49ers

How 49ers WR Dante Pettis answered questions about his off-field interests

How 49ers WR Dante Pettis answered questions about his off-field interests

In the lead-up to the NFL draft, Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis took official visits to meet with six teams.

Each team had the same questions, the same concerns, he revealed on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“I’m not shy about what I like outside of football,” Pettis said. “So a lot of people take that as, ‘Oh, maybe he’s not bought into football all the way.’ So they’ll try to get that out of me. ‘How committed is he to football?’ So I think that’s the biggest thing they’re trying to get. But, I'd say that what I wanted to get across worked.”

It certainly worked for the 49ers. The team traded up to select Pettis in the second round of the draft with the No. 44 overall selection.

The off-field matters that might have concerned some teams had nothing to do with his character. Pettis majored in creative writing, and he likes literature, photography, movies and music. And to some teams, that might have been a red flag.

Seriously.

“I’m very interested in art,” Pettis said. “I feel like that’s really different for a football player. A lot of people have stuff they like to do outside of football, but if it’s something that’s different, it’s like, ‘Hold on, he likes to do what?’

“So that’s what caught their eye, and the fact I’m not afraid to say it, too, I think they wanted to make sure I was all in.”

Pettis had to prove to teams that he was more passionate about football than he was about his outside interests.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re like off the field, it’s what you’re like on the field,” Pettis said. “And the fact that art and all that stuff breeds creativity, I think that helps a ton. You can look at things differently.”

Pettis had a record-setting nine punt returns for touchdowns in his college career. Coach Kyle Shanahan said a benefit to adding Pettis to his 49ers offense is Pettis' versatiity. Pettis is capable of playing every receiver position.

After playing almost exclusively on the outside in his first three college seasons, Pettis lined up in the slot as a senior. He caught 63 passes for 761 yards and seven touchdowns. He said his creative side helped him make that transition.

“Playing the slot is a lot more different than playing the other two outside positions because you look at the field differently, you go against different people. You go against a linebacker, a safety, a nickel, whatever,” Pettis said. “And you run a different route tree, so you have to approach the game differently.

“You might have to slow down your routes because you don’t want to run through a window too fast or run into another guy. Being able to look at the game differently helps a lot.”

T.O. 'not actively seeking' NFL return, expounds on Hall of Fame decision

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AP

T.O. 'not actively seeking' NFL return, expounds on Hall of Fame decision

Terrell Owens still is showing off the kind of spectacular shape he is in, even at 44 years old. Just look at his social media pages, and you'll see T.O. working out with today's NFL stars and running a blazing 40-yard dash. 

Even though he's about to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is Owens looking to make a comeback? 

On Tuesday, Canada-based agent Jason Staroszik told TSN and ESPN that T.O. "100 percent" wants to play football again. On Wednesday at the ESPYS, the former 49ers wide receiver clarified his comments. 

Owens says he isn't "actively seeking to get into the NFL," but he did say he would entertain other opportunities with football, including the CFL. 

"I know that I do have the ability to play," Owens said, via ESPN.com. "I know everybody sees the shape that I'm in. There's a lot of athletes that play their prospective sports, but there are few guys that defy the odds. I think I'm one of those guys.

"It's unfortunate that I haven't been able to continue my career, but again, I'm not actively seeking to get into the NFL; but again, if there's an opportunity for me to play, then yeah, I will entertain that, as well as the CFL."

The hot topic with Owens lately has been his decision to not attend the Hall of Fame ceremony. Instead of being in Canton, Ohio next month, Owens will make his own speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"It's always unfortunate, and people have a lot to say when someone does something different, but what I'm doing is not wrong," he said.

Owens said he has been working every day on his acceptance speech. As far as what went into his decision to not attend the ceremony, Owens looked to legendary basketball coach John Wooden. 

"For me, I think, overall, everybody's obviously wondering what went into my decision," Owens said. "I think John Wooden said it best: 'Be more concerned about your character than your reputation.' I think what the noise is right now is more about my reputation than my actual character.

"They're making the narrative more so about me offending the Hall of Famers, and that has nothing to do with it. I respect all of those Hall of Famers that have gone in before me and going in with me and after me. It has nothing to do with those Hall of Famers."

Greg Cosell believes this 49ers player is poised for a breakout season

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AP

Greg Cosell believes this 49ers player is poised for a breakout season

With the 146th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected ...

George Kittle.

The tight end from Iowa had a solid rookie season, racking up 43 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns.

On the latest episode of the 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco, NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell was talking about Kyle Shanahan and Rams head coach Sean McVay. And then, unsolicited, Cosell pivoted the conversation to Kittle.

"You know, I think one player we should mention who I really liked coming out of college -- and I know he fought some injuries last year, but I think that he has a chance to be a really meaningul part of this offense -- and that's George Kittle," Cosell said. "I think George Kittle is a really good tight end who can do a lot of things.

"He can line up and be a really good blocking tight end -- and obviously we know that Kyle's offense does start with the run game. I think he's more athletic than people probably give him credit for.

"I remember studying him coming out of Iowa and looking at some of his combine measureables -- some were superior to those of OJ Howard from Alabama, and I think people would be surprised by that.

"In this offense, he might not catch 80 balls, but he might average 14, 15 yards a catch, and for a tight end, that's pretty darn good."

Kittle had his best game in the season finale, making four catches for 100 yards at the Rams.