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."
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