SANTA CLARA -- On the field, Vernon Davis' rapport with quarterback Colin Kaepernick blew hot and cold.
In their first full game together, Davis caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears. In the last two games -- the NFC championship and Super Bowl -- Davis caught 11 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown.
In the seven games in between, Davis virtually disappeared. He managed just seven catches during that stretch for 105 yards and no touchdowns with Kaepernick at quarterback.
But Davis said he has always maintained a good relationship with Kaepernick off the field.
"It's always been good," Davis said. "Just like with we and Alex (Smith), it's always been good.
"We bond really well. We play, we joke, away from the field. That's very important, especially when it comes to developing that relationship with your quarterback. You want to be able to joke with this guy. You want to sit down and say to yourself, 'I can joke with this guy; I can play with this guy.' Because that's what it's about. It's about what you do away from here. Of course we want to go out and work on the field, but how's your relationship away from the field?"
A year ago, Kaepernick was battling Josh Johnson for the No. 2 job behind Smith. This offseason, there is no question about Kaepernick's role on the team after his strong play in 10 starts led the 49ers to trade Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs.
"(I've) definitely seen some growth in Colin Kaepernick's game," Davis said. "He continues to improve each and every day he walks on this campus."
Receiver Michael Crabtree, who replaced Davis as the team's top receiver the past two seasons, is expected to miss most of the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
While it seems obvious that Davis' production in the passing game must increase to compensate for the loss of Crabtree, Davis is not buying into it publicly.
"I'm not sure. I don't know what to expect," he said. "I leave that up to the coaches. All I can do is do my job and do what they ask me to do. And at the end of the day, that's what I believe I'm here for, to contribute anyway they ask me, any form or fashion, it really doesn't matter. It's up to them.
"I feel like all I need to do is do my job. Everything else will take care of itself. I'm not worried about the numbers. I'm not worried about anything like that."