SANTA CLARA -- Finally, after two injury-plagued seasons, Trent Taylor is back on track to be a key piece in the 49ers offense.
As a rookie, Taylor quickly became the favorite target of Jimmy Garoppolo when the quarterback first arrived on the scene. The Louisiana Tech product was set to continue his upward trajectory in his second year until an offseason back procedure limited his speed and mobility.
Taylor again looked ready to make a huge impact in 2019 with a strong training camp until complications from a Jones fracture sidelined the receiver for the entire season. Now, his task is finding the balance between getting enough reps and working too hard.
“I feel like my old self again,” Taylor said on Tuesday. “At the same time, there’s still a lot of stuff that you got to get yourself back to thinking about. The only way to get back into it is to get as many reps as possible obviously without just completely wearing myself out at the same time.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned earlier in the week that finding that balance was going to be key in Taylor’s return. Both want him to get in as many reps as possible without it being detrimental to the receiver’s path back to the game.
Taylor’s experience in Shanahan’s offense and on the field is very important with the health of other receivers in question. Deebo Samuel has yet to practice and Brandon Aiyuk is sidelined with a hamstring strain.
One thing working in Taylor's favor is having former All-Pro receiver Wes Welker as a coach to further elevate his game. The fourth-year receiver sees their relationship as invaluable, helping Taylor see the game differently.
“The conversations that we have are the conversations that almost no one on this earth could teach me and have that conversation with,” Taylor said. “The type of knowledge that he has in the position that I’m in, there’s nothing better that I could ask for than to have him on my side.”
“[He has told] me how to think and how to look at things, how to run certain routes. It’s been a tremendous help.”