“Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 92.9, 58 snaps”
“San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters via a conference call on Monday, the day after the team’s 30-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is everything he had to say.”
“The hype surrounding Aiyuk proved to be much more prophecy than pontification in Week 1. He’s been raved about since minicamp and has consistently looked like one of the best players on the field. That translated in the opener. Aiyuk looked every bit the nightmare matchup.”
“What followed, in John Bosa’s words, was par for the course. “As usual,” he says, “I got very emotional, I cried a lot.” And he thought, as his kid did, of the dark moments of 2016 when Nick tore his ACL as a high school senior; and of ’18, when he made the tough decision to leave Ohio State to have sports hernia surgery and prepare for the draft; and of ’20, when Nick tore his ACL against the Jets on the new, loose MetLife Stadium turf.
“Nick’s been through a lot,” John says. “A lot of dark days, with all the things he’s been through. So for me, I’m so proud of his dedication and ability to bounce back. These things happened to him and he never missed a beat. He came back, and came back a stronger version of himself. I’m so proud of him.”....
Nick works with Todd Rice through the spring and into the summer every year, since Rice is Joey’s personal trainer (and one who helped the family hone an innovative, Olympic-style regimen). But once Joey went to L.A. for Chargers training camp, Rice went with him, and so Nick was on his own.
That meant his two hours in the gym every day, and his hour and a half of daily field work, would be largely self-guided, with his dad coming out to set up cones, time him and record numbers as needed........Which, his dad reports, had his interval times, his get-off measurements and his strength figures at all-time highs as the season approached. “This is probably my best offseason training-wise,” Nick says. “I was very confident.”
“McKivitz struggled when he was left alone against T.J. Watt. The most alarming slip-up was the one that resulted in a sack and lost fumble for Purdy in the third quarter because it was so reminiscent of the damaging sequence in Philadelphia in January. In both cases, the pass rusher was coming from Purdy’s right and slammed into the quarterback as he was getting ready to throw...Those watching from the beginning might have seen Burford prominently featured alongside Williams and Samuel during the 49ers’ pregame boombox ritual. The second-year guard was hyped for the game — maybe too hyped. He was flagged for three penalties: holding, a false start and a face mask.”
“I think this is the best situation they’ve had where they can kind of use — this goes back to Aldon Smith’s first year. Aldon Smith wasn’t a starter year one. I forget who the base defensive end was then. But Aldon Smith was just, go rush the passer. Get out there in nickel situations, third down, and you don’t have to worry about any run responsibilities or anything else. Just go get the quarterback and that’s your sole focus.
And so that’s what the 49ers kind of unveiled yesterday was Clelin Ferrell was the base down defensive end and then Drake Jackson comes in to rush the passer and I thought that the combination of those two guys was really good and maybe for once we can see somebody on the other side take advantage of having Nick Bosa also on the team.”
“You might remember GM John Lynch telling me in training camp that the Niners have changed the style of receiver they’re looking for. They’ve gone away from the 4.35 guys, sacrificing speed for physicality.
As Lynch said: “Every one of our scouts could tell you we wanted separators. That was huge for us. But then, the league evolves and people start holding and playing physical on the separators. The response to that became Deebo Samuel, a guy who’s thick and strong and powerful. We kind of started playing bully ball because what you realize in today’s football, power and oomph kinda translates.”
That’s the way the Steelers have traditionally played. On Sunday, the 49ers beat the Steelers at their own game.”