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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan has high expectations for Dante Pettis, 49ers’ young receivers

Aug 3, 2019 at 10:47 AM--

Kyle Shanahan on Saturday joined "Inside Training Camp Live" on NFL Network and discussed his young but talented group of wide receivers. Most of them may not have a lot of NFL experience, but that doesn't mean the San Francisco 49ers head coach doesn't have high exceptions for them.

"Our young guys, we've got a lot of pressure on those guys," Shanahan said. "We brought in Dante (Pettis) last year, who stepped it up towards the end of the year and helped us. But I keep telling him we have high expectations for him. He needs to get better. He started off a little bit slow in camp, but he's turned it on here these last couple of days.

"The two rookies that have come in, Deebo (Samuel) and Jalen (Hurd), they've done a good job too. Jalen missed all of OTAs coming back from a knee injury from college, and he was out here day one (of training camp). He's gotten better each day, moving around a little bit. I've been impressed with the knowledge he's had in camp, especially missing OTAs.

"All these guys got a chance to help us. I feel like it's the deepest we've been. We'll see how it plays out. With no injuries or nothing like that, we're going to have a tough decision to make here at the end. It's a good problem to have."

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One receiver who is feeling the pressure from the increased competition is third-year wideout Kendrick Bourne. Several receivers are fighting for what could be just one or two roster spots at the bottom of the depth chart.

"You can't come out here and be lazy," Bourne told reporters on Friday. "You have to be 100 percent. You have to play through injuries, just everything. We've got a lot of guys going through little nicks and bangs right now. It's just we know what's on the line. It's like a make or break year for a lot of us."

The 49ers made a point to surround quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with more weapons this season. Shanahan and general manager John Lynch used back-to-back team selections on receivers who add strength to the group.

"We wanted to add some size and some strength to our offense," Shanahan said. "We really wanted to do that at the receiver position […] If you can have some physical receivers, it changes the mentality of your offense.

"The guys we've had, guys like Dante, Marquise (Goodwin), Trent (Taylor), there's good separators and stuff, but we've added some stronger guys with some size. I think it will help us have a good package with all our guys."

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