SANTA CLARA -- Wide receiver Dante Pettis is about the worst person to ask about any changes he has witnessed in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from a year ago.
That’s because Pettis was way too preoccupied trying to figure out his own assignments as a rookie to even notice who was throwing the passes.
“He looks really good,” Pettis said of Garoppolo on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “I was so lost last year, I don’t remember what he was like at the beginning of the year. I was only worried about me. If the ball came to me, I was like, ‘Cool, awesome. That’s great.’
“(But) I didn’t know who I was in with. As far as watching him now, he looks really good.”
Pettis, a second-round pick in 2018 from Washington, appeared in 12 games last season, catching 27 passes for 467 yards and five touchdowns.
He missed three games early in the season with a knee injury. Pettis returned and had his two best games in Weeks 13 and 15 against Seattle, when things started to click for him. He caught 10 passes for 212 yards and two TDs, as the 49ers split those games against the Seahawks. He was sidelined for the season finale with another knee injury.
It was a process to learn Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Pettis said, and he can totally relate to what the 49ers’ rookie receivers, including Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, are experiencing this offseason.
“I feel like I was just there, walking onto the field and not know what you’re doing, at all,” Pettis said. “Every time they call a play, you’re looking back at the quarterback, ‘What do I have here?’”
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Pettis’ advice to the young players is to remain in the playbook at keep grinding. Eventually, he said it all makes sense. And that’s where Pettis feels most comfortable heading into his second NFL season.
“There’s going to be a day where it all just clicks,” he said. “I don’t have to stress about this really anymore. … I’m not out there stressed out and can play free.”