SANTA CLARA -- As a 49ers rookie, Vernon Davis scored a touchdown in an exhibition game at Texas Stadium. He went straight for the Cowboys' star logo and struck a pose.He was paying homage to Terrell Owens."I figured that he played here, so I tried to copy one of his moves," Davis said in August 2006. "I was trying to make them (the crowd) mad, I guess."As for the touchdown, Davis said, "The first of many."Six years later, Davis can look back and understand the mistakes of his past."Since I've here, we really haven't had a selfish guy, besides myself," Davis said on Wednesday.Davis explained."At one point, I was selfish, and I admit it. I was," Davis said. "And that's because I was young and I didn't know. I was trying to find myself, just trying to figure it out. I looked up to guys like Terrell Owens, and other guys in the league. And I thought that this was what it was about. But it wasn't."So I had to change some things. And when I changed, everything started to work out. Everyone started to respect me, the coaches, the players. And I started to put it all together."Davis still credits former 49ers coach Mike Singletary for his attitude adjustment. Coach Jim Harbaugh has emphasized the importance of team and getting everybody involved in his two seasons."Randy (Moss) is not worried about how many catches he's getting," Davis said. "I'm not worried about how many catches I get. As long as we win, I'm having a good day. That's what it's about. It's about winning."When asked if Moss has told him he doesn't care about personal accolades, Davis said, "He didn't, but I can see it in him. I sit right beside him. I see it in him. I see it in him when he's not getting balls."Mike (Crabtree), Frank (Gore), all those guys. And that's what makes this team unique. You become closer to guys when you know they're about the team and not about themselves."
Mark Helfrich had a strong indication he would be fired as Oregon’s head coach. And he said he told Chip Kelly recently he would have no hard feelings if Kelly left the 49ers to return to coach the Ducks.
Kelly this week said he is not interested in abandoning his job with the 49ers to coach in the college ranks. Helfrich suggested during a radio interview on Friday that Kelly told him the same thing privately.
When it was suggested that Kelly hated to recruit, Helfrich did not disagree.
"That's a fact," Helfrich said in an interview on ESPN Radio's Russillo and Kanell. "I don't know hated recruiting. . . a dislike. A strong dislike. But I think Chip has that challenge in his mind right now to make it right in the NFL.
"I had some of those conversations with him a couple weeks ago when it looked like this was going south. That was a very awkward converation, but (I) just wanted to let him know that to take our personal relationship out of it in every way, shape or form if he wanted to consider this.
"But, me, reading between the lines, I think he wants to make it right in the NFL. I think he wants to win at that level. He's had a rough go of it this year, but he'll get it right."
Kelly compiled a 46-7 record in four seasons in Eugene, Ore. He left after the 2012 season to accept the head-coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Kelly was fired late last season and took the 49ers job two weeks later.
In Kelly’s first season with the 49ers, the club is 1-10. The 49ers are on a franchise-long 10-game losing streak entering Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
Helfrich was 37-16 in his four seasons at Oregon after his promotion from offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Kelly said he spoke with Helfrich the morning after he was fired.
“I just felt bad for Mark. I love him like a brother,” Kelly said. “He’s a tremendous person. He’s a hell of a football coach, but he’s an even better person. Just felt for him and the rest of the guys on that staff. It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all know about it when we sign up, but when it happens you’re still taken aback by it.”
Kelly said he hoped his denial of any interest in the Oregon job would end all speculation about his future. When asked if intends to remain with the 49ers, Kelly said on Wednesday, “Yep. So we're all done with that, I hope."
Defensive lineman Quinton Dial, who sat out last week’s game with knee and neck issues, will return to action Sunday for the 49ers at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears.
Dial was not listed on the team’s injury report after going through two limited practices this week. The 49ers had only a walk-through Friday in Orlando, Fla., but Dial was cleared to return to full activity, the team announced.
Wide receiver Quinton Patton (concussion) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) were both listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Patton appears to be on pace to be cleared in the NFL’s return-to-play concussion protocol. He has returned to non-contact football activity after sustaining a head injury last week against the Miami Dolphins.
Lynch has already missed four consecutive games with a high-ankle sprain. Lynch has appeared in only three games this season. He sat out the first four games of the year while serving a four-game suspension for violating the leageu’s policy of substances of abuse.
The Bears listed six players as questionable for the game, including outside linebackers Willie Young and rookie Leonard Floyd. Young leads Chicago with 6.5 sacks, while Floyd is second with five sacks.
Quarterback Jay Cutler has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Matt Barkley will make his second career start.
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
WR Quinton Patton (concussion)
QB Jay Cutler (right shoulder)
LB Willie Young (knee)
S Adrian Amos (foot)
WR Eddie Royal (toe)
LB Leonard Floyd (concussion)
CB Deiondre' Hall (ankle)
G Josh Sitton (ankle)