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Self-motivated Anthony Davis Meets College Coach

Posted Dec 11, 2013

The 49ers right tackle played for Rutgers-turned-Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano as a collegian.

Anthony Davis pushes opposing pass rushers off the line of scrimmage, sometimes spilling them off to the sideline or driving them straight into the ground.

Safe to say the 49ers right tackle plays with a mean streak.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Wednesday that his front-side protector “has been playing his butt off,” then employed the word “phenomenal” to describe Davis’ performance in 2013. Jim Harbaugh chose “outstanding” and added that Davis is playing at a “top-lineman kind of level.”

It’s worth asking then: What drives San Francisco’s premier offensive lineman?

“Being the best I can be,” Davis said.

Which leads us to Greg Schiano, Davis’ coach at Rutgers University and now the head man of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 49ers Week 15 opponent. The teams meet on Sunday in Florida.

Schiano, from afar, has smiled along with Davis’ first four NFL seasons.

“He’s just continued to improve,” Schiano said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “I watch him play, I’m proud of the way he’s performing and I’m proud of the way he’s been successful out there.

“I root for him unless we’re playing him. This is the one time we’re playing him, so we’ll do our best to negate all of his abilities, but he’s a special player.”

Those inside the game – and therefore in the know – cite Davis’ athleticism for a man of his stature: 6 feet, 5 inches, 323 pounds.

But his mentality seems to match his physicality.

The self-motivated Davis said he doesn’t need a coach to fire him up to play football. It makes sense then that his three seasons at Rutgers weren’t the smoothest.

“It was a learning experience,” he said. “If you can make it there under (Schiano), you can make it anywhere.”

Davis did acknowledge that his college coach “did his best” during his collegiate career.

Schiano, for his part, said he had Davis’ best interests in mind.

“I know I got under his skin sometimes,” Tampa Bay’s second-year coach said of his former pupil. “I’ve worked for some great people, and they’ve all said the same thing. Don’t worry about the five or 10 years while you’re coaching them or just after. Be concerned 20 years down the road. Do they thank you and respect you?

“And I hope that’s what Anthony will feel because I did push him, but I love him and I think he’s a great player and a great person.”


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