Anthony Davis: 'It's like you cheated'
Anthony Davis smiled today as he recalled a moment when his talent and preparation collided.
And Green Bay sack master Clay Matthews felt the impact.
Based on his pregame film study, Davis, the Niners 21-year-old rookie right tackle, said he was ready for one of Matthews' patented moves early in San Francisco's 34-16 loss to the Packers.
"I'd been watching Clay and he did this move around the corner where he did a spin move," Davis said. "All the games before he played me, he did the spin. And he did it against me and I caught him in the middle of it."
One play. A small moment.
But the 6-foot-5, 323-pound Davis, the 11th overall pick in the draft, was relaying it to illustrate how he's matured during a rookie season filled with growing pains and, recently, examples of unquestioned growth.
Two weeks ago, Davis silenced Arizona's Darnell Dockett and was part of an offensive line that was awarded a game ball after the Niners collected 261 rushing yards. Last week, he held Matthews, the NFL's sack leader with 11.5, without a sack, just the fourth time this season the Packers linebacker hasn't dropped a quarterback.
Tight end Vernon Davis, who often lines up alongside the rookie, has noticed Davis' maturation -- on and off the field.
"His attitude," Davis said. "The way he approaches the game. He's become more of a professional. Coach has been trying put in his head to dominate everyone he lines up in front of. He's getting it. He's come a long way."
Mike Singletary termed Davis' performance against Green Bay as "excellent."
"I think at some point in time that light's going to go on," Singletary said. "And I just think that's basically what happened. You do so many things and the muscle memory kicks in, your understanding kicks in and, lo and behold, you're getting it and it's automatic instead of you having to think through everything."
Davis acknowledged he's studying more. As a result, he says he even knows what many of his teammates are doing on a given play.
And, most importantly, he knows what the guy lining up across might be doing.
"The more you watch film -- it's like you cheated," Davis said. "It's like 'I've seen that.' That's how it feels."