ENGLEWOOD, Col. – Right tackle Anthony Davis finally moved up to take some practice snaps on Thursday with the 49ers’ first-team offense.
But right tackle Anthony Davis, at least for eight snaps with the first unit, is now right guard Anthony Davis.
Davis said he approached 49ers offensive line coach Pat Flaherty “a few weeks ago” and volunteered to play guard. Flaherty took Davis up on his offer during the second day of joint practices with the Denver Broncos.
“I’m an athlete,” said Davis, who last played guard as a freshman at Rutgers. “I can play anywhere on the line, and right now we want the best five on the field. And Trent (Brown) is not going to play guard. He’s a giant man. I know I can adapt to guard, so I feel like that can help us.”
The move, in effect, can be construed as Davis giving his stamp of approval to Brown to take over as the 49ers’ right tackle. Davis, a first-round draft pick in 2010, has made all 71 regular-season starts of his career at right tackle.
“Trent is 6-9, 6-10 (he’s actually listed at 6 foot 8, 355 pounds), so it was kind of a no-brainer for me, seeing that it would help us,” Davis said. “So whatever would help us be a better unit, I’m all for it.”
When asked if he believes Brown is a starter, Davis said, “Physically, he can (be). He has work to do. I believe in him. Yeah, I believe in him. It’ll take work, but he can do it.”
Davis, 26, worked with the first team for the first two snaps of each team period during practice on Thursday. Andrew Tiller, who has worked with the first offense at right guard since the beginning of training camp, continued to see the bulk of the practice time.
“He stepped in and did some nice things for a first-timer,” 49ers center Daniel Kilgore said of Davis. “There are some things, as far as technique wise, getting used to that position. It’s different than tackle. Anything he does, he’s going to do well.
“You look at the tackle position. They’re on an island 90 percent of the time. So coming inside to guard, he’d have some help on both sides. That’s the plus. But never playing guard position before and never using that technique, that’s the down side of it.”
Davis took a one-year hiatus last season. Upon applying for reinstatement off the NFL’s reserve/retired list, Davis reported to training camp on time and with the understanding he would have to work his way up from the bottom. Davis began camp as the No. 3 right tackle. He still saw action Thursday with the second team at right tackle.
Davis said he does not feel as if he had to make a sacrifice to offer to move to guard from the more high-profile spot of tackle.
“It’s just perception,” Davis said. “It’ll help us, so that’s where I’m willing to go. It’s playing football for a living. Whether I play here or there, it’s still football. I have no complaints, man. No complaints.
“I’ll be on the field (as a starter) sooner or later. Sooner or later. I’m pretty good at football.”
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