49ers Anthony Davis will begin at bottom of depth chart
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Right tackle Anthony Davis sat down with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke for a productive discussion about his return to the team after a year-long retirement, and both men insist they have moved past any issues between them.
Davis was reinstated by the NFL on Saturday and took part in his first practice Sunday after missing all of the offseason program under new coach Chip Kelly.
On April 1, he posted on Twitter: ''Dealing with Trent is giving me a headache.''
''You put all that stuff to rest. We had an excellent conversation,'' Baalke said Sunday. ''Everything's in actions. Words are words and AD and I have had a pretty good relationship, special relationship, dating back to 2010. There's been times we've gone at it and he understands why and we move on. Everything's very positive at this point. Now it's blending back in, going to work, and I think he's very prepared to do that.''
Baalke does encourage his players to be ''responsible'' when it comes to social media.
''We talked about everything man-to-man. Got passed it. And now we're on the same page,'' Davis said.
He was part of Baalke's first draft class after taking over as GM, selected 11th overall in 2010 out of Rutgers, and he became an immediate impact player. He has started all 71 games in which he has appeared, as well as eight playoff games.
Davis also chatted with left tackle Joe Staley about a series of critical tweets last Nov. 28 several days after a 29-13 loss to the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks. One post read: ''Cant be soft playing Oline, disrespecting the game. Im preparing my body to play my brand of football. Couldn't just go thru the motions.''
Staley said he welcomed back Davis and ''we've had all the conversations we need,'' while noting his teammate is ''fitter than I've ever seen him.''
''I'm in the best shape I've ever seen, too,'' he said.
Davis said he weighs 332 pounds, way down from the 365-370 he played at during the 2014 season when he ended the year on the sideline because of a concussion. He said his symptoms were gone shortly into the offseason and he is completely healthy.
Davis said he skipped the offseason with his team because he wasn't quite ready to return. He has been working on both the mental and physical sides of his game, and posted on social media he now meditates.
Davis will have to earn his way back up San Francisco's depth chart at right tackle as he makes his comeback. Erik Pears and second-year pro Trent Brown have the head start at right tackle over Davis, who retired last June at age 25 after his 2014 season was cut short by a concussion.
''AD is going to start on the bottom,'' Kelly said. ''... I told him he's got a blank slate, just like every other player and just like every other coach here. We're all new. I wasn't here in the past.''
Davis wore his familiar No. 76 jersey and shook hands before practice with new defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro.
At one point Davis headed one direction with a group of players when center Marcus Martin hollered ''AD! AD!'' to get him back in the right place.
At quarterback, neither Colin Kaepernick nor Blaine Gabbert can call himself the Niners' No. 1 yet. They will be splitting first-team reps at the start of Kelly's initial training camp in charge of the 49ers.
Davis appeared agile and moved well through drills on Day 1 under cloudless skies Sunday morning in the Bay Area. General manager Trent Baalke stopped for a brief moment to intently watch Davis do some blocking.
Kaepernick was a full participant as he works back following surgeries to his non-throwing shoulder, left knee and right thumb. He was accurate and confident all practice despite an interception by Keith Reaser.
Kaepernick has gained back some important weight - he never weighed in he got so light - and said: ''I don't look like my high school self anymore. I feel like I look more like an adult now.''
He completed a pass of about 15 yards to DeAndrew White and hit Garrett Celek in exactly the right spot with his hands away from a defender.
Baalke, who promoted Tom Gamble to assistant general manager, knows the pressure to win following a 5-11 season and second straight year out of the playoffs.
''If you're in the National Football League, you're in the hot seat,'' he said. ''Sometimes it's a little hotter than others.''
Notes: LB Aaron Lynch said he appealed and lost a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Lynch, who entered the league already in its substance abuse program because of a failed drug test in college, said his infraction had to do with ''an unreadable specimen ... for drinking too much water.'' Baalke said the organization is ''disappointed'' along with Lynch, someone the GM has supported since the start. ... S Jaquiski Tartt went on the active/non-football injury list because of a quadriceps injury considered minor that might keep him out only a day or two, Kelly said. ... Baalke confirmed NT Ian Williams is rehabbing on site for yet another injury to his troublesome ankle, and he won't play this year.
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