Kyle Shanahan focuses on every position along the 49ers' roster, but as a former college wide receiver, the head coach likely pays that group more attention than some other units.
Deebo Samuel, in speaking to 95.7 The Game on Wednesday, explained how Shanahan intimidated him when the South Carolina product joined the 49ers.
"I wouldn't say bad side, but as a rookie, though, I was kind of terrified of Kyle," Samuel said on "Damon, Ratto and Kolsky" (h/t 49ers Web Zone). "As a rookie, trying to learn this offense, and he expects you to be top-tier, and you're not actually there, and it was kind of getting frustrating. But me and Kyle had our days in games where we kind of bumped heads a little bit, and it's just coaching, really, so I take coaching very well. We never had an altercation or anything along those lines. He just wants what's best for every player that he has."
Samuel came right out of the gate as a rookie and was the team's second-leading receiver (leading receiver if you don't include tight end George Kittle).
Brandon Aiyuk's playing time has been limited to start his second year, leading some to wonder if he ended up in Shanahan's dog house during training camp. Aiyuk has two targets through two games after being the 49ers' leader in receiving yards in 2020.
Shanahan has poured cold water on that, saying Trent Sherfield simply earned more reps during training camp. Aiyuk got quite a few more snaps than Sherfield in Week 2, indicating that the former Sun Devil is progressing in the eyes of the coaching staff.
That coaching from Shanahan seems to be paying off for Samuel, as Deebo is off to a hot start in 2021. Samuel leads the NFL with 282 receiving yards through the first two weeks of the season.