Vernon Davis asks Roger Goodell why NFL players don’t have better health benefits

Roger-Goodell-$1-Per-Year-SalaryNFL commissioner Roger Goodell faced plenty of difficult questions at his annual “State of the NFL” press conference on Friday, but he probably did not anticipate that one of them would come from a current player. San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, reporting on behalf of Monday Morning Quarterback, made the commish’s job a little tougher.

After some friendly banter back and forth, Davis asked Goodell why NFL players have to “jump through loops” for health benefits after retirement. A video of the exchange can be seen over at Deadspin.

“We had lots of discussions about that in the collective bargaining agreement process,” Goodell told Davis. “We went back and improved a lot of our health benefits both for former players and current players, to the point where I think the benefits provided to current NFL players are the best in the world.”

That may be true, but NFL players are only guaranteed coverage for five years after they retire. MLB players receive health coverage for life as soon as they land on an active MLB roster. You would think the NFL would do the same, given the health risks involved with playing football.

“We all still have a lot of work to do for former players,” Goodell added. “The cost of trying to provide health care for every player who has ever played in the league was discussed with the union. It was determined that these changes are the best changes, and that’s what we negotiated.”

Goodell then pointed out that there are programs available to players with neurological disorders and their families for their entire lives. He then went on to the next question and likely made himself a mental note to give Davis some s— later on.

Vernon Davis wants league rule stating player cannot be tackled by his penis

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis fell victim to an incredibly painful tackle on Sunday when St. Louis Rams safety TJ McDonald grabbed ahold of his junk and dragged him to the turf. Now, Davis wants the NFL to take action to prevent the same thing from happening again.

In response to that, the NFL will probably tell players they should simply be sure to wear a cup. If a guy can be legally dragged down by his hair because it is his choice to grown it long, you can understand why the league would also tell players they have a choice to protect themselves.

Vernon Davis tackle TJ McDonald

Nevertheless, I feel sorry for Davis. The thought of getting dragged down by an NFL player is frightening enough for me. When you throw the man region into the equation, it’s downright terrifying.

The only question I have is this — If the NFL does make such a rule, would Davis be cool with them naming it after him? You know how they have the “Tom Brady Rule” for defenders diving at quarterbacks’ legs? Would this be known as the “Vernon Davis Rule?”

Vernon Davis tackled by his junk by TJ McDonald (Video)

Vernon Davis was the victim of possibly the most painful tackle in NFL history.

After catching a pass in the third quarter of the San Francisco 49ers-St. Louis Rams game on Sunday, Davis was brought down by Rams safety T.J. McDonald, who was looking for any possible way to bring down the hulking tight end. McDonald appeared to grab hold of Davis’ third leg and finally dragged him down by the sidelines. He almost pulled Davis’ pants down to boot!

Vernon Davis tackle TJ McDonald

No surprise Davis was rolling around in pain after that. Here is another at the painful play:

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Vernon Davis disagrees with Randy Moss about rapport with Kaepernick

Vernon DavisVernon Davis defended his relationship with quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to Randy Moss, who said the San Francisco 49ers stars did not have a good rapport.

Moss, now an analyst with FOX Sports 1 after spending last season with the 49ers, said on a conference call Wednesday that Davis and Kaepernick did not have a strong rapport last season. His words are accurate; Davis’ stats plummeted after Kaepernick took over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback. The Pro Bowl tight end only had six catches for 61 yards in the final six games of the regular season before breaking out with 12 catches for 254 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs.

Davis initially supported the switch from Alex Smith to Kaepernick by saying he felt like the handcuffs were taken off of him, but he later tried to support Smith too by saying the former No. 1 pick would regain the job.

Whatever barriers he and Kaepernick had last season are definitely gone now. Linebacker Patrick Willis said during training camp that the two were unstoppable. Davis agrees.

“I feel me and Colin are on a different level than where we were last year,” Davis said Thursday, via the San Jose Mercury News. “You have to think about it: When a quarterback just steps in, it takes time to learn his receivers.

“I don’t think you can base everything on what happened last year, because a lot can change in six months. Colin is a different man. Some of the things I learned this training camp, I didn’t learn last training camp.”

It was obvious immediately that Kaepernick liked targeting his receivers more than his tight end. His usage of the team’s weapons was completely different than Smith’s. Michael Crabtree’s numbers exploded for the first time since he was drafted by the team. But with Crabtree out, and he and Davis working well in training camp, I would expect the two to have a great connection this season. We’re going to see very few zero, one, or two catch games for Davis this season.

Vernon Davis unleashes his pythons; has to answer Red Rover question (Video)

Vernon-Davis-gun-showThe San Francisco 49ers hosted their Super Bowl media day on Tuesday morning, and as usual the players and coaches had to answer a number of ridiculous questions. Vernon Davis was prepared to intimidate reporters by going with the rolled-up sleeves look and unleashing his prominent pythons, but that didn’t stop someone from asking him an obnoxious question about a game of Red Rover.

“If you were playing Red Rover, who would you ask to come over?” a reporter (or some other person with media credentials) asked Davis.

The gentleman had to repeat the question several times so that Davis could understand what he was asking. Eventually, Davis said “Beyonce” and everyone was able to move on.

Nothing says “hurry up and get here already, Sunday” quite like media day. When we don’t have players like Antrel Rolle to talk about midgets in Brazil, the week before the big game just seems to crawl by.

Video via Shutdown Corner

Vernon Davis still believes Alex Smith will be Niners starting quarterback

Alex Smith watched from the sidelines on Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the New Orleans Saints on the road in one of the NFL’s toughest environments. It was only Colin Kaepernick’s second career NFL start, and he turned it into his second straight victory over a quality opponent after playing lights out in a win over the Chicago Bears last Monday.

You would think that Kaepernick’s quarterback rating of 111.9 over the past two weeks would be enough to keep his job, but Vernon Davis doesn’t necessarily agree. After praising Kaepernick last week and saying he felt like the “handcuffs” were taken off of him during the win over the Bears, Davis now says he believes Smith will return to the starting lineup once he’s fully healthy.

“It’s difficult, but I think Alex is still the man,” Davis told reporters on Sunday according to Around the League. “In my heart I strongly believe that and you’ll know next week. I’m sure Harbaugh will make a nice decision who he wants to go with but right now we have two outstanding playmakers.

“I’m sure Alex is still our guy.”

Some say it makes no sense to bench Kaepernick given the way he has been playing, but Smith was playing equally well prior to his concussion. The Niners have run the ball effectively all season and have arguably the best defense in the NFL. The system they have in place is designed for a quarterback to succeed, so I’m not sure there is much of a difference between Kaepernick and Smith at the moment.

As for Davis, we have no way of knowing which quarterback he truly wants to see under center. What we do know is he gushed about Kaepernick after his season-high eight catches against Chicago but was held without a catch against the Saints. Perhaps that’s why he already misses his old buddy.

Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Vernon Davis: No question Alex Smith is still ‘the man’

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is one player who seemed to really thrive with Colin Kaepernick running the offense in a blowout win over the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Davis had a season-high six receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown, and he raved about Kaepernick after the game.

Jim Harbaugh also praised his second-year quarterback and all but admitted that the Niners have a quarterback controversy on their hands. However, Davis now says San Francisco’s offense still belongs to Alex Smith.

“(Harbaugh) is going to play the hot hand,” Davis told KNBR in San Francisco on Tuesday. “Alex has the hot hand and Kaepernick has the hot hand. Alex, you can’t forget, Alex did break the franchise record.

“They’re both great players. Kaepernick played last night and happened to do a good job but Alex is still the man, no question.”

Smith has frustrated Niners fans in the past, which is likely why they have been so quick to forget that he has completed 70% of his passes this season and had a passer rating of 150.5 in the two games before we went down with a concussion. Kaepernick filled in admirably against an incredibly tough defense on Monday night, but Smith has played well for San Francisco this season and done enough to win them a lot of games over the past two seasons. I wouldn’t necessarily rush him back, but I certainly wouldn’t count him out or crown Kaepernick just yet.

Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for transcribing the interview
Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE