JETSerious’ Star Spotlight Jets vs. 49ers: Vernon Davis
Each week of the season, JETSerious will be providing a look at the star player on the opposing team. We’ll be taking a look at their career thus far, and their potential impact in the upcoming game.
Week 4 the Jets will host the San Francisco 49ers and we’re going to focus in on the 49ers Star tight end, Vernon Davis.
Standing at 6’3 250 lbs. Vernon Davis is a big target. The 49ers took Davis as #6 Overall Pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He has grown well with QB Alex Smith, who was drafted #1 Overall in the year prior.
Vernon Davis played ball in Maryland, and made an impact for the 49ers from the day he was drafted. San Francisco struggled for years… From Mike Nolan to Mike Singletary, the 49ers didn’t make the playoffs until Jim Harbaugh was finally named head coach. Speaking of coach Singletary, remember the whole dilemma? There was the Singletary/Davis argument. And who could forget Singletary’s post-game rant?
Take a look at it here…
It’s actually relevant, because this is what really sparked Davis’ career. Since then, Vernon Davis has been a Pro Bowl TE. He scored a game-winning TD vs. New Orleans in the 2011 NFC Divisional Playoffs, earning him the respect of the league. This offseason, his peers voted him #43 in the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2012.
Prior to the 2010 season, San Francisco made Vernon Davis the highest paid tight end, signing him to a 5-year deal– worth $23 million in guarantees.
Please take the jump with us to page 2, where JETSerious will break down TE Vernon Davis & what the Jets game-plan needs to be to shut him down.
If you’re a Jets fan, you know that it’s typical of the Jets to give up big numbers to a good tight end. You can look at the success that the Patriots TE’s have had. You can also look at the success that dominant TE’s like Antonio Gates and Jason Witten, have had when playing against the Jets.
Vernon Davis is that type of tight end. He is too fast for a linebacker to cover, and too strong for a safety to cover. He is a defensive coordinator’s worst nightmare. He’s a matchup nightmare.
Now considering that the Jets often struggle to stop an athletic TE’s, they need to base their game-plan on stopping Vernon Davis. It has to be #2 on the priority list for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine.
So what’s #1?
Stop the run, first and foremost.
Forget about the absence of Darrelle Revis for a second… the Jets need to improve in run defense. If they can manage to dominate at the line of scrimmage and stop the run on Sunday, the 49ers will be forced to throw the ball. That is when the Jets (used to) be at their best. Unfortunately, this year the Jets allowed their opponents to covert on 12 of 33 3rd down plays. That’s uncharacteristic of a Rex Ryan defense. If Rex wants to change that, it all starts with stopping the run—which currently ranks 28th.
Stopping Frank Gore and the 49’ers #7 ranked rushing attack early on, will help the Jets set the tone for the game. They can then focus on their #2 priority. That priority should be to cloud the middle of the field. Both Safeties– Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry are going to be tested on Sunday. They are arguably the most important defenders… now that Revis isn’t on the field. They’re both vital to the Jets success vs. San Francisco. If they can manage put fear into the 49’ers offensive weapons, the Jets will have a great chance to pull an upset. However, it works both ways… If Vernon Davis, Randy Moss, and company start to carve up the middle of the field… well; let’s just say it’ll be a long day.
Let’s check out some highlights, and take a look at what Vernon Davis is capable of doing…
Thanks for reading!
Please check back next week for JETSerious’ Star Spotlight on the Jets vs. Texans game on Monday Night Football.
And be sure to Follow @JETSerious on Twitter!