Brandon Aiyuk

Shanahan reveals Aiyuk was ‘never' in 49ers coach's doghouse

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Brandon Aiyuk continued his dominant 2023 NFL season on Sunday, recording a career-high 156 receiving yards in the 49ers' 27-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium.

After the win, Kyle Shanahan detailed how reports about Aiyuk being in the head coach's doghouse during the 2021 season could not be further from the truth.

"[Brandon Aiyuk] has been great," Shanahan told reporters after the game. "A lot was made out of it because everyone talked doghouse during training camp, which I thought was a little confused with coaching. But, he was never in anyone's doghouse. We were just coaching him and [Aiyuk] going back to those years, he was, I thought one of our best players halfway through that year and one of the main reasons we went to the NFC Championship.

"Got better last year and he's been better this offseason. And always when you're getting better doesn't always show for a receiver because stats and all those results are dependent of a lot of other people. [Aiyuk's] been playing some good football for a while, and it's really cool when he gets rewarded with those numbers."

Aiyuk torched Tampa Bay's secondary for 156 yards on six receptions, including a 76-yard touchdown that is the longest touchdown reception by any player in the NFL this season.

After the game, Aiyuk joked that the long touchdown left him perplexed when it came time to choose a celebration upon reaching the end zone.

"That was probably the longest touchdown of my career, so I didn't know what to do," Aiyuk jokingly told reporters after the game.

Sunday's dominant performance was the fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season for Aiyuk, who only had four such games over his first three NFL seasons combined.

Aiyuk has been a big-play threat all year, averaging an eye-popping 19.3 yards per reception during the 2023 season, the highest mark among all players with at least 25 receptions during the 2023 NFL season.

Aiyuk's seamless connection with Brock Purdy has taken his statistical output to an elite level, with the 49ers wide receiver recording 82 receptions for 1,354 yards and eight touchdowns in the 18 regular season games the two have played together.

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