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Vernon Davis: “Game planning” to blame for low 2014 production

San Francisco 49ers v Oakland Raiders

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49ers tight end Vernon Davis didn’t have the kind of production we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him during the 2014 season.

Davis averaged nearly 50 catches a season during his first eight NFL seasons, but caught just 26 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns last season. That led to some musing about the team parting ways with Davis in order to save money under the cap, but they’ve held onto him in a decision that lends some support to Davis’s belief that last year’s issue was with how the offense was run in general and not with him specifically.

“Whenever I’d run, like, my deep over routes there was a safety sitting over there already,” Davis said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “It was just game planning. And nothing really ever opened up. But I wasn’t really ever a factor in the offense last year. ... The first game, yeah. But the second game, the tight ends [weren’t] really involved as a whole.”

Davis wasn’t part of the team’s offseason program last year, but has been with the team this spring to work with new tight ends coach Tony Sparano. Davis had a lot of positive things to say about Sparano and Barrows reports that the team is phasing out many of the multiple wide receiver sets they used last season, a pair of things the 49ers hope will lead to the return of the pre-2014 Davis.