Billy Davis not worried about job security

Second-year 49ers defensive coordinator Billy Davis responds to circulating rumors that he will be fired this season or at the end of it, discusses his relationship with coach Mike Nolan and talks about why he remains confident his defense is getting better and the Niners are on their way to becoming consistent winners.

Q: Do you pay much attention to the Internet at all?
Davis:
I really don't. I'm aware of the situation that has come up right now. And I'm glad you (49ers beat writers) are sitting here talking to me, because you guys are here with me every day, and you watch us out there practicing every day, and you've got a better feel than, I think, anything outside of this place would have for what's going on here. I guess the only thing I can say is my relationship with Mike Nolan has never been better. The defense is not where we want it to be. We're working our tails off in getting it to where we want it to be. Everything we do is a collective effort in trying to get this thing right. We're going to get it right. You watch. As this season goes on, this defense will continue to grow. It's not where we want it right now. But just keep watching, because it's coming. I promise you that.

Q: What's the dynamic like for you being a defensive coordinator under a head coach who was a defensive coordinator for a long time in this league and takes a very active role in that defense?
Davis:
It's a great opportunity. Mike Nolan has been an outstanding defensive coordinator for a long time in the NFL. And I get to work with him and under him on a defensive staff that's outstanding, full of good coaches and good teachers. This really is outside conflict, not internal conflict. This is something that's coming from the outside. Internally, in this building, we're at a great place right now. We're a tight staff. We're close with our players. We think we're making improvement, and we're going to continue to go down this road. I didn't get into coaching for all the good times, and when you win championships. This is a part of coaching that, honest to God, is just as fun and challenging and rewarding as the times when the team's that are rolling and ranked No. 1 in defense. Right now, we're growing something that when it gets there, it's going to be great. But this is the hard part, though. That's why I'm standing in front of you guys today.

Q: What's it mean to you when Nolan comes out and quickly gives you a show of support rather than showing any ambivalence on the subject?
Davis:
It's a great show of support out of Mike. But that's the kind of person Mike is. He's an honest, consistent man. He's leading this team, and he's going to continue to lead it to where we are winners - consistent winners. Now, it's not happening yet. But it's coming.

Q: It's far to say that you guys are on the same page during the course of games?
Davis:
Absolutely. We couldn't be on the same page more than we are right now. We talk about everything openly. We have a great staff, and we openly communicate, talk about it, plans things, talk about our players, how can we get them better. Everything we do is to strive to get this thing better.

Q: What makes you so confident that things are going to get better with the defense?
Davis:
The way the players are working. We have a teaching staff, and players that are hungry to get better. Nobody likes where we are right now. We're working to turn that corner, and we're getting closer.

Q: What makes that different than last year?
Davis:
We're a year under our belt of learning and communicating. We talked a long time last year about the learning curve. Right now, the guys are understanding and they're communicating better and better and we're just right up on the edge where we just have to make a play to turn the thing. And we will. It's coming.

Q: Most of the improvements this year on this team have been on offense. Do you feel you have the players here in the building now to get done what you need to get done on defense?
Davis:
Yes, I do. My job as a coach is to get the players playing better, playing together, and playing winning, top-notch defensive football. That's my whole world right now. And that is what our staff is doing. We spend night and day trying to get the thing better. And yes, we do have the players. And we will get them better.

Q: Did Nolan talk to you after these rumors of your impending dismissal surfaced?
Davis:
Just before all this was going to happen. I got a heads-up that you guys wanted to talk to me about the job security, all that fun stuff. That goes with the job, goes with coaching. I've grown up in the coaching profession and seen this scenario many, many times with many coaches. Like I said before, you didn't get into coaching for the easy times. This is the part that actually makes the easy times that much more rewarding, when you have to fight through this part of it to turn a defense and get it right.

Q: So you don't feel you have somebody looking over your shoulder?
Davis:
Not at all. I've got a great feeling about Mike Nolan and the entire defensive staff. There's a great trust, and inside this building there's a lot of great stuff happening, and we're as tight as we've ever been.

Q: How often does Nolan use his veto power over what you want to do defensively?
Davis:
Everything is discussed openly all the way through from every part of it. So I don't know if veto is the right word. It's a collective effort to get the thing better.

Q: Do you kind of view him as the co-defensive coordinator?
Davis:
I view him as the head coach who's got defensive coordinating background and experience in this defense and someone that you talk about everything with. I view him as the head coach, because he is our head coach.

Q: Is the relationship between you and Nolan what you expected it was going to be when you took the job last year?
Davis:
Yes it is. In my interview when I took the job, everything going forward was going to be us, collectively, getting the defense to be the top-caliber defense in the NFL. And that's where we're going.

Q: But you knew he was going to have plenty of input into that?
Davis:
Absolutely. And it's a good thing. It would be crazy if he didn't have input. His experience, and his knowledge, and his expertise. … I mean, I pull from everybody that I've ever worked with. I've talked to Wade Phillips and Dom Capers and all these guys, all the time. ‘Hey, I got this problem here. What about this? What would you do here? What would you do there?' And you bounce it off each other. At the end of the day, you've got to win more games, and we have to play better defense, and we have to have them score less points. And we will. I'm telling you, we will.


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