San Francisco 49ers

Anthony Davis: Why did the 49ers turn off the power?

Anthony Davis was not shy about criticizing the 49ers’ offensive choices this season.
Anthony Davis was not shy about criticizing the 49ers’ offensive choices this season. AP

Anthony Davis won’t close his mind to any new ideas an incoming coach might bring, but he noted Friday that the 49ers’ power-based offensive approach has been successful in the past and probably would be so in the future.

“I don’t think it’s that complicated what we needed to do,” the team’s starting right tackle said.

Asked if he figures there will be a new coaching staff in 2015, Davis said, “I think everybody knows.”

Davis is easily the most outspoken player on the team, especially when it comes to social media. During last week’s game against the Chargers, he teased San Diego linebacker Manti Te’o about Te’o’s infamous imaginary girlfriend, then took to Twitter after the game: “I asked Manti Te’o about his imaginary Girlfriend last night and he snapped. lol I thought that was hilarious.”

The comment drew a testy response from Te’o – “Find a new joke,” he said – and criticism from NFL commentators.

During the week, Davis also raised eyebrows when he tweeted about 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. “Greg Roman to me when I was 21: ‘You know we can get someone off the street to do what you do,’ #LifeComesAtYou Fast,” Davis wrote.

The comment was viewed as a dig at embattled Roman, whose offense ranks 23rd in the NFL and who is unlikely to be retained as offensive coordinator, and it certainly broke coach Jim Harbaugh’s edict about keeping the team’s business behind closed doors.

“It’s misguided,” Harbaugh said Friday when asked about Davis’ Tweet. “I’m not going to comment on it any further than that.”

Davis said he spoke to Roman this week and that both men were straight-forward about where they were coming from.

As with every offensive player on the team, Davis is exasperated by the 49ers’ performance this year, especially because of the talent level on that side of the ball. Asked if the 49ers, who used multiple wide receivers and spread formations more this season than in previous years, should have stuck to a power-based approach, he noted that the power-oriented system had been effective.

“We’re going home after this week,” he said. “Maybe we tried to trick ’em this year.”

The 49ers rushed for a franchise-best 355 yards against the Chargers, with many runs going to the right side behind Davis. However, he’s missed nine games this season because of an assortment of injuries, including hamstring and knee injuries as well as a concussion that put him out of action for one month.

Davis said his chat with Roman will not cost him his starting role Sunday, which may not have been the case had he said something similar at Rutgers, where he sometimes found himself in hot water.

“That’s what I love about the NFL,” he said laughing. “I’ll be playing Sunday.”

Happy Holliday – The 49ers on Friday signed a player they’ve had their eye on since the offseason – return man Trindon Holliday, who said he likely will handle punt returns and kick returns Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers rank 27th in punt returns.

The 5-foot-5, 166-pound Holliday has four touchdowns – two on punts, two on kickoffs – since being drafted in 2010 by the Texans. The 49ers explored signing him in the offseason, but he chose Tampa Bay instead. The Buccaneers released him last month.

Holliday arrived Friday and had one practice with his new team.

“There’s not really a lot to know,” Holliday said. “You just know to catch the ball and they give you a direction to go. It’s not as bad as everyone thinks it’s going to be.”

Boone needs surgery – To make room for Holliday, the 49ers placed starting right guard Alex Boone (knee) and special teams ace Bubba Ventrone (groin) on injured reserve.

Boone has meniscus damage that will require an offseason procedure to correct, Harbaugh said. Joe Looney, who was inactive last week against San Diego, will start in his place. Harbaugh said Looney was deactivated for the Chargers game because the 49ers wanted another offensive lineman, Dillon Farrell, in uniform so that he could be a de facto No. 3 tight end.

The 49ers promoted cornerback Cameron Fuller from the practice squad. Two other cornerbacks, Perrish Cox (shoulder) and Tramaine Brock (hamstring), are listed as questionable on the injury report.

Et cetera – The NFL fined Joe Staley $22,050 for “abusive and insulting language” toward referee Jeff Triplette, which earned him a personal foul penalty in last Saturday’s game. Receiver Anquan Boldin was fined $10,000 for striking an opponent in the head.

▪ Safety Eric Reid (concussion) practiced Friday but will not play against Arizona. Craig Dahl will start in his place, and rookie L.J. McCray will be the backup at both safety spots.

▪ Asked about the playing surface at Levi’s Stadium, Harbaugh called it “adequate.” “They’ve had to troubleshoot,” he said. “They’ve had different events, et cetera. It’s been up to NFL standards every time we’ve gone out there to play, and that’s all you can ask.”

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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