SANTA CLARA -- Shortly after being hired as 49ers offensive line coach, Pat Flaherty spoke with Anthony Davis.
The message was clear: If you return, nothing will be handed to you.
“And he knows this, coming from me, if he wants to play, then he’s got to come back and prove he can play,” Flaherty said Tuesday, as the 49ers opened their mandatory three-day minicamp.
Flaherty, who spent the past 12 season with the New York Giants, was familiar with Davis, a first-round pick of the 49ers from Rutgers in 2010. At least early in the offseason, Flaherty seemed to believe Davis would attempt to make a comeback with the 49ers after announcing he was stepping away from the sport to let his mind and body heal.
“It’s got to come from within,” Flaherty said. “You can tell him exactly what I just said, ‘Listen, you’ll have an opportunity to play. But that’s all it is. You decided for whatever reason to retire. If you come back in the game, nothing is going to be handed to you. You’re going to have to work your tail off.’
“And the conversation that I’ve had back when I first got here, was he was acceptable to that. Now, I don’t see him. I don’t know why. So I can’t answer that one.”
Davis, 26, started at right tackle in all 71 games in which he appeared in his first five seasons. He has repeatedly suggested that he plans to apply for reinstatement for the upcoming season. However, he has also taken swipes at the 49ers, specifically general manger Trent Baalke on social media.
“I do not want to work with a front office or anyone else who seemingly doesn't want to win as bad as I do,” Davis wrote on Twitter on April 27.