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Why Brandon Aiyuk wasn’t a fan of 49ers-Vikings joint practices

Aug 18, 2022 at 6:28 PM--

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After Thursday's joint practice with the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk stepped up to the podium. It was the second consecutive day of collaborative practices before the two teams meet on Saturday for a preseason contest at U.S. Bank Stadium.

A reporter asked what Aiyuk took away from the two practices, and the wide receiver hesitated and gathered his thoughts before answering. It didn't sound like he really wanted to.

"It was good work going against somebody different, different environment. But me? I felt, eh. I didn't like it," Aiyuk admitted. "I feel like it was a waste of time, personally. ... It was boring for sure."

The 49ers, not really wanting to reveal too much, didn't prepare for the joint practices. Instead, everything was reportedly kept simple, which explains the hit-and-miss performances by the offense this week.

Aiyuk might have felt that his momentum hit a speed bump. The wide receiver has been having fantastic practices, with safety Jimmie Ward recently calling him one of the training camp MVPs.

"I think it was boring because it was a little of Day 1 stuff," Aiyuk said. "The basic stuff. Just, I was getting a little irritated, having only touched the ball like three times in the past two days, but that's beside the point. Kyle [and the coaches] always got their own agenda on what they're trying to get done and accomplish here. So you just take it as getting better every single rep and then figure that out later on."

Aiyuk did enjoy getting some work against Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson.

"When you go up against guys like [Peterson], they're always in the right spot," Aiyuk shared. "They kind of get a cue on what the route's going to be based off alignment, route stem, where you're lined up, so you have to bring your A game. You've got to kind of switch stuff up with him. But it was great work going up against him."

While the practices were uninteresting to the third-year wideout, Aiyuk can't wait for the actual game planning to begin. He knows that is coming soon, with Week 1 quickly approaching.

"I can't wait to get into game planning and just working on what you're going to work on throughout the whole entire week, and then go on and execute on Sundays," Aiyuk said. "So I'm excited to game plan. We're obviously not doing that right now. We're still putting stuff in and just working and getting better, communicating, being on the same page with the quarterback. So we're not game planning right now, but when we do, it will definitely be exciting."

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