and I take my hat off to him. I learned so much from him.”

What he was thinking after making the game-winning catch:

“I don’t remember. I kinda just blacked out. It was like we’ve arrived, we made it, we got it done, and we accomplished the mission.”

On Alex Smith:

“He’s a strong guy. He’s a warrior. When I look at him that’s what I look at him as. He’s been through so much and been criticized. A lot of people have talked about Alex Smith and he’s by far the strongest individual that I have ever seen in my life, mentally and physically.”

What he was thinking Sunday during the Packers-Giants game:

“I had my fingers crossed. I was hoping the Giants won because we all wanted a home game. We all wanted a home game and our fans wanted it as well. We wanted what was best for the fans. Not only the fans but for everybody as a whole. Having the Giants here at home it’s gonna be a big advantage for us and it’s truly a blessing to get that.”

Listen to Vernon Davis on KNBR in SF here

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