Asked Thursday about how he can contribute as a blocker at the tight end position for the Washington Redskins, the two-time Pro Bowler made no bones about it: he still feels he can be a threat with the ball in his hands.
So while confidence for the 32-year-old is certainly no issue, it's what he said next that likely led to his signing with the Redskins on Thursday.
"I've always looked at myself as a threat in the passing game. I always had confidence in myself," Davis said in an interview on ESPN 980. "But, you know what – I block because I want to win. You know, I block because I just can't stand to lose. And if I'm out there, I might as well give it my all, play 100 percent – give 110 percent, actually – and if I do my part, then I'll contribute in the best way where I can help the team win, and at the end of the day, that's what it's all about."
Davis is certainly no stranger to winning, having appeared in the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers during the 2012 season and winning the championship in January with the Denver Broncos.
But, aside from that factor – and his top-of-the-line production from the tight end position since 2006, resulting in 461 receptions for 5,841 yards and 55 touchdowns – it's pretty obvious how Davis and the Redskins came to an agreement on Thursday: Scot McCloughan.
McCloughan was Vice President of Player Personnel for the 49ers when they drafted Davis out of Maryland in 2006, and the now second-year Redskins general manager gushed about the tight end last week at the Owners Meetings when asked about the possibility of adding the free agent.
"He can block, he can run, he can catch and all of a sudden we add another weapon to the offense and D-coordinators are going to understand we're coming at him," McCloughan told reporters from Boca Raton, Fla.
The feeling is apparently mutual for Davis.
"When I talked to Scot McCloughan, he basically told me that I would be a great fit," Davis said Thursday. "He believes in me, you know, he knows that I can come in there and contribute and help the team win football games. … We've always been on the same page, and just always been able to just cultivate the relationship that we've had over the years."
After playing the first nine-plus years of his career with the 49ers, Davis last season was traded to the Broncos in an early-November swap. Though he never really was in the mix in Denver's passing game – in nine games he caught 20 passes for 201 yards and no touchdowns – he was a key presence as the Broncos surged through the playoffs and ultimately defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
The Washington Redskins announced on Thursday, March 31, 2016, the signing of free agent tight end Vernon Davis. Here's a gallery of photos from his career.
"It's been quite a journey," Davis said of his career. "It's been good – the ups and downs, and I've been in places where at times it just felt as if things wasn't going my way, then things started to go my way. So it's been like a roller coaster, but it's been great."
Signed to a reported one-year deal, Davis comes to the Redskins to add his brand of leadership and skills to what could be a very deep tight end corps.
Leading the way will once again be Jordan Reed, who turned in a career year last season with 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns, but the team also has Niles Paul (who had won the starting job in training camp but suffered a season-ending ankle injury Week 1 of the preseason), veteran Logan Paulsen (a noted blocker who also suffered a season-ending injury to his toe during training camp last year) and Derek Carrier (another do-it-all tight end who could miss some time in 2016 after injuring his knee late in the 2015 season).
Davis hopes to help the tight ends – as well as the Redskins as a team – take their game to another level to be able to advance in the playoffs after losing in the first round to the Green Bay Packers in early January.
"This is a new year, new opportunity, and I'm sure everyone on the roster is ready to get out there and put their best foot forward," Davis said. "So that's what I'm excited about – excited to get out there with a young group of guys who are hungry and who want to win."
After all, winning is what it's all about to Vernon Davis.
"We're all playing to get our hands on that Lombardi trophy, if you know what I mean," he said. "That's what I enjoy doing; that's why I love playing this game, because there's always opportunities to get better and just pick something and just work with it and just craft yourself and continue to get better."