49ers

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk 'locked in' during workouts, Jimmy Garoppolo says

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk 'locked in' during workouts, Jimmy Garoppolo says

Six weeks removed from being drafted, 49ers rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk doesn't appear to be overwhelmed by the NFL.

Aiyuk, the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, has dropped in on several workouts with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and other 49ers receivers at San Jose State in recent weeks, and the rookie is holding his own.

Garoppolo spoke to The Athletic's Matt Barrows on Friday, and discussed what it has been like to read plays to the former Arizona State receiver.

“You can tell when you’re calling a play and you look into a guy’s eye and know if he’s taking it in or if it’s like, ‘What the hell is this guy saying?' ” Garoppolo told Barrows. “And he was engaged, he was locked in. And he was a fun guy to be around, too.”

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According to Barrows, in addition to Aiyuk, receivers Jalen Hurd, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, Shawn Poindexter and Chris Thompson, and fullback Kyle Juszczyk have taken part in the workouts with Garoppolo.

The 49ers' facility in Santa Clara hasn't been allowed to open, which is why Garoppolo has been organizing the workouts with his teammates at another site.

[RELATED: Jimmy G impressed by Hurd's fearlesness, vast potential]

Coach Kyle Shanahan has high hopes for Aiyuk. The 49ers passed on the chance to draft top wide receivers prospects Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb with the No. 13 pick. Instead, they used that selection on defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw and traded up from No. 31 to take Aiyuk.

Veteran Emmanuel Sanders left the 49ers in free agency, signing a contract with the New Orleans Saints, so Aiyuk will be expected to step in and make an immediate impact.

If Aiyuk is already picking up the playbook, the 49ers should be in good shape heading into the 2020 NFL season.

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49ers' Nick Bosa 'not going to blame ref' for big Super Bowl no-call

49ers' Nick Bosa 'not going to blame ref' for big Super Bowl no-call

Third-and-15.

Three words that will forever be linked to the 49ers’ inability to close the door on the Kansas City Chiefs in the middle of the fourth quarter of their Super Bowl LIV loss at Hard Rock Stadium.

Third-and-15 conjures up a bunch of “what-if” scenarios. The 49ers led by 10 points. They'd lose the game by 11. That play on third-and-15 gave the Chiefs a chance.

It took a while for Tyreek Hill’s downfield route to develop. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes needed time in order for Hill to fool 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley into believing his destination was the deep middle of the field. Mahomes had just enough time to allow Hill time to break his route back outside.

What happened at the beginning of the play made the 44-yard pass completion possible. Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa appeared to beat Kansas City left tackle Eric Fisher with an inside move. But Fisher steered Bosa clear of Mahomes with his right arm wrapped around Bosa’s right ribcage.

Months later, does Bosa believe he was held on the play?

“I’ve gotten that question a bunch,” he said with a laugh during a video call with Bay Area reporters.

“I don’t like thinking about that game very much, but I have gone back and watched up until the fourth quarter and, um, was I held? I mean, it comes down to the opinion of a human being. So that’s what refs are. They’re human beings. So if they think it’s holding, they think it’s holding. It could’ve been holding. It could’ve not been holding. It just depends on what he thinks.”

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Referee Bill Vinovich did not reach for his flag, and the play stood.

Bosa did not have a chance after Fisher got his arm around him. Meanwhile, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who lined up inside of Bosa, was a split-second late in getting to Mahomes.

“I’m not going to say that’s the reason we lost the game because there were plenty of opportunities where I could’ve done better,” Bosa said of the no-call. “I could’ve done better on that move on third and 15. I’m sure Buck is kicking himself. He thinks he could’ve done better on the wrap and gotten there a little quicker. I’m not going to blame the ref, by any means.”

Buckner is now with the Indianapolis Colts after the 49ers traded him for a first-round draft pick that was used to select his replacement, Javon Kinlaw. Buckner is the only defensive starter who does not return for the 49ers this season.

[RELATED49ers' Bosa expects Kinlaw to 'kill it' in rookie season]

All the holdovers will use third-and-15 as “good motivation,” said Bosa. After all, his rookie season fell just short of the ultimate prize.

“First year, you get there and you’re seven minutes away and a nightmare of a situation happens,” Bosa said. “So you could bet we’re going to come back pretty strong this year if we’re able to get 16 games in and the playoffs.”

49ers sign veteran O-lineman Spencer Long to compensate for opt-outs

49ers sign veteran O-lineman Spencer Long to compensate for opt-outs

The 49ers on Saturday signed veteran offensive lineman Spencer Long, according to his agency JL Sports.

Long joins the 49ers at the end of a week that saw two of the team’s linemen -- Shon Coleman and Jake Brendel -- opt out due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Long, 29, is a six-year NFL veteran. He played four seasons with Washington from 2014 to ’17, starting 31 of the 40 games in which he appeared. He started games at left guard and center.

[RELATEDColeman, Benjamin opt-outs hit 49ers' depth in unusual year]

Long played the past two seasons with the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. He started all 13 games in which he appeared at center for the Jets in 2018. He was a backup last season with the Bills, seeing action in 14 games.

Long is expected to compete for a job on the 49ers’ roster as a reserve interior offensive lineman.

Wide receiver Travis Benjamin also opted out of the season.

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