The benching that changed Vernon Davis' life
Remember this press conference clip from 2008?
While a betting man may have placed money on that day signaling the end of Davis' time in San Francisco. But the 49ers tight end told NFL Network Tuesday that benching was "changed my whole life around."
"After the game, I told Singletary that I wanted to leave. He said, 'Okay, you'll leave. We'll get you over to another team.' We shed tears. After that, my focus went to a whole other level. It wasn't about me. I didn't think about the stats or the catches, it was all about the team. I find that when you put the team first, you'll have success and you'll feel much better about yourself and what you're trying to build."
Davis' stats back up his beliefs. He had a career year in 2009, reaching the Pro Bowl by setting career highs with 78 catches for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns. He followed that season up with a 914-yard season in 2010. Davis has proven to be a key performer in the 49ers' playoff runs the past two seasons, catching 10 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns in San Francisco's two playoff games last season, and grabbed five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers' NFC Championship win over Atlanta.
Though he had no way of knowing it at the time, Singletary's move followed the quote North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl lives by, "When your instincts tell you something, you need to move then. Don't wait for the data to back up your intuition."
Singletary would be let go as the 49ers' head coach following the 2010 season, but his move to bench a first-round pick is still paying off for Jim Harbaugh and co. as they try to win a Super Bowl on Sunday.