Deebo bringing heightened energy to Aiyuk, 49ers offense originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SANTA CLARA — There has been a noticeable bump up in energy at 49ers training camp since wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s contract extension was finalized.
Brandon Aiyuk has been Trey Lance’s favorite target throughout the first 10 practices of camp, but Samuel’s return to the field has been felt by all. Aiyuk believes that his teammate brings a unique element to the team both on and off the field.
“Deebo is like an enforcer,” Aiyuk said on Sunday. “Everybody knows that when Deebo is out on the field you can feel a different energy. He was that guy during the season to give us a physical, or any type of play to get us going.”
Samuel has been mixed into the lineup slowly after missing the first four practices of training camp, but while not involved in the play on the field, it has been business as usual for the “wide-back.” Samuel is regularly seen chatting up teammates and coaches alike.
For the first few practices of Samuel’s return, he appeared with the second team while Nate Sudfeld was under center. By the weekend Samuel was back with the ones on a rotational basis.
Coach Kyle Shanahan is not concerned with Samuel and Lance’s ability to build chemistry on the field after the receiver missed team drills during OTAs and mandatory minicamp. The two players worked on deep throws Saturday after practice had ended and seemed to connect without issues.
“We’ve eased him in with him having a late start,” Shanahan said on Saturday. “He’s just starting to get up to normal practice, I think it’ll be here in the next couple of days, but it’ll come. And I didn’t know they worked after, I liked that they do that.”
Aiyuk is happy to have Samuel back on the field. The two have quickly returned to their normal level of closeness including arriving and leaving the practice field together on scooters.
“Just having him back out there it feels like we are complete again and we're ready to play and start building,” Aiyuk said.
The 49ers have rest day on Monday. The team will return to open practice on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for their first preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at 5:30 p.m. PST Friday night.