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Trent Taylor hopes to win the 49ers’ punt returner job

Taylor said his goal this season was to contribute as much as he can on Special Teams

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Trent Taylor, wearing a familiar shirt with a slight edit, met with the media Sunday after practice saying how he feels 100%:

Taylor said that it felt great to put the Niners helmet on and run routes.

Taylor said earlier this summer was when he felt like himself again. Instead of rehab, he could get in shape, run routes, and do what he’s supposed to do to be ready for the start of the 2020 regular season.

Taylor recalled how hard it was last season when he had to watch the games from the comfort of his 800-square foot apartment all season, and how that helped him grow as a person. Taylor said he would rather reflect on the past year and look at it in a positive light and how to get through tough situations. Not being able to participate in the Super Bowl last season was the toughest part for Taylor.

Taylor has been impressed with both rookie wide receivers, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings. Aiyuk had three long receptions, one resulting in a touchdown on Sunday. Taylor said Jennings ran “some filthy routes” and that it “shocked all of us with the type of route running that he really has.” Taylor was complimentary of both wideouts intelligence.

Taylor also spoke about Jason Verrett, who received some work with the first-team defense on Sunday. Taylor said, “I think he could be a great piece for us out there.” I’m shocked that Emmanuel Moseley isn’t getting first-team reps. He played on the second-team Sunday. Verrett was ahead of Moseley on the depth chart last season, and that’s why Verrett entered the Steelers game over Moseley. With that said, Moseley performed like a borderline star in a half of season last year. Typically, you’d want to see how he would do with a bigger sample size. It’s the second day of practice, and the 49ers are likely going to rotate a bunch. Come Arizona; the best player will play. It won’t hurt to have multiple cornerbacks who can cover knowing the Cardinals love to run 10 personnel, which has four wide receivers on the field.

I asked Taylor if he’s getting any return work in practice and his goals for this upcoming season. It had been reported that Dante Pettis and Aiyuk were the lone players returning punts. Taylor said, “Yeah, I’m still doing all of my punt return work like I always have been. My goal is to be our punt returner for the season and help our team as much as possible in those Special Teams’ roles.”

Finally, Taylor said you could tell that Jimmy Garoppolo has another year under his belt. It’s early, but he believes Jimmy G is and will continue to get better as the season goes on. Taylor will be one of Jimmy’s favorite targets.

“I’m still Jimmy’s favorite target, no matter what George says.”