SAN FRANCISCO –- Right tackle Anthony Davis, who started all 71 NFL regular-season games in which he has appeared, is working his way up from the bottom in his return to the 49ers this summer.
“I’ve never played third team, ever,” Davis said Wednesday after the 49ers’ practice at Kezar Stadium. “It’s an experience. I don’t mind it. Coach (Dan) Higgins used to say at Piscataway (New Jersey) High School, ‘The cream always rises to the top.’ That’s how it always works out.”
Davis returned to the 49ers for the opening of training camp after announcing in June 2015 that he was stepping away from the NFL to allow his mind and body to heal. Coach Chip Kelly said he has been impressed with what he’s seen from Davis, who has moved up to the second-team offense this week and is easing any questions about his commitment.
“He’s all about football,” Kelly said. “And he’s all about getting better, and he’s all about improving. He’s been fantastic so far, so we’ll continue to grow with him. But I’ve been impressed with him so far.”
Davis appears to be taking the right approach toward moving into the starting lineup ahead of second-year tackle Trent Brown.
“My goal is to do the absolute best I can do every day,” he said. “And that will add up and it’ll be enough.”
When Davis last played for the 49ers in 2014, he said his weight was in the range of 370 pounds. He reported to camp at 332 pounds. He appears to be willing to put in the work necessary to function in Kelly’s up-tempo offense and be better than he was before he stepped away from the sport.
“It’s hard work to get back to playing better than I was playing when I left,” he said. “It takes a lot of attention to detail and just staying after it, and thinking about it all the time, and cutting distractions. I pretty much started from the ground up. I’m building pretty fast.”