SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — If Vernon Davis stays after practice to push the weighted sled, Delanie Walker is usually right there with him.
They both were among the last 49ers players to leave the field following Thursday's practice. San Francisco's talented tight end tandem came into the league together in 2006, and these two have fueled each other with their competitive fire through six NFL seasons.
"We always compete. If he makes a catch, I go, 'Oh, hey, I can do that,'" Davis said. "Sometimes I don't say nothing, I just go out and show him by example."
While much of the focus this offseason has been on the NFC West champions' upgrades in the receiving corps with new additions Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, Davis and Walker hope to build off a special thing they established last year under NFL Coach of the Year Jim Harbaugh in his first season.
"Harbaugh's the most energetic coach I've ever seen in my life," Davis said. "It's fun to be around, he makes the game fun. You want to play for him and you'll do whatever it takes to make plays for this guy."
Davis had 67 catches for 792 yards and six touchdowns, while the versatile Walker made 19 receptions for 198 yards and three TDs — tied for fourth on the team — before suffering a broken jaw in a Dec. 24 win at Seattle that caused him to miss the regular-season finale at St. Louis and NFC divisional playoff win over the New Orleans Saints.
Walker, whose jaw was broken in two places on the left side, spent two weeks on a liquid diet with his jaw wired shut before making a remarkable return to play in the team's 20-17 overtime loss in the NFC championship game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
The 27-year-old Walker isn't worried about taking another hit to the jaw — because he might not feel it. He said Thursday his face is still numb and it could stay that way for up to a year after the injury. Typically, he said he would feel pain through his chin strap after a hard hit.
He is unfazed by the numbness.
"It's like a tingle, like if you went to the dentist and you got a numbing shot," he said. "It doesn't bother me. I can't even tell unless I touch a certain spot that it's numb. It cut through some nerves and they said that could be a problem. I can hit at people and not even feel it. That's probably a good thing."