YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Anthony Davis was not interested in hearing compliments from New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who referred to the 49ers' third-year player as a premier right tackle."I got a long way to go. I'm 22," Davis said on Thursday. "I don't take praise well. I feel like they're trying to make you complacent because I'm not near where I want to be. There's a lot of work to be done."On Wednesday, Ryan singled out Davis among the 49ers' offensive linemen."In my mind, he's one of the premier right tackles in the game," Ryan said. "You got a guy who has all the athleticism that you look for. (He's) a power player, he finishes, he's good in pass protection, a tremendous athlete. I think he has all the tools."Davis, speaking softly in a hallway at the 49ers' team hotel before practice Thursday, seemed skeptical when addressing Ryan's comments."I don't know what he's trying to do," Davis said. "That's nice of him to say, but it doesn't mean much. It's cool to hear because you work so hard. But it's kind of backhanded. I think everything is backhanded because I have expectations for myself that are higher than anybody else could have for me."Meanwhile, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and running back Frank Gore concurred with Ryan. Roman said Davis has benefitted greatly from his first full offseason with the club. After being the No. 11 overall draft pick in 2010, his first full offseason of work with 49ers coaches was postponed a year due to the lockout."From March on, we've seen nothing but improvement fundamentally, mentally, recognition-wise," Roman said. "Anthony is playing at a high level. Are there things he needs to improve on? Yes. But everybody has things they have to improve on."He's the kind of guy I want to go in a conflict with because he's going to fight. . . He's going to be a great one."Even as Davis struggled as a rookie and second-year player, Gore said he could tell Davis had the mentality to be a good lineman in the NFL."I look at it at first came into this league watching his rookie year saw him grow," Gore said. "He's a totally different player. The first three games he's been ballin'. He's come a long way."He always had the 'dogness' in him. I knew he was going to be all right his rookie year because I knew how mean and nasty he is."
Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.
As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.
After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday.
“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.
“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”
Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.
During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.
Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.
“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.
“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”
Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.
Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday.
Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him.
Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season.
Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.
Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices.
Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence:
Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.
Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.
I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.
How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.