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Brandon Aiyuk looks to build off his 1,000 yard season: ‘I’m about to take off’

The 49ers WR1 explains why he’s more motivated than ever headed into 2023

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Brandon Aiyuk is the “old head” in the 49ers wide receiver room. You can see his maturation in his interviews. Aiyuk caught all four of his targets during Wednesday’s practice, including two over 30 yards.

When a reporter asked Brandon about his day, he was quick to point out how the defense got the best of the offense the day before. Speaking of defense, rookie Ji’Ayir Brown is Aiyuk’s locker mate.

Aiyuk has taken the rookie under his wing. He said, with a smile on his face, “we got him today.” But Ji’Ayir has made his fair share of plays through a few OTA practices, including multiple interceptions.

Brandon added that Brown “left some out there, so he might have had five. But he’s getting to the ball, so you love to see it.” Needless to say, Aiyuk is a fan of Brown.

Aiyuk bought into Kyle Shanahan’s coaching. His playing style has changed, blocking is no longer an issue, while his route running borders superb. When asked what’s next, he simply said, “I’m about to take off.”

“Just getting a better understanding for my life, as a person, and as a football player. Just kinda putting those things together. Now having another offseason, being able to work on my craft and get better. I see it.”

Aiyuk said he feels slightly overlooked and underrated. Earlier this offseason, he tweeted about gaining 1,000 yards, despite being the fourth option on a run first team:

“That’s been my whole life. That’s always how it’s been. That’s what keeps me going. That’s what keeps me motivated. What keeps me angry.”

The 49ers are hoping to get the angriest, most motivated version of Aiyuk this season. BA has an opportunity to earn a lot of money in 2023. In Aiyuk’s words, a 1,000 yard season is only the start.