San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis has grown a lot since his rookie year in the league, and now has become a leader and go-to playmaker that lead them to the NFC Championship.
Davis spoke about his transformation as part of the 49ers, and how former coach Mike Singletary has helped shape him into the player his is today.
Alex just told me that you learned how to become a professional and that's led to you becoming a team leader. When did you decide to embrace that role and how difficult was that path for you?
"It was difficult. It started when Coach Mike Singletary was here. He sent me to the locker room. From that point on, I was...I just kept my head up and just kept going down the straight path because I knew from there, from the talk that we had, I was going the wrong direction. I changed my life around and I became more of a leader, because in the beginning it was all about me and that's not right. You don't want it to be all about you. I find it that, when it's more about the team and you put the team first, you have more success."
What was it that he said to you Vernon that resonated? Can you pin point the one that he said that made you make the change?
"He said to me, I can't remember what he said word for word, but it touched me. It touched me. But I do remember him saying that, ‘Vernon, when you put the team first, then you'll start to take off.' So I did that, I did that. Since then, life has been really good."
From raw talent to playoff winning playmaker, Vernon certainly is a lot different now that when Singletary took over. He also spoke about his role as a leader now, which now including giving speeches. Though Davis wouldn't necessarily call it that:
Last week you gave an emotional speech at halftime. What's going to be your message to the team this week?
"It's weird because I don't prepare messages. They just come from the heart. And at that moment, it was something that I was feeling. I went to the board and I wrote on it, ‘one shot.' One shot because that's all we had. Just to get guys thinking about it. Thinking about what we have here and that's just what it is. It just comes from the heart."
If there is anything questionable about Vernon Davis, it most certainly isn't his heart.