SANTA CLARA -- Tight end Vernon Davis isn't counting his receptions before they hatch this season.

But with Michael Crabtree sidelined by an Achilles tear and Delanie Walker lured away by the Tennessee Titans, Davis' statistics could be on the rebound.

"I'm not worried about the numbers," Davis said after Tuesday's organized team activities. "I'm not worried about anything like that. I'm just here to do my job."

Business could be picking up for Davis in his upcoming eighth season. Improving his chemistry with Colin Kaepernick is a must, however.

After catching a season-high six passes in Kaepernick's starting debut against the Chicago Bears, Davis tallied only seven receptions over the next seven games, including just one catch in the playoff-opening win over Green Bay.

Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers talks about his first pair of Levi jeans during a naming rights celebration for Levi’s Stadium Wednesday, May
Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers talks about his first pair of Levi jeans during a naming rights celebration for Levi's Stadium Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at Levi Strauss corporate headquarters in San Francisco. Watching him is Colin Kaepernick. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Davis broke out in the NFC Championship win at Atlanta (five receptions, 106 yards, one touchdown), followed by a solid encore in the Super Bowl loss to Baltimore (six receptions, 104 yards).

Building an off-field friendship will translate into better on-field production, at least in Davis' mind.

"We bond really well. We play, we joke away from the field," Davis said. "That's very important, especially when it comes to having a relationship with your quarterback. You want to be able to joke with this guy.

"It's about what you do away from here. Colin and I are going to work on the field but how's your relationship away from the field. It's always been good. Just like me and Alex."


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Former starter Alex Smith keyed Davis' rise to stardom. Davis' 31 touchdown catches since 2009 are the third-most among NFL tight ends -- and only one of those scores came from a Kaepernick pass.

Davis is adjusting this offseason without another long-time sidekick: Walker, who also was part of the 49ers' 2006 draft class. Davis was a first-round pick, Walker a sixth-round selection.

"We developed some good chemistry, we became friends and we also became competitors," Davis said. "He was one of those guys you know he's gone because when he walked in a room, he'd light it up. It's going to be hard. But in this industry, you never know what to expect tomorrow."

The 49ers are expecting Walker's role to be filled by younger tight ends Garrett Celek and Vance McDonald, the later being a second-round draft pick last month.

"He can move really well for his size -- the best I've ever seen for a 270-pound guy," Davis said of McDonald, a Rice product. "I assume he can block, based on what we're doing out there."

The 49ers are in the midst of their second OTA session, followed by a third next week before a mandatory minicamp June 11-13.

Crabtree got hurt on the first day of last week's workouts and is likely lost for the next six months. That hasn't prompted Davis to salivate for more receptions.

"I don't know what to expect. I'll leave that up to the coaches," Davis said. "All I can do is do my job and do what they ask me to do. That's what I believe I'm here for, to contribute in any form or fashion."

That team-first attitude was drilled into Davis years ago by former coach Mike Singletary, who Davis recently reunited with at one of his neighbor's homes. Davis posted a picture on Instagram of that encounter, and captioned it: "Had a chance to catch up with The Sing/greatest coach of all time."

"Just the normal Singletary, talking about the values of life and the game of football," Davis said Tuesday of their visit.

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.