Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

WR Kendrick Bourne has ‘come a long way’ and is having ‘a hell of a camp,’ says Kyle Shanahan

Aug 6, 2019 at 1:11 PM--

Third-year wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, the team's leading wideout last year, has felt the pressure of this offseason's intense receiver competition.

"Knowing how good the room is, it kind of pushes you every day," Bourne said last week. "When I go to sleep at night, I think about it. 'Okay, we've got a good group of guys, so I've got to have a good day.'"

There is a lot of young talent, including two drafted rookies in Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, at the position and only so many roster spots. One thing Bourne has going for him — other than his talent and work ethic — is his experience. He may only be in his third NFL season, but only two wideouts on the roster have more experience.

Bourne received a vote of confidence from his head coach on Tuesday. Kyle Shanahan praised the receiver on how he has looked this offseason.

"He's come a long way," Shanahan told reporters after practice. "We've always liked KB. He's got real strong hands and plays very hard. Being in the same offense now, going into his third year, it's been a lot easier to move him around and stuff. But he's having a hell of a camp, and we really enjoy him here."

Bourne, 24, didn't relax during the players' six weeks off between the 49ers' June minicamp and the start of training camp. The receiver was continually posting videos of his workout regimen during that time on his Instagram account.

"KB always works, but you could tell it was even different this time," Shanahan continued. "He didn't leave it all in his 40 days away. I can see he's stronger; I can see he's in better shape; I can see he's more locked in.

"I always like to see how much room (players) gain on other people while they're gone, and KB made big jumps compared to some other guys. It's showing on the field, and he deserves it."

The 49ers signed Bourne as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Washington in 2017. He registered 42 receptions for 487 yards with four touchdowns through 16 games and eight starts with the 49ers in 2018. Bourne has caught 58 passes for 744 yards with four touchdowns through his two NFL seasons.

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