49ers Minicamp

Deebo uses hilarious example to illustrate Aiyuk's growth

Deebo Samuel made it perfectly clear that Brandon Aiyuk has made significant strides this offseason

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Nearly a week after 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk vividly laid out his expectations for the 2023 NFL season, his right-hand man Deebo Samuel clarified just how ready he is for fall.

"Man, you can't cover that boy in a phone booth right now," Samuel told reporters Tuesday after mandatory minicamp.

Both Samuel and Aiyuk had their early struggles in coach Kyle Shanahan's system.

It wasn’t until the middle of the 2021 season that Aiyuk really broke out and showcased his true potential. Then last year, in his third season with the 49ers, Aiyuk continued to significantly progress, registering 78 catches for 1,015 yards and eight touchdown receptions. 

"Just me personally, seeing Brandon from a rookie to now, he's gotten better day in and day out, every season he's gotten better," Samuel continued. "I'm seeing flashes of stuff that I ain't seen him do, like how fast he is now, how explosive he is, and the separation he gets in and out of routes now, you can tell he's really detailed his offseason and is ready to go."

Samuel, too, has a 1,000-yard season under his belt. As impressive as those seasons were, respectively, neither wideout believes it was enough -- and both anticipate that the best is yet to come.

“I’m about to take off,” Aiyuk’s said after practice last week. “That’s it. Nothing is guaranteed but just getting a better understanding for my life as a person, and as a football player, and putting those two together, and then looking to get better. I feel like having another offseason being on top, being able to get out here another spring, working on my craft, I see it.”

Samuel had a similar self-assessment of his 2022 season, summarizing his performance last season as "awful" in every aspect.

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Regardless of the major leaps throughout his career, Aiyuk feels like an underdog but said that's what keeps him motivated.

And it's clear for both Samuel and Aiyuk, the world has no idea what's in store for them in 2023.

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