Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan knows Brandon Aiyuk ‘can be a weapon,’ urges patience with 49ers receiver

Oct 7, 2021 at 4:30 PM--


It's been a slow start to the 2021 season for San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. He has just six receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown through four games this season. Unfortunately, those aren't the type of numbers fans envisioned for the second-year player coming off an impressive rookie campaign.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan urges everyone to have some patience with Aiyuk, who he sees as an essential part of the 49ers' future success. This afternoon, the coach joined KNBR and was asked if San Francisco's offense could reach its potential without Aiyuk.

"No, definitely not," Shanahan responded on the Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks show. "And if not him, [then] somebody. We need a lot of guys to step up. There's five eligibles. [Deebo Samuel has] done a real good job. We need [George] Kittle to step it up too. I know how much Kittle has been battling his injuries, so that's been the toughest thing with him. [Mohamed Sanu] has done some good things in the slot.

"Whether it's Aiyuk, whether it's [Trent] Sherfield, Jauan Jennings has done some good things for us. But also, Raheem [Mostert] was kind of a weapon, not just as a runner, but also as a third-down back who could do some stuff in the pass game. We kind of lost that where [Kyle Juszczyk] has stepped it up and done real well in that role, but the more weapons you can have out there is really when you can do everything."

Shanahan hopes Aiyuk's production ramps up as the season progresses. At 2-2 and last place in the NFC West, the 49ers could certainly use an improved Aiyuk. However, the 49ers can't force it out of him right now. The receiver still has some growing to do.

"We know Aiyuk can be a weapon," Shanahan continued. "That's why we've got him here. I'm a big fan of Aiyuk, but he's not there yet. He's still coming along. At times, he does it at a high level. We just want him to be a little bit more consistent, and I think his time will come. It's a matter of time.

"He's too good of a player for it not to be, and he's working at it, so everyone, just be a little patient with him."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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