Possibly the two most positive presences to ever roam the 49ers’ facility are now in Washington, the team’s opponent this Sunday.
Former head coach Jim Tomsula is without his trademark mustache, but he has retained his trademark sideline histrionics as Washington’s defensive line coach (he was Jim Harbaugh’s defensive line coach from 2011-2014). Meanwhile, Vernon Davis, a former sixth-round pick from the 49ers’ 2006 draft, has eight catches for 160 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s been a difference maker,” Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins said of Davis. “First of all, he’s a great teammate. He brings a positive attitude. He never complains. He’s so talented with everything he does. He’s been a great addition.”
Cousins and Gruden both say Davis has retained his trademark speed and he still blocks like a demon. He’s mainly backing up starter Jordan Reed.
Likewise, Tomsula has lost the catatonic look he had as the 49ers’ head coach in 2015, and is back to his fiery, spittle-spraying self.
“He definitely has the defensive linemen playing at a much higher level,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said via conference call with Bay Area reporters. After his firing from the 49ers, Tomsula went into deep underground last year.
“It wasn’t easy,” Gruden said of finding and hiring Tomsula. “I will tell you that. He’s not a guy who will always call you back.”
When Tomsula did emerge, he did so without the mustache, which would have been older than many of his players. Nevertheless, he has made his mark throughout the team.
“Players love him,” Cousins said. “He has a great demeanor about him, not only on the practice field but throughout the building. Players play hard for him. They trust him; they do what he says. … I think it was a great hire, a great addition to our organization and we are thrilled to have him.”