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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan calls Brock Purdy to Ricky Pearsall connection ‘fun to watch’

Jun 5, 2024 at 7:08 AM

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Ricky Pearsall wore a blue non-contact jersey during Tuesday's practice, the first of the San Francisco 49ers' only mandatory minicamp during the offseason program. Head coach Kyle Shanahan explained that the rookie wide receiver had a "little soreness" left over from organized team activities (OTAs), and the jersey was a precautionary measure.

"When it's like that, we still want him in there, but it allows guys to avoid him as much as possible," Shanahan said.

Despite the minor soreness, the coaching staff has been pleased with Pearsall's early development. The 49ers selected him with the No. 31 overall pick in April's draft, seeking to boost an already talent-filled receiver room.

The team's leading receiver from last season, Brandon Aiyuk, did not report for this week's mandatory minicamp. He continues to stay away as he awaits a contract extension, aiming to become one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL.

In Aiyuk's absence, Pearsall is taking advantage of the extra practice reps, building chemistry with his new quarterback, Brock Purdy. This increased practice time could help Pearsall carve out a bigger-than-expected role during his 2024 rookie campaign.

"It's been fun to watch both of them," Shanahan said. "I know Brock doesn't always get to watch how the route gets there, but he knows when guys end up in the right spot and they catch it. That's where quarterbacks get comfortable, and I think he can feel that with Ricky right away."

Teammate Deebo Samuel has also been impressed with the first-year player, telling reporters, "Just going back and watching Ricky, he's very fluid in and out of routes, and he's got really good hands."

Samuel recalls how challenging it was to learn all the nuances of Shanahan's offense as a young player.

"This is one of the most complicated offenses I've ever been a part of," Samuel shared. "This is the only one I've been a part of. Still, to this day, it's still new stuff in, week in and week out."

Shanahan isn't expecting Pearsall to make a significant impact immediately, especially during offseason practices. The young wideout continues to learn the playbook and get comfortable with the scheme and his quarterback. Still, the coach has been impressed with what he's seen from the early Purdy-to-Pearsall connection.

"I mean, he's been getting to the right spot," Shanahan said. "And when he has made mistakes, he understands it and corrects it. I think that's why those guys are gonna have a lot of fun working together."

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