San Francisco 49ers OT Anthony Davis took some first-team snaps at right guard today. He had been practicing exclusively at right tackle during the team's entire training camp. He spoke about it to the media today following the team's second joint-practice with the Denver Broncos.
"We want the best five on the field and Trent's (Brown, not Baalke – just in case) not going to play guard," said Davis. "He's a giant man."
So what did Davis do? He went to offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and volunteered to move to guard. That may have been a smart move considering Brown has been impressing enough at right tackle to vie for the starting job there. Davis said that he had told head coach Chip Kelly weeks ago that he was willing to move to guard. "It will help us so that's where I'm willing to go," said Davis.
Anthony Davis said he volunteered to #49ers o-line coach Pat Flaherty to move to guard. He said Trent Brown is way too big to move inside.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 18, 2016
Davis stated that he isn't worried about the transition from tackle to guard. "I'm pretty good at football," said a confident Davis. He played at guard during his freshman year at Rutgers, so he has some experience. Of course, that was 10 years ago.
"The Niners have been adamant about trying to find the best five for the starting line and though they caution not to read too much into it, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could get more work there," said Nick Wagoner of ESPN.
Davis has been battling to regain his starting job at right tackle after returning from a year-long retirement. Trent Brown, who is ahead of him, is bigger (6-8, 355) and a little younger (23 vs 26).
Davis had been criticized during his time off for delaying his return to the team and posting harsh comments directed at the organization and general manager Trent Baalke on social media. Since returning to the team for the start of training camp, his attitude and work ethic has been praised by teammates and the coaching staff.
The 49ers play their second preseason game on Saturday – a matchup with the Broncos. They open up the regular season on Monday, September 12 against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium.
(h/t to Matt Barrows, Matt Maiocco, Cam Inman, Eric Branch, and Nick Wagoner for the quotes)