Vernon Davis knows Alex Smith better than most. In fact, he may know him the best of all.
The Washington Redskins tight end spent six seasons catching passes from his teammate with the San Francisco 49ers, with his most productive years a professional coming with Smith as his quarterback.
Reunited again, the pair of 34-year-old veterans are set to reignite their previously dynamic partnership. They both may be closer towards the end of their careers rather than they beginning, but Davis knows that the former No. 1 overall pick can still teach him and his teammates a thing or two on and off the field.
“I think with Alex being a leader, coming in, a 14-year veteran, it helps not only the younger guys but the guys that are already here,” Davis told reporters at the Redskins’ charity golf event on Monday. “Myself, Jamison Crowder, we can all learn from him even though we’re all veterans, but to have that presence in Alex, a guy that come back from behind, a guy that has longevity, a guy who plays his heart out and knows how to be a leader in the locker room — that’s a great thing to have and knowing that we have that here with the Washington Redskins is a big plus for us.”
Davis has been vocally supportive of Smith since the news broke that he was heading to the Redskins in December. After the move was officially announced in March at the start of the new league season, Davis was quick to praise the play of the former first-team All-American. Like a fine wine, Smith only appears to be getting better with age.
“He’s been taking off,” Davis said in April via ESPN. “His game has elevated dramatically. I say that because of his ability to get in and out of the pocket, he’s getting the ball downfield, he’s just placing the ball where it needs to be and he’s doing it effectively.
“He’s only getting better. He is going into his 14th season, and to see him playing the way he’s playing is unbelievable.”
His leadership abilities off the field aside, his play on it more than speaks for itself. Smith’s mobility and improvisational skills are some of his best assets, with Davis believing it will only help the Redskins’ sometimes stagnant offense moving forward.
“His ability to get in and out of the pocket, keep the play alive,” Davis said. “That’s going to be tremendous for us, and it’s imperative that we have that because, you know, this game is all about how effective you can be, and if you can sustain plays, then that’s good, that’s great, because that allows the receivers to get open when everyone else thinks the play is dead and we can still keep going.”
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