Memo to Gresham: Take heart with Davis

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on January 14, 2012 – 11:10 pm

Here’s hoping Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham takes heart watching San Francisco’s winning drive Saturday. The one where 49ers tight end Vernon Davis took over the last 97 seconds and personally willed his team into next week’s NFC title game.

Davis accounted for 61 of the final 85 yards, giving him a monster 180 in a playoff masterpiece that has to conjure up memories of the Kellen Winslow Game 30 years ago without the Miami dehydration but with the Dwight Clark-like heroics.

Gresham can be that guy for the Bengals. He’s been frustrated in his first two seasons with promising yet sporadic production. But he is a Davis in the making. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden wants him to be that guy and the fact Gresham is going to be in his offense for a second straight year should really help him.

Like the 6-3, 250-pound Davis, the sixth pick in the 2006 draft, the 6-5, 260-pound Gresham, the 21st pick in 2010, had to deal with a change in quarterbacks and systems early in his career. Truth be told, Gresham’s first two seasons have been more prolific than what Davis did in ’06 and ’07. Gresham has caught 108 balls for 1,016 yards and 10 TDs compared to Davis’s 72-774-7.

And Davis didn’t pass what Gresham did this past season (56 catches for 596 yards and six TDs) until his fourth season when he broke out with 78-965-13.

Gruden believes that not only will another year in the system benefit Gresham, but his first offseason with it is going to make a difference.

“We’ve started to get more out of Jermaine. The more he practices and the more he hears about the game and the concepts, he’s going to get better and better,” Gruden said last week. ”Because he’s as athletically talented, gifted tight end as there is in the league. From the standpoint of experience running these route concepts, he’s a little bit behind.

“But he can get up to speed in the offseason and next year we have huge, high hopes for him. That will take a lot of pressure off A.J. (Green) when they start doubling him with a safety on the outside, that will open up the field for a big guy like that.  It will be huge.”

All Gresham has to do is take a deep breath and look at Davis on Saturday and realize he’s got better numbers than he did at this age.

And he won’t turn 24 until after the second set of OTAs in June.

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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Memo to Gresham: Take heart with Davis”

  1. By mwindle1973 on Jan 15, 2012 | Reply

    Good comparison with Gresham and Davis. Davis like Gresham was coached well as a rookie, and they concentrated large amounts of time on getting their blocking up to par. Davis is a great blocker. Gresham is a pretty good blocker at this point too. I look for him to flourish next year in the system. Because he’s going finally get his 2nd year in a pro system. But also because Gruden is going to open this thing up a little bit. Because of the lockout, he was forced to merge some of the old offense with his own. And then because Dalton is a rookie, and the lockout, they had to keep it pretty vanilla. Only getting agressive when they were behind. They will likely look to become even more physical on both sides of the ball. Every game we lost this year except Danver, was lost becuase we were outdone in the physicality department. We may have been 0-8 against teams over .500. But the good news is all 5 teams we lost to were playoff teams. 7 losses came to teams that made it to the divisional round. 3 losses came to teams that made it to the conference championships.

  2. By Amarillo Slim on Jan 15, 2012 | Reply

    Hobs I was thinking same thing yesterday: I hope Gruden and Gresham are watching this game. The play calling and the execution by 49ers was excellent. Better than anything I’ve ever seen by Bengals. Never thought I would see such leadership and performance from former prima dona Vernon Davis. The intensity, speed, confidence, and discipline displayed by the whole 49er team was beyond anything I’ve ever seen during the Marvin Lewis era. Don’t know what secret Jim Harbaugh has for game prep but I hope Marvin finds out.

  3. By mwindle1973 on Jan 15, 2012 | Reply

    I was checking the current website poll for the defensive mvp. Geno Atkins probably deserves it. But I had to give my vote to Peko. 91 tackles by a NT! That’s unreal. Now I know there is often a big differnece between team-tracked stats and the official league stats. I’m not sure why? DOes anyone remember why that is? But anyway credits Peko with 66 tackles. Placing him 2nd amongst DTs, and 2nd amongst NTs. Just slightly behind Cleveland’s Ahtyba Rubin. That’s just really impressive! Kind off makes you wonder why the media is pushing DT as such a big need. It is a need, but our starters are in place in Atkins & Peko. We merely need another NT, or to simply re-sign Pat Sims. Because we sometimes use 2 NTs against physical running teams. To me other than CB & OG, I don’t see how we can determine draft needs, until we see who gets re-signed and who doesn’t. Almost half the 53 man roster has contracts expiring (24 payers total). Then you have to see who we pick up in free agency.

  4. By 303bengalguy on Jan 16, 2012 | Reply

    If Gresham is frustrated, I think it’s important that he note that most TE’s get sporadic use around the league… The Jimmy Graham’s and Rob Gronkowski stat sheets are the exception, not the norm. Vernon Davis himself has had a sort of up and down career, in terms of what his stats look like. I suspect next year, Gresham will be put in a position to break out, in terms of production you would expect normally at the TE position.

  5. By mwindle1973 on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    First I want to get a ridiculous stat I read out. There were 11 new NFL head coaches hired in 2009. Only 2 of them, John Harbaugh & Rex Ryan, still have their job. And just now Caldwell was let go in INDY, another casulty of a GM change. Why don’t some of these teams look at what a lot of playoff teams have, consistency at head coach. Look at this year’s playoff coaches. You have Belicheck in NE 12 yrs, Lewis in CIN 9 yrs, Coughlin in NY 8 yrs, McCarthy in GB 6 yrs, Peyton in NO 6 yrs, Kubiak in HOU 6 yrs, Tomlin in PIT 5 yrs, Mike Smith in ATL 4 yrs, John Harbuagh in BAL 4 yrs, Jim Schwartz in DET 3 yrs, Jim Harbaugh in SF 1 yr & John Fox in DEN 1 yr. The average tenure of the 12 playoff teams current head coach is 5.42 years. When you look at the teams that have made the playoffs 2 out of the last 3 years that number rises to 6.75 years. Teams need to understand there are only so many people that are truly qualified to be a head coach. Your Tampa Bays, Miamis, ST. Louis’, and every other team that fires their coache every 2-3 yrs, have nightmare scenarios for a head coach. They should reallly be operating on a traditional 5 year plan. And they need to consider whose avialable before they fire the current regime. You know the old Paul Brown adage, you don’t fire someone until you have a replacement for him.

  6. By blitzdorsey on Jan 19, 2012 | Reply

    @mwindle: John Harbaugh was not hired in 2009.

  7. By mwindle1973 on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    @blitzdorsey: You’re right. I just wasn’t thinking when I typed it. If you read down a few sentences farther in the post I even say he’s been the Ravens coach for 4 years. I meant to type Jim Schwartz.

  8. By mwindle1973 on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    Now Coyle, is on the watch list too. It was reported this morning that he is under consideration for the Miami DC job. He’s the only name mentioned at this point. But speculation is that the position won’t be open unless current Dolphin’s DC Todd Bowles gets one of the head coaching positions that’s open.

  9. By mwindle1973 on Jan 22, 2012 | Reply

    I just read that the Titans and Cortland Finnegan (CB), will not likely reach an agreement on a contract. Leaving him to be a free agent in March. He would be a great CB to go after for our system. If the money isn’t too astronomical. He does lack a little size at 5’10”, 188 lbs. So he’s basically the same size as Adam Jones. But he has longer arms and a different body type. Despite his size, he’s one of the most physical CBs in the NFL. And he’s a top 2 or 3 CB when looking at run support. One o the best jammers in the game. I still think we should draft a CB either way. But we have to look to bring in a CB and/or S in free agency too, if a reasonable opportunity comes available.

  10. By mwindle1973 on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    You know it’s good to hear Zimmer talk about upgrading the D at all positions. I don’t know what is going on, but Brown has always treated free agency like a poison. Lewis has always liked to bring in vet free agents. You never want to unload big money on one like we did with Antonio Bryant, but sometimes you can get good deals like Thomas Howard. You know the 2000 Ravens team that Lewis DC’d was a draft built team. Lewis, Sharper, Boulware, McAlister, Starks & Herring were all drafted. But there were also several key free agent vets. Adams, McCrary, Burnett, Siragusa & Woodson were all free agent pick ups. And they were all guys, with the exception of McCrary, who had seen a drop in production and were no longer considered top players. In otherwords, second tier free agents.

  11. By tepidfan31 on Jan 28, 2012 | Reply

    Geoff, I need help. We were discussing Greg Cook, and I said that it was Buck Buchanan who drove Cook into the ground; my friend said it was Willie Lanier. Who’s correct?

  12. By bengalsweb on Jan 31, 2012 | Reply

    @tepid – According to this article from the New York Times, it was linebacker Jim Lynch. It seems pretty accurate:

  13. By mwindle1973 on Jan 28, 2012 | Reply

    Sad to hear about Greg Cook. His NFL story is a sad one too. What could’ve been…but what couldn’t have been too. It’s hard to tell how long it would’ve taken for the west coast offense to come about, without his demise. Very probably the the spread variants like the Run & Shoot would’ve come first. Hard to tell though as the WCO was based in and a variant of the existing Paul Brown offense. Which was a variant of the offense he used in Cleveland all those years.

  14. By mwindle1973 on Jan 28, 2012 | Reply

    I wonder who will replace Coyle. Do you just promote Guenther from the asst DB coach job? Then we have the chance to bring in someone up and coming for the asst DB job. Or you could go for a more known name. But I don’t think you can bring and up an coming in over Guenther unless you don’t value him. And then why would you have him to begin with. And it’s also not the why Brown operates. Seniority & loyalty meant everything to Paul Brown and it’s certainly important to Mike Brown as well. In a way I think you could put a monkey in that positon under Zimmer and the CBs would perform A+. Because Zim would have that monkey coaching those DBs exactly like he wanted them coached.

  15. By mwindle1973 on Jan 30, 2012 | Reply

    @tepidfan31: I’m not Geoff…but I was thinking it was Lanier, but I’m not positive…

  16. By mwindle1973 on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    @tepid & bengalsweb: According to the Chief’s Hall of Honor website it was MLB Willie Lanier. IDK who’s right. There is no video of available to the public. What we need is someone who witnessed it.

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