49ers

Aiyuk's 49ers camp progress excites Shanahan, Jimmy G

49ers

Brandon Aiyuk didn't get a full offseason program ahead of his rookie year with the 49ers, and his progress so far in this year's training camp has both his head coach and his quarterback encouraged entering Year 2.

“Brandon? Yeah, I think he's coming along. We've challenged him hard like we do everyone on our team," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after joint practices on Thursday. "What’s been nice about him, he's had some good days and some bad days and he keeps coming back the next day harder. I mean, he's been up to the challenge, working his butt off the way he’s blocking, the way he's working.

"Regardless of how he does each day, if he keeps that attitude, he will only get better.”

You can see Aiyuk's elite ability to separate on display during the first day of practice between the 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers, ahead of their preseason matchup Sunday at SoFi Stadium (h/t Kyle Posey).

Jimmy Garoppolo was limited to just six games in Aiyuk's rookie season, but nonetheless emphasized the development he has seen from the young wideout after his first full NFL offseason.

“B.A. man, he's come a long way, especially since his rookie year," Garoppolo said Thursday to reporters. "I think this year he's been more consistent, the fight in him, it's been coming out more and more, a little more personality you see from the guy. And I like to see that, you know, one-on-ones, you see him get pissed off or something like that.

 

"And, it's good.” 

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Aiyuk led the 49ers in targets in his first season (96), but he had one of the lower catch percentages on the roster. Consistency is something Garoppolo has seen stand out from Aiyuk in camp so far, and he'll likely look his way quite a bit once again as he heads into his second season.

“Yeah. You know, you can kind of see it in a guy's eyes if they have it going that day, if they don't," Garoppolo said. "B.A.'s one of those guys he's just consistent and he brings the same energy every day and those are the guys you want to go into the huddle with.”

Aiyuk's speed and strength were what made him a first-round selection, and as he continues to round out his route-running and footwork, the Arizona State product could be poised for a breakthrough season in 2021.

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