Aside from a Pro Bowl season in 2015, cornerback Jason Verrett has suffered through an injury-plagued NFL career. He's hoping a new coaching staff and a change in scenery will turn things around.

Richard Sherman, who knows a thing or two about cornerback play, described Verrett as one of the best corners in the game.

"He's just a pest," Sherman said in May. "He's always there. He's always close to the ball. Even when the receiver is making a catch, it's really a tough, contested catch."

Verrett hasn't practiced with Sherman or any of his new teammates this offseason. The cornerback is rehabbing from a torn Achilles he suffered last summer and has been limited to taking mental reps from the sideline. Verrett believes he is close to getting back on the practice field. In fact, he sounds confident he'll be ready for training camp in late-July.

"I feel like I'm going to be on track to be ready for training camp and the rest of the season," Verrett told reporters on Wednesday. "It's always good to get mental reps. You can never know too much about the game, so I've definitely been enjoying it."

Third-year player Ahkello Witherspoon has been impressive during the offseason program and seems to have taken the lead in the competition for the starting job opposite Sherman. Verrett, however, hasn't entered the picture yet and is eager to show his coaches what he can do.

"The day I get on that football field, they're definitely going to like what they see," Verrett said.

He added, "I'm going to be ready. That's my main focus, is just worrying about what I can control. I'm going to be excited to get ready for training camp."



Verrett doesn't like playing the role of an observer while his teammates prepare for the upcoming season. It has, however, given him a chance to pay close attention to the 49ers offense, which has impressed him. Verrett was asked what his offseason impression of the offense has been so far.

"Fast. The tempo is quick," he responded. "I think that's good for the defense to be able to be ready for an offense like the Rams, that go uptempo."

Then you have a receiver group full of youth and potential. The 49ers drafted Dante Pettis last year and added two more receivers, Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, via the draft this year. Other than Marquise Goodwin and newcomer Jordan Matthews, no 49ers wideout has more than two seasons of NFL experience.

Verrett has noticed one common trait shared between the team's wideouts: They find ways to get open.

"If you study Kyle Shanahan, you know that he always likes guys that can get open," Verrett explained. "His style of coaching from Washington and Atlanta is all about timing and being able to create space. With Deebo, Marquise Goodwin, Pettis, Hurd, all those guys that we have, they're all unique in their own ways. Their job is to get open."

You can watch the entire press conference with Verrett below, courtesy of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Grant Cohn.