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Shanahan: I’ve been real excited with Dante his last few weeks

The wideout has been battling a pectoral injury

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

More and more information continues to come out surrounding San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis, who made a statement Week 3 after finding the end zone for the first time this season. Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR the other day to discuss Pettis.

“I’ve been real excited with Dante his last few weeks. I mean, everyone knows that I put a little bit of pressure on him going throughout training camp, and it wasn’t going exactly how my expectations were, which are extremely high. It’s more of a credit to Dante, because I just believe in him a lot and he wasn’t totally there, where I wanted him to be in training camp, and we went a little bit hard on him, which he kind of is assuring me that I should do that more because the way he’s been these last few weeks. He really took the challenge. I think he’s been a little different in the weight room and stuff.”

Shanahan poked the bear(cat?) during training camp hoping that to bring the best out of Pettis. It may have taken Pettis longer than Shanahan wanted, but we’re starting to see the potential Pettis has.

Part of the reason Pettis hasn’t been able to perform like he’s capable of has been injuries. A calf injury limited him Week 1. A couple of weeks before that Pettis was nursing a groin injury. Shanahan said that during training camp Pettis was dealing with a Pectoral injury that limited him.

“He had an injury in training camp where he hurt his pec. That made it tough to lift his upper body and stuff, which he’s still coming back from but my biggest thing with him is his legs and everything. I think the way he’s attacked that weight room and got his leg strength back and just the way he’s been working on the practice field. It hasn’t just been this week. It’s been really these last few weeks, and he’s gotten better each week, and now I feel he’s at where he left off last year.”

Talk about a rough month. Pettis battled through three injuries, so it’s no surprise he is just now getting back to full strength. The bye week being early has turned into a blessing in disguise for the 49ers.

One notable quote Shanahan had was, “I think the ceiling is high for that guy, man. He can get a lot better, and we need him to.” I could not agree more with that. The competition will continue to get tougher, and defenses will be more aggressive. The offense will need a player that can win their 1-on-1 matchups consistently on the perimeter. That’s Pettis.