Brandon Ayuk’s slump in sophomore year epitomizes a disappointing start to the 49’s season. He has just eight receptions as the 49ers (2-3) were retired in a three-game drift.
A year ago, being a rookie, Ayuk made 60 receptions for the team in just 12 games. General manager John Lynch spent Tuesday morning revisiting each of these promising takeovers.
“It’s encouraging because it’s there, no doubt about it,” Lynch said Tuesday on KNBR 680-AM. “But it’s time to take the next step. And it lies with everyone, so we must achieve this. ”
Asked by KNBR host Tom Talbert if Ayuk should be the main part of the attack, Lins replied: “There is no doubt about that. He is a very talented young man and also hardworking. We did our best to explain what the predicament is. ”
The discussion lasted the whole season.
It was after the season opener that Trent Sherfield beat Ayuk, although they essentially split the representatives.
And that was after the 49ers lost their third game in a row on Sunday, when Ayuk caught 2 of 4 targets at 32 yards while Travis Benjamin’s training squad got the early looks and Dibo Samuel remained the 49ers’ most played player. goal.
“I’ve already begun to understand in this league that this is never the right path to the top,” Ayuk said on September 17 following the 49ers’ last training session in week two in West Virginia. “You will have really high moments, low moments. But I think it’s all about how you reorient, rebalance, and then get back on track again. ”
– Cam Inman (@CamInman) September 17, 2021
Coach Kyle Shanahan has not argued that Ayuk’s cutbacks or goals are not only a reflection of himself, but also of what his fellow successors have earned, including Trent Sherfield, Mohamed Sunoux, and Jawan Jennings.
“The bottom line is that each of us has to find a way – I’m talking about us as a team and Brandon as a player – because in order to achieve what we want to achieve, we need his talent and ability on the field. “Lynch said. added.
“Having said that, it’s important that you earn your opportunity. You do this for a week. It’s not that Brandon doesn’t work hard. For some reason, he did not achieve the expected success. We are probably holding on to a higher standard because there is so much in his body. ”
The 49ers traded for Ayuk’s draft in the first round of last year, finishing in 25th overall. He made 748 yards and five touchdowns in those 60 receptions, plus two quick touchdowns. He has just 90 yards this year and one touchdown among his eight 15-target moves.
“It’s important for the team to see people take advantage of these opportunities,” Lynch said. “There has been some really good communication lately to try and get that out of him. And he wants it. Not that the guy doesn’t work hard. It’s about guys getting one page. He has the makings of not just a starter, but also a very good one. ”
Another reason for the 49’s urgency to push for Ayuk’s ascent: get over the slack while tight-end George Kittle (calf) misses at least the next two games when the 49s return from this week’s goodbye.
“We need that explosiveness in this crime,” Lynch said of Ayuk. “It starts this week, starts every day. It is important that he understands this. We need to achieve more here. ”
Which defender will Ayuka and company pick on October 24 when the 49ers take out the Indianapolis Colts? Both Jimmy Garoppolo (calf) and Trey Lance (knee sprain) are in rehab this week in the hopes they will be available.
Lynch described Lance’s plight as “minor injury” and admitted that “it’s not safe to hit the ball 16 times per game with your quarterback. It was more like this game, ”the Cardinals defenders suggested.
Regarding Kittle’s injury, Lynch said the two-time All-Pro was disappointed with the lack of practice and lack of improvement, that “I feel like a knife stabbed my shin there.” Lynch felt that the past week and the next two games were “enough” time for a full recovery for the November 7th game in Arizona. Lynch explained that Kittle’s caviar problem stems from the opening of the season when a player stepped on his calves.