Last week was a pretty good week for Brandon Aiyuk. Not only did he enjoy a season high in targets and yards, but he also was praised by Head Coach Kyle Shanahan both inside the locker room and publicly directly following the game. How did the icy wall between these two finally melt? Aiyuk himself gave us a little insight into that yesterday.
During his press conference, Aiyuk was asked whether certain players or coaches helped influence his recent change in approach.
“Definitely a lot of players. Juice, he’s my locker mate so I talk to him a lot. But also, me and Kyle had some words,” Aiyuk said. “We had some words. Definitely Kyle too.”
Aiyuk didn’t elaborate on the substance of those conversations beyond the phrase, “some words” but did explain what he changed about his process after the bye.
“Kind of like after the bye week, just talking with coaches, sitting and assessing where we were at, I kind of just took that as after the bye week that was the start season. That was Week 1, then kind of just taking that approach every single week. This week I came into the week like this is the first week of the season, this is the first week of practice. Taking that approach, reasserting yourself every single week, and showing what you want to do on Sunday throughout the week.”
If you need a little more evidence that the team is confident Aiyuk’s issues are behind him, I present the following tweet:
Just had a really good sit-down conversation with Brandon Aiyuk, who talked about his practice habits, his relationship with Kyle Shanahan and this up-down season. Column will post tomorrow AM.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) November 4, 2021
There’s now way the 49ers media relations team grants Tim Kawakami the opportunity to sit down with Brandon Aiyuk if he’s still in the doghouse.
Hopefully that translates to more targets, catches, and yards for the second year wide receiver. To hear more on that as well as a perfect example of what the team gains emotionally from George Kittle’s return, check out today’s 49ers in Five podcast.