Dante Pettis no longer stressed out as he enters second 49ers season

Dante Pettis no longer stressed out as he enters second 49ers season

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.”

Jason Verrett takes it 'day by day,' remains patient in waiting for first chance with 49ers


Jason Verrett takes it 'day by day,' remains patient in waiting for first chance with 49ers

SANTA CLARA – When 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett has been healthy, he has been a Pro Bowl-caliber NFL cornerback.

After missing the preseason with an ankle injury, Verrett was listed as questionable on the 49ers’ injury report for Week 1. He did not appear on the injury report leading up to Week 2.

Yet, Verrett is still waiting to make his debut with the 49ers, with whom he signed a one-year contract in the offseason. He was declared one of the team’s seven inactive players for both of the 49ers' first two games. The decisions on which players are inactive are announced 90 minutes before kickoff.

“Yeah, it’s very difficult when it’s like that,” said Verrett, 28, a first-round pick of the Chargers in 2014. “But at the same time, I’m a pro. I take it for what it is, and control what I can control and just try to move forward with it.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers did not seriously consider playing him in the first two games as he was returning from the ankle injury.

“I know he really wanted to get out there last week, but we tried to play it smart with him,” Shanahan said. “He has a better chance to get out there this week. That’s something we will discuss. It doesn’t all have to do with him. It’ll have to do with the rest of the roster and how we plan on attacking these guys.”

The 49ers return play their regular-season home opener on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi's Stadium.

Verrett sustained a torn Achilles on the first day of camp last summer with the Chargers and missed the entire 2018 season. A variety of injuries have limited Verrett to just 25 games in six seasons. In 2014, Verrett appeared in a career-high 14 games, and he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl.

This is something new for Verrett to be healthy and not suiting up for games.

“It’s definitely an adjustment for me, not being on the field,” he said. “I’m just taking it by day by day.”

Ahkello Witherspoon has strengthened his hold on the job as the 49ers’ starting right cornerback with veteran Richard Sherman on the left side. Witherspoon and Sherman had interception returns for touchdowns in the 49ers' opener at Tampa Bay.

Verrett has not played any nickel back with the 49ers, but he said is capable of covering the slot receiver because of his familiarity with the defense.

“I think everything is going to play out how it’s supposed to be,” Verrett said. "I just got to continue taking care of my body and doing what I need to do in practice.

“I feel with how the defense is playing – they’re playing well – I feel it’s going to be a time where I’m going to find my way onto the field. I just got to control what I can control. . . If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. All I can do is stay prepared week-in and week-out, and when my number is called, be ready to play.”

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The 49ers have entered the first two games of the season with Emmanuel Moseley and D.J. Reed as the backup cornerbacks – due mostly to their contributions on special teams.

Verrett said he is trying to remain focused on putting himself in a position to play his best football when his time comes to step on the field.

When asked if he would consider asking for a trade if he continues to be inactive for games, Verrett told NBC Sports Bay Area, “We’ll see what happens.”

49ers' Dee Ford, Jaquiski Tartt listed as day-to-day with injuries

49ers' Dee Ford, Jaquiski Tartt listed as day-to-day with injuries

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers plan to rest defensive end Dee Ford from practice Wednesday and Thursday to give him a better chance to be available to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Ford and safety Jaquiski Tartt are “day-to-day.” Tartt sustained a toe injury in the 49ers’ 41-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Ford did not play any in the second half of that game.

Ford did not play during the preseason due to knee tendinitis and quad irritation. He aggravated his condition on Sunday but felt as if his condition improved on Wednesday.

“For him to have a setback like he did after missing some camp, there’s always some concern but he is day to day,” Shanahan said.

“We’ll play it safe the next two days, which makes me somewhat optimistic for the game.”

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Four other players will not be available Sunday against the Steelers due to injuries: Running back Tevin Coleman (ankle), wide receivers Jalen Hurd (back) and Trent Taylor (foot), and offensive tackle Joe Staley.

Defensive back Jimmie Ward will be limited in practice Wednesday as he works back after undergoing surgery two weeks ago to repair a broken finger.