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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Aiyuk: ‘Enforcer’ Deebo Samuel brings different energy to 49ers practice; Charvarius Ward a ‘strong, physical corner’

Aug 7, 2022 at 1:32 PM

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Brandon Aiyuk spoke to reporters after Sunday's practice. The wide receiver is having a tremendous training camp in his third offseason with the San Francisco 49ers. Veteran safety Jimmie Ward has noticed a difference in the 24-year-old wideout, saying Aiyuk is one of this year's training camp standouts. That's high praise, considering the receiver's position a year ago.

Aiyuk appeared to be a training camp disappointment last offseason, seemingly landing in head coach Kyle Shanahan's dog house and being limited to one catch for six yards in the 49ers' first two games. However, as the season progressed, the receiver turned things around and looks to be on course for a breakout season.

It helps to have Deebo Samuel back on the practice field after a drama-filled offseason culminating in the fourth-year receiver signing a massive contract extension. Aiyuk has noticed the difference.

"Deebo, he's like an enforcer," Aiyuk said. "Everybody knows that when Deebo's out on the field, you can just kind of feel a different energy. He was that guy during the season just giving us a physical or any type of play to get us kind of going, so just having him back out there just feels like we're complete again. And now, we're ready just to start building."

It helps to be going against a much-improved and deep defensive backs group. The 49ers bolstered the unit with the free-agent addition of cornerback Charvarius Ward. He joins Emmanuel Moseley, Jimmie Ward, and a strong group of young talent waiting to make names for themselves.

"He's long. Long, fast, strong, physical corner," Aiyuk said of Charvarius Ward. "Just like any corner, you've got to study him, you've got to look at him. So now that we've gotten to go against each other a couple of days, all these corners, it's like a chess match, just switching up techniques. We get to look at them, see what they like to do, what they don't like to do, where they're comfortable, where they're uncomfortable. And the same for them. They get to look at us the same way.

"Once you get into the deep days of camp, it becomes a chess match, and you're just really working. Now it becomes real football, one-on-one, corner-versus-receiver matchups."

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