The 49ers activated Samuel off injured reserve after he went through a strong week of practice. Samuel is back after undergoing surgery in June to repair a fractured left foot. He is expected to see somewhere around 20 to 30 snaps against the Eagles.
Their current-day counterparts, Shanahan and John Lynch, are constantly in Shanahan’s office scrutinizing and hashing out the team’s depth chart. That’s not to suggest they see eye to eye on every personnel matter. They don’t. But they are in perpetual communication, which sets a top-down tone for the rest of their staffs.
That concept went a little deeper during the 2020 offseason meetings, which were done over Zoom. The position coach and players would meet, virtually, each day. One of the college scouts would be there as well.
For example, Tariq Ahmad, the 49ers’ assistant director of college scouting, sat in with the defensive linemen. That meant that by the end of the offseason, Ahmad was able to speak the same language as position coach Kris Kocurek. The idea also is to build familiarity — a better relationship — between coach and personnel staffer so that they can communicate more easily and so Ahmad knows exactly what Kocurek is looking for.
No. 3: SF 49ers Wide Receiver Mohamed Sanu
Veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu hasn’t been much of a factor for Kyle Shanahan since being signed as an emergency free-agent addition ahead of Week 2. To date, he has just a single reception for 9 yards on one lone target over that two-game stretch.
Sure, Sanu is still reacclimating himself to Shanahan’s offense and is also coming off offseason shoulder surgery, perhaps limiting his overall capabilities.
Yet if there was a chance for Sanu to make an impact, it’s Week 4 against Philadelphia.
The Eagles are going to miss one of their starting boundary cornerbacks, Avonte Maddox, who is out with an ankle injury. In his stead, it’s likely Philly will shuffle around corners Cre’Von LeBlanc, Nickell Robey-Coleman or Trevor Williams. None of those players are 6-feet tall, meaning the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Sanu automatically has a significant size advantage against nearly anyone the Eagles will field to cover him.
September 2020 was a noteworthy month for the wideout. Aiyuk welcomed his son Braylon, made his NFL debut and scored his first touchdown.
“It’s been great. It’s been just another blessing. The last month was just crazy, to have my first-born son and playing a professional football game. So it has been crazy but it’s just like, there’s not anything like being a father. The best days become even better when you get to see him and bad days become good when you get to see him.”
Deebo Samuel was not only the first person to reach out to Aiyuk after the draft, but took him under his wing once the rookie got out to the Bay Area.
“Right after the draft he called me in April. Then when I came out here, he was picking me up and we’d go out to eat. Now being in locker room being around these guys every day, with Deebo too, I feel like all of our relationships have grown.”
“I went through a lot in back-to-back years with ACLs and Achilles, so I didn’t really get the full recovery,” Verrett told reporters after Friday’s practice. “With this past year, having that, and going into this season, it was a blessing and good boost for me. So, I like where I’m at now.”
“It’s night and day different,” Verrett responded. “... I give credit to the strength coaches and training staff, [placing me on injured reserve] last year, allowing me to get my body fully underneath me, just due to the fact of all the injuries that I went through those previous years.
“Having the rest of the season last year, and then COVID and everything this past spring, it kind of helped me a lot to rest my body, and at the same time, get stronger and get faster.
“So fast forward to right now, I’m loving where I’m at body-wise. I just hope I can stay that way for the rest of the year.”
And around the league, quarterback-needy teams will spend a lot of time dissecting his game. After all, Mullens might not have many more chances to get on the field before he becomes a restricted free agent in the spring.
But, as Lynch pointed out, the 49ers’ salary-cap situation makes it difficult for teams to keep two well-compensated quarterbacks on their roster. The 49ers already have Garoppolo signed through the 2022 season.
The 49ers must decide how to handle Mullens. The 49ers could place a first- or second-round tender on Mullens. This year, those one-year salaries were $4.64 million and $3.36 million, respectively.
Any team could sign Mullens to a multi-year offer sheet and the 49ers would have the right to match. But if they refuse, they would receive draft-pick compensation equal to the level at which he was tendered.
We are learning that former Henderson State wide receiver Doug Johnson is in San Francisco to work out with the Niners. The speedy wide receiver has been working out with his Uncle Ernest Givens every day trying to get better.
We recently had Doug put together this workout video, and the kid is a freak. When I say he is a beast, he is a speedster who looks like he runs in the 4.3’s. The 5090, 190-pound wideout is a good route runner, and I think he will impress at the workout. This is his first workout with an NFL team and I would not be surprised if the Niners fall in love.
Last year at Henderson State, he finished the season with 38 receptions for 530 yards receiving and scored four times.