What Shanahan wants 49ers rookie Gray to continue working on


Through eight weeks of the 2022 NFL season, 49ers rookie wide receiver Danny Gray has yet to catch a pass.

While the Faithful is beginning to grow a bit worried about Gray’s contributions -- or lack thereof -- coach Kyle Shanahan is staying level-headed, and offered some advice for the 23-year-old.

“He’s just got to continue to be more consistent, be able to do everything down in and down out,” Shanahan said. “You never know what plays you're going to be in there on.”

Gray’s season was slowed down by a hip injury, and in the 49ers’ Week 7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, he was on the field for eight snaps and targeted twice, but he didn’t catch either pass.

There’s no doubt Gray has the talent and the potential, but Shanahan still wants him to find ways to make an impact.

“It can’t just be stuff that exactly fits your skill set. You got to be able to block, you got to be able to run the other routes, you got to know where to line up,” Shanahan said. “Just all the things that rookies go through that just has to make it more consistent to beat out some of the guys that are in front of him.”

Six NFL players have been targeted multiple times without making a catch. Atop that list is Gray, who has the most targets without a single catch with six.

Last week, 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said they're confident Gray's breakout game is coming.

“Danny is, all these young guys, the mental capacity for this offense, you got a ways to go when you’re a rookie,” Garoppolo said. “Especially when our core guys have been doing this for however many years together.

“Things keep evolving and growing, and it’s the rookie’s job to catch up as quickly as possible. And I think Danny’s doing a good job of that. He gives us some good plays. The dude’s fast as hell. He really is. And there’s a place for that. We just we need to find it.”

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Aiyuk, who experienced a similar journey but was able to turn things around, also offered some words of wisdom for his teammate.

“In this offense, it’s 11 guys all working as one for the whole thing to go,” Aiyuk said. “Once you start to realize how important every single detail is, and how important it is for you to be in the exact spot, every single play, you get going.

“So, he’s good, he’s in a good spot. He’s looking good, still looking fast. It’s only a matter of time for him.”

The 49ers are on their bye week, and then will host the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 13. on "Sunday Night Football." Perhaps the break could be good for Gray and he will get his first NFL catch in two weeks.

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