Kyle Shanahan praises Brandon Aiyuk, his approach during Deebo Samuel absence

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Kyle Shanahan praises Brandon Aiyuk, his approach during Deebo Samuel absence

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanagan has praised Brandon Aiyuk's work ethic as he thinks the former first round pick is doing all the right things ahead of the 2022 season. The 49ers have had a bit of a rough offseason as star wide receiver Deebo Samuel wants out of San Francisco.

Samuel is absent from OTAs and the 49ers could easily lose their No. 1 option at the wide receiver spot. In case Samuel is absent for a longer period of time, the 49ers appear to be confident that Aiyuk could fit in well in that role of No.

1 wide receiver. "Each year guys have, you learn stuff from it and you learn how hard this league is and guys usually go one or two ways each year," Shanahan said, via CBS Sports. "They realize, 'Man, I have to put more work in and prepare for that long haul, or, 'Man, that was exhausting and I'm going to avoid that as long as I can, until I have to come back again.'

And usually the ones who get better and better are the ones who figure out what they have to do during the season and in the offseason to prepare them for that. And I think Brandon's done that each year. Deebo's been awesome with that stuff each year.

And that's why usually veterans understand how to make it in this league a little bit better."

Aiyuk taking on the leadership role

With Samuel out, the 49ers need someone to step up and share a tip or two to rookies. "I have to take that ownership and try to help the young guys, especially," Aiyuk said, via NBC Sports Bay Area.

"I get to see now, last year and the year before, being the young guy, just understanding and kind of seeing a different view of what they want from me. It's really being coachable, understanding coaching and just understand that people telling you stuff are people that have been in this a long time.

They've seen a lot. They've developed receivers or even other positions. It's being coachable." Last season, Aiyuk had 56 catches for 826 yards and five touchdowns. However, it should be noted that 730 of those 826 yards were caught from Week 8 onward. Aiyuk had a slow start to the season but picked up his pace in the second half of the year.