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49ers keeping the faith in OT Davis

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted April 14, 2011 @ 12:19 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

If you look at the numbers, a case could be made for Niners 2010 first-round ORT Anthony Davis perhaps being the worst tackle in the NFL last season. Davis’ 10 penalties (seven were false starts) and 11½ sacks allowed were impossible to ignore, but the way we hear it, the Niners are expecting major improvement in Davis' second season and still believe he has what it takes to develop into a top-grade talent at the pro level.

“That better be the case,” one team insider said. “He has a lot of work to do. But he has already answered a lot of questions: Will he be engaged? Will he work hard enough? He gets high marks on all those counts.”

Davis’ pass protection has been the big problem.

“His run-blocking is devastating, but in general, he really has struggled protecting the passer,” the insider said. “It seemed like he whiffed a couple of times per game. But he’s so big and athletic. And he can just destroy people. The new coaching staff seems to like him. The feeling is it’s just a matter of him learning the game. But he’s still a huge question mark. Kwame Harris [the 26th pick in the 2003 draft] was the same way — a big, quick, talented player who just never materialized.”

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