49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 11, 2009
Captain Davis? Niners announce team leaders for 09

Mike Singletary announced his six team captains for the season, and there are some surprises both as far as who's on the list and who's not. The captains are Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Takeo Spikes, Eric Heitmann, Vernon Davis and Michael Robinson. I know what you're thinking - one of these names sticks out like Jessica Alba at a Star Trek convention. And after announcing the list, Singletary immediately spoke -- without prompting -- about the guy you're thinking of. "I'm really excited about Vernon," he said. "I think he exemplifies a lot of the qualities needed to be a leader."

Hard work was chief among those qualities. Singletary pointed to an instance during the team's first veteran minicamp this spring. The coach had worked his players pretty ragged during a particular drill and was about to let them off the hook when Davis stepped forward. "Vernon said, no, we started it, we're going to finish it," Singletary said, "and he set the tempo, for me, for that first minicamp."

The pick is curious, of course, given that Singletary's most dramatic act (at least publicly) after taking over the team was ejecting Davis from a game against the Seahawks. Davis also has a history of fighting in practice. In fact, a few months after the minicamp that Singletary cited, Davis got into a brief training-camp scrap, thereby forcing the entire team to run gassers.

Also interesting were the omissions. Frank Gore, the epicenter of the offense, is not on the list, nor is cornerback Nate Clements. Shaun Hill, who as quarterback is ostensibly the face of the team, also is not a captain. Singletary picked the captains himself. They were not voted on by the team.

Asked if being named a captain would affect how he operates on the field, Davis said, "No. I'm going to continue to do what I've been doing. Play hard."

In previous years, the 49ers would prepare for road games by blasting crowd noise through speakers set up on the side of the field. This year they're getting the silent treatment - ear plugs molded to every player's individual ear canal.

Singletary called the speakers "annoying" and said that players could still hear each other during practice. With the ear plugs, the players hear nothing, and they must communicate via hand signals. If you can bear the unpleasant memory, you'll recall that crowd noise was a big factor in the 49ers' botched call on the final play of last year's game in Arizona.

Singletary said his two starting receivers are Isaac Bruce and Josh Morgan are the starting receivers. After that? Singletary said Arnaz Battle and Micheal Spurlock both could play the slot position Sunday.

-- Matt Barrows

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments
blog comments powered by Disqus


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]


May 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Monthly Archives

Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.


49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words

Your IP Address has been recorded as and will be included with this submission.