JiAyir Brown

49ers DB coach challenges rookie Brown to learn from Gipson

49ers DB coach Daniel Bullocks wants Ji'Ayir Brown to learn from veteran safety Tashaun Gipson.

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​Rookie safety Ji'Ayir Brown finds himself in a great position with the 49ers. 

Selected by San Francisco with the 87th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Penn State product likely will begin the upcoming season as the backup free safety behind Tashaun Gipson Sr. 

In speaking to reporters Thursday at 49ers OTAs, defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks discussed how the rookie can learn from his veteran counterpart. 

"It's awesome to have a vet, a guy with starting experience who knows how to play the game," Bullocks said. "Especially like Tashaun Gipson. I think this is his 12th year coming up. He's been an All-Pro safety, he knows how to do it at a high level, he knows how to take care of his body."

Brown finds himself in a similar position as second-year strong safety Talanoa Hufanga, who was named to his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro team in 2022. 

Bullocks is challenging the 23-year-old to learn from both Gipson and Hufanga. 

"But the difference with him playing with Talanoa Hufanga, you can tell how close they were from a communication standpoint on the football field," Bullocks added. "Huf had grown as a football player, now we're looking at Tashaun, I'm telling Ji'Ayir, 'Hey I want you to stay in both of those guys' hip pockets and learn from those guys.' Physically and mentally as well.

"Looking at Tashaun, he does a good job taking younger guys up under his wing and coaching them up. Really, Tashaun, he's a coach on the field and to have a player like that to be a coach on the field, because I might not always be there. That helps a lot."

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The 49ers don't need Brown to start right away, which should allow him time to develop behind either of the two starting safeties. However, if something were to happen to either Gipson or Hufanga, San Francisco's top-ranked defense can take solace in knowing the exciting third-round safety is waiting in the wings. 

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