Deebo Samuel is one of the most versatile players in the NFL, but the 49ers star has some work to do if he wants coach Kyle Shanahan to let him show off his arm.
The 49ers turned to Samuel for a wide receiver pass during Sunday's 31-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Samuel caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage from Jimmy Garoppolo and faked like he was going downhill. Brandon Aiyuk was faked like he was going to block downfield and then slipped free into the end zone. Unfortunately, Samuel threw late and his pass fell incomplete after hitting the cornerback in the back.
On Tuesday, Shanahan poked some fun at his star wide receiver's throwing ability.
“How long did he before we moved him there?" Shanahan said when asked how long Samuel practiced that throw before executing it in the game. "He made a hell of a play, but did that guy who asked that question see him throw the ball?
"It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't very good either. But Deebo can do anything he works at, so I'm sure one day he'll get his opportunity.”
Shanahan went on to note that none of his receivers throw great balls despite Samuel, Aiyuk, and Jauan Jennings each getting an opportunity this year to let it fly.
“They all do. That's what they do every week and every year. [WR] Jauan [Jennings] had one early in the year and none of them had done great on them so far. None of them were great looks either, but we'll keep trying to work at that. [WR Mohamed] Sanu [Sr.] has got the best track record because he's been doing it for a long time.”
While Samuel's throw and timing left a little to be desired, Shanahan undoubtedly is pleased with the season his star receiver has put together for the 49ers.
Entering Thursday night's Week 16 game against the Tennessee Titans, Samuel has caught 61 passes for 1,088 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for 269 yards and seven touchdowns.
No throwing needed.