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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Dante Pettis discusses building chemistry with Jimmy Garoppolo, facing Richard Sherman

Aug 2, 2018 at 1:49 PM

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Dante Pettis was among a contingent of receivers who Jimmy Garoppolo kept after Thursday's practice to work on deep passes. Pettis says training camp is flying by fast, so any extra work he can get is probably appreciated.

Also appreciated is working with a quarterback like Garoppolo. The franchise quarterback is quick to pull his receivers, rookies or veterans, to the side and explain what he is looking for and also receive feedback based on what they are seeing. He's done so multiple times throughout training camp.

Pettis, like the other receivers on the team, wants to build chemistry with Garoppolo. He feels the comfort level between the two has improved.

"It's definitely picking up the last couple of days," Pettis told reporters after Thursday's practice. "We're getting a lot more reps together and he's giving me a lot of good feedback so I like where things are going."

One aspect of Pettis' game that the receiver wants to work on is being able to sprint out of breaks quicker. Garoppolo is fast to notice when a receiver is breaking and then getting the football to him. That quick awareness allows the receivers to deviate from their routes while facing man-to-man coverage but still let their quarterback find them.

"He's good at that so you just have to get your head around quick so you can see the ball coming," Pettis said.

On Sunday, Garoppolo discussed Pettis' unorthodox "wiggle" as he explodes out of his breaks to create separation. The body movement has taken some defensive backs by surprise because it is unlike anything they have seen. To Pettis, it's just the way he's always run and his coaches don't seem concerned with it.

"It's just the way I've always ran," Pettis said. "My legs kind of kick out a little bit. I'm pigeon-toed so my feet kind of turn in. I think it's just a little awkward for people to see. DBs aren't used to seeing that so it throws them off a little bit."

Pettis first noticed the way he runs while in the seventh grade. It forced him to wonder why he runs so differently than everyone else.

"Then I was like, 'Alright, that's just how I run,'" Pettis said. "I just kind of accepted it."

Even veteran cornerback Richard Sherman was somewhat taken aback by the way Pettis comes off the line of scrimmage. However, it hasn't affected his ability to cover the rookie receiver, who called Sherman the toughest opponent he's gone against since entering the NFL.

"You can tell that dude knows exactly what he's doing and why he's been the best corner in the league for however how long," Pettis said.

Facing Sherman can be intimidating for any receiver, especially a rookie. For Pettis, it was more exciting than anything else because he knows he won't be facing him in games.

"It was kind of more exciting that you get to watch this dude destroy wide receivers for a few years, and then you get to go against him every day in practice," Pettis said.
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