Deebo Samuel Gives a Sneak Peak of the 49ers 2020 Offense
The 49ers offense will look different in 2020 than it looked in 2019.
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel gave a preview of those differences Wednesday on a video conference when a reporter asked him about the 49ers’ two rookie wide receivers, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.
“I know Jennings’ game because I played against him when I was in college,” Samuel explained. “You can tell he’s a very physical guy, loves to get after it, doesn’t care about getting dirty. Aiyuk has a little finesse to his game, which I like. We’re kind of similar in a lot of ways. It will give defense problems, like with the jet-sweep motions. They’re so used to me going in motion. Seeing a different guy, I think it will give defenses things to think about.”
Meaning the 49ers will use Aiyuk and Samuel interchangeably. Aiyuk will run screens, slants, end around and jet sweeps -- just like Samuel. Both run lots of shallow routes and pick up big gains after the catch. Expect to see more of those shallow routes near the sideline in 2020.
And Jennings will be the deep threat over the middle. The receiver who jumps and catches the ball while taking hits from all directions, similar to George Kittle. Jimmy Garoppolo rarely throws deep passes toward the sideline. Now he has two deep threats he can hit over the middle -- Kittle and Jennings. Expect to see more of those deep passes near the hashes in 2020.
That’s the plan, at least.
Before those rookie wide receivers can help evolve the 49ers offense, they have to learn the 49ers offense, a process which takes a long, long time for anyone, especially rookies.
“At the beginning of the year, I was still learning and figuring things out,” Samuel recalled from his rookie season of 2019. “As the season goes on, you progress and become better at listening to the verbiage, knowing where to line up, getting lined up faster and not thinking as much.
“I know how hard it is to be as good as you want to be in this offense without thinking. (Aiyuk) has it harder than I did, because I was around the coaches and was able to use them as much as possible. With him, it’s just a zoom call. So I was just like, ‘Hey man, you just need to lock in and pay attention. I know it’s hard, but if you need anything, you’re free to call any of us.’ And I was just telling him what we’re trying to do this year that we didn’t do last year.”
Samuel and the 49ers have a clear vision for the future of their offense. Now the rookie wide receivers have to make the vision a reality.