Davis' criticism of Bears puts Niners teammates on the defensive

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Vernon Davis put his teammates in a position usually reserved for politicians. The San Francisco 49ers' outgoing tight end has them spinning his recent comments.

"Things are going to be said," 49ers guard Eric Heitmann said Wednesday. "You see bulletin-board material all the time. It's happened to me in the NFL and in college. You can't get emotional about it."

Davis, who caught 10 passes for 102 yards during the 49ers' 34-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans last weekend, told reporters Tuesday that his team can "destroy" the Bears' defensive front.

"The guys up front, I think we can destroy them," Davis said. "I don't see anything spectacular about their front line."

The Bears' defense ranks 15th overall and 21st against the run entering Thursday night's game at Candlestick Park.

"I talked to him, and I know what he meant," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. "It's a little frustrating, but you have to translate and read between the lines. He was not being disrespectful of the Bears. What he meant was, 'We can do this.'"

Davis' outburst might be a good thing for Singletary, who will face his former team for the first time as a head coach. The comments lessened the attention on Singletary's relationship with the Bears.

"I'm not glad he said it, but I'm not going to think a lot about it," Singletary said. "He said it, it's out there and they'll have their reaction. We'll just go play the game."

Heitmann said he doesn't feel any added pressure to back up Davis' words.

"As a player, you have to stay focused," Heitmann said. "You can't worry about what is being said. If you get too emotional, you can mess up. You have to have a level head to be successful."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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