Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Tavon Wilson on settling in with 49ers, battling against George Kittle, and more

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 7, 2021 at 6:00 PM--

49ers defensive back Tavon Wilson has been competing hard in camp, leading to speculation that he could unseat strong safety Jaquiski Tartt, who is currently on the physically unable to perform list, as the starter.

Wilson, who came into the offseason fighting for a roster spot, has suddenly put himself in a favorable place not only to make the roster, but to be a solid contributor for the 49ers in this upcoming season.

During Friday's presser, Wilson told reporters about how he's settling in with the team after coming over as a free agent in the offseason.

"I'm settled in pretty good," Wilson said. "I think, you know, when I got here, I was just trying to earn the respect of my teammates, earn the trust of everybody in the organization, and I feel like that's been going well."

With the 49ers being his fourth team as Wilson enters the tenth year of his career, the defensive back has embraced the opportunity he's been given, playing with the starters in practice due to Tartt's injury.

"I'm just coming in everyday trying to work hard," Wilson shared, "trying to give my best effort to this football team to contribute anyway I can to help win games."

When asked about why he chose the 49ers in free agency, Wilson noted the opportunity he was given and appreciated the interest that San Francisco had in his services.

"They were interested in me," he responded. "[General manager John Lynch] and [head coach Kyle Shanahan] and everything I've heard about this organization is great. So, when they gave me the opportunity, I thought it was the one that I couldn't pass up."

Wilson also has a familiar face on the roster from his first years in the NFL: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, with whom Wilson played in New England.

After being able to watch Jimmy from the early stages in his career, Wilson is confident that the quarterback has continued to improve each season and is glad to work alongside him.

"Jimmy's gotten better every year and he's continued to get better every day," Wilson said, "and it's been exciting to see his face again from the past. It's been awesome."

In addition, Wilson has enjoyed the daily battles of going against tight end George Kittle in practice and understands that the work against each other only makes both players better.

"Everything's tough about going against George," Wilson commented. "He's just a great player all-around. [I'm] coming in every day just trying to challenge him and I'm trying to make him better, you know. We're making each other better every single day and that's ultimately going to make our football team better.

In fact, Kittle shouted out Wilson during his press conference earlier in the week and attributed some of his growth this offseason to those hard battles.

"I love [Wilson]. He's been great," Kittle said. "He's awesome. I think, I wasn't sure what to expect. He was really good in OTA's. But like I said, once you put the pads on, you know, it becomes more of a game, and you get to actually see physicality and stuff," Kittle told reporters Wednesday. "He definitely is a [veteran] guy. He holds a little bit extra, he gets away, like he knows how to get away with stuff, and that's fantastic for me to get. I'm getting reps against a [veteran] that knows how to play the game and he's a hell of a player too, but he's super smart, he's always in the right place at the right time."

In addition to Wilson's experience, Kittle also appreciated Wilson's knowledge of the game along with his competitiveness that fuel the energy of the defensive back's teammates.

"You can watch him on film," Kittle added. "He made a couple of fantastic plays yesterday, whether it's just filling the B-gap, A-gap, on a run and stuff," said Kittle. "He knows where he's supposed to be at all times, he quick triggers, and I love competing against him because he definitely brings the best out of me, but he wants to compete at a high level, and when you compete at a high level against your own teammates, it only makes you better."

With Wilson being praised by his teammates and coaches for his play this training camp, be on the lookout for a potential starter battle if Jaquiski Tartt comes back healthy.

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