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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk focused on improving, capitalizing on opportunities

Nov 18, 2022 at 8:30 AM--

Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has caught six-or-more passes for 81-or-more receiving yards in each of his last four games. He's hauled in three touchdown passes in those performances and nearly hauled in a fourth this past Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Aiyuk is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season and believes he is getting more comfortable as the season progresses. That's bad news for opposing defenses.

"Just trying to continue to get better," Aiyuk told reporters after Thursday's practice. "I also feel as if, throughout the games that we've played, I've left a lot of plays out there. So that's my main thing, just trying to capitalize on every single play and every opportunity that I get, and then, hopefully, we'll be in a better spot at that time."

As for leaving plays on the field, one missed opportunity from this past weekend's win over the Chargers left Aiyuk particularly frustrated. The receiver shared his frustrations on social media surrounding the missed touchdown catch at the goal line.

"On the field, I didn't know they gave me a freebie, wide-open," Aiyuk shared. "So when I saw the film, it was even more sickening. ... It's football. Move on. We've got another chance at it this week, so I'm excited."

Aiyuk finished the game with six receptions for a team-leading 84 yards. In the end, the 49ers won 22-16, improving their record to 5-4 and within reach of overtaking the division-leading Seattle Seahawks.

"Everybody's out there just trying to do what we can, daily, so we can put the best product on the field on Sundays," Aiyuk said. "That's what it's all about now. We feel like we're trying to get in stride, get grooving at this time of the year—November football, leading into December, January, and February."

One teammate who tried to motivate Aiyuk was linebacker Fred Warner. He was tough on the receiver during training camp. You might remember the two got into scuffles on the practice field. However, the linebacker has been pleased with Aiyuk's efforts this season.

"Yeah, Brandon, he's coming into his own," Warner said. "He's done an outstanding job for us. Every game, you see him kind of getting closer and closer, just breaking that big one. [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] likes him across the middle on those deep crossing routes. He's got to continue to grow, and I think the sky's the limit for him.

"You've seen [him] in practice, making plays, insane catches, and the route-running ability. It's all coming together, for sure."

Does Warner take any credit for the improvement?

"No credit, no. He's done it all on his own," he responded.

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