SANTA CLARA. Sometimes you have to break the rules, and Brandon Ayuk knew exactly when to at least break them on Sunday night in Cincinnati.
Ayuk reached for the left pylon for the 49ers’ winning touchdown, risking the ball through the end zone for a touchback and losing game in extra time.
“We really shouldn’t reach for the pylon unless it’s for the descent,” Ayuk said later. There was a pregnant pause before Ayuk added, “But nobody said anything when I scored.”
Attack coordinator Mike McDaniel said a lot on Thursday – and in a positive way.
“The more you get to know Brandon and the closer he is to you, the more humor,” McDaniel said. “When I read after the game, I was dying of laughter. You start to see his personality.
“He played an incredible game. Everyone in our headquarters was preparing for the second goal from the four. To play in a split second, I’m not going to tell him not to. ”
McDaniel noted that coaches give “recommendations” more than “absolutes,” so they are not handcuffed and can play. Offensive line coach Chris Foerster noted this at the team’s meeting on Thursday, McDaniel added.
“We all thought he did it very safely,” McDaniel said of how Ayuk won 26-23. “He just passed the chase and took a chance when there was no chance of losing the streak or finding the ball.”
It was the last and greatest example of Ayuk breaking out of recession in the first half of this season. Next: 49ers (7-6) host Atlanta Falcons (6-7) on Sunday.
George Kittle admired Ayuk’s love of football, adding, “His confidence continues to grow and grow, he plays games, and as his confidence grows, he’s a damn good player. … It’s still pretty quiet. But he talks to everyone in the dressing room. ”
Watching the 49ers race around the edge, hugging the sideline, or aiming at the pylon has become all the rage. Kittle also connected to the pylon on an early game touchdown, a week after he and Dibo Samuel hit the sideline for a touchdown in Seattle.
How knowledgeable are they in using all 160 feet?
“It would be a result of the willingness of all our players to block,” McDaniel replied. “When you block with the right technique, especially on the defensive perimeter, the players with the ball can hit and use the entire 53 1/3 (yards). We really emphasize this. At each position, you see receivers, running backs, tight ends, and perimeter rolls.
“If we’re going to do something outside, be it a run or a pass, be it the middle of a route or a transition, or blocking a run, the principles are still the same – walk one space at a time and really stretch. protection, McDaniel continued. “When your blockers really allow you, you can use all the space, and on top of that, we have guys who really enjoy running after catching or running after football. These complex variables are why we see more of this. ”