SANTA CLARA – After hearing what Greg Schiano had to say about him earlier Wednesday, 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis choose his words carefully when talking about his former Rutgers coach.
It’s fair to say Davis did not fully endorse Schiano’s methods.
“It was a learning experience,” Davis said. “If you can make it there under him, you can make it anywhere.”
Schiano, whose Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the 49ers on Sunday, admitted that he got “under his skin sometimes.” But Schiano said he’s forever indebted to Davis for choosing to play at Rutgers.
“I root for him unless we’re playing him,” Schiano said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “And this is the one time that we’re playing him, so we’ll try to do our best to negate all of his abilities. But I think he’s a special player.”
Davis battled some weight issues during his time at Rutgers. He bypassed his final season of eligibility to enter the 2010 NFL draft. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 11 overall pick. In April, the 49ers signed Davis to a seven-year contract extension worth nearly $37.295 million.
On Schiano’s influence, Davis said, “He did his best.” When asked if Schiano was helpful in getting him to where he is today, Davis answered, “Yeah, I’d say he was.”
Davis added, “Everybody is not motivated the same way. I think you need to feel a person out and figure out how the individual needs to be motivated. . . (A) coach doesn’t need to motivate me.”
So will Davis seek out Schiano before Sunday’s game?
“If we make eye contact, I’ll acknowledge him out of respect,” Davis said.