Anthony Davis breezed through the 49ers’ conditioning test on Saturday and began training camp Sunday in better shape than at any point in his career.
How much better?
Davis, who ended a one-year retirement last week, said he weighed as much as 370 pounds in 2014, the last time he was on the 49ers’ practice field. On Sunday, he registered 332 pounds on the scale, drawing raves from coaches and teammates.
“You can tell just watching him move around yesterday, he’s worked,” coach Chip Kelly said. “It’s not like he woke up one day last week and said, ‘Hey, I think I want to play football again,’ and hasn’t been doing anything. He’s been doing something.”
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Said left tackle Joe Staley: “He’s fitter than I’ve ever seen him. I’m excited to have him back out there.”
That approval from Staley is significant considering Staley’s locker room standing – he’s the de facto captain of the offensive line – plus the fact that Davis targeted Staley in one of his many social media barbs directed at the 49ers over the last year. Davis also nettled general manager Trent Baalke on several occasions.
Both Baalke and Staley said they had recent conversations with Davis, 26, and that any hurt feelings have been smoothed over.
“We’ve had all the conversations that we need,” Staley said. “ … We’ve worked everything out we needed to work out.”
Davis was Baalke’s first-ever draft pick in 2010, and the general manager said the two have a “special relationship.”
“There have been times when we’ve gone at it, and he understands why and we move on,” Baalke said. “But everything is very positive at this point. Now it’s (about) blending back in and going to work.”
Davis at one point questioned whether Baalke wanted to win as badly as he did, and he urged the 49ers to draft an offensive tackle with the team’s first pick.
“That was me trying to manipulate emotions to get what I wanted at that time,” Davis said on Sunday, implying that he was trying to trigger a trade. “It doesn’t matter now. I’m here, I’m happy, and we’re moving forward.”
Davis took a year away from the NFL after an injury-riddled 2014 season and said he was glad he did. However, doing so caused him to forfeit a chunk of his most recent signing bonus, although he would not reveal how much.
“I don’t want to make people sick,” Davis said. He said he didn’t expect to recoup his losses.
“That money’s upstairs now,” he said, referring to the 49ers’ front office.
Davis also relinquished – for now, at least – his former starting spot.
Because he missed all of Kelly’s offseason practices, he began training camp as the team’s third-string right tackle. Trent Brown lined up with the first unit, and rookie John Theus was with the second.
Still, Kelly vowed that Davis would have a fresh start despite his recent rocky past, and the former first-round pick may not be at the bottom of the depth chart for long.
“I told him he’s got a blank slate, just like every other player and just like every other coach here,” Kelly said. “We’re all new.”