The San Francisco 49ers have a whole slew of potential weapons at receiver, and they’re not wasting any time to get in sync with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
In the three months since San Francisco fell short in Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs, various 49ers have been preparing for, as George Kittle put it, the “legendary revenge tour of 2020.”
A pair of the latest to join that party? Jimmy G and receiver Kendrick Bourne.
Initially posted on Bourne’s Instagram story, but Akash Anavarathan brings up an excellent point: at this time last year, Garoppolo was vigorously rehabbing an ACL tear just to ensure a return for the 2019 season.
He was successful, playing his first full NFL season and throwing for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns as he improved his career record as a starter to 21-5.
Trent Taylor Gets in the Mix
Bourne isn’t alone, as receivers Trent Taylor, Shawn Poindexter, Dante Pettis and Jalen Hurd have also been working with Garoppolo in an effort to develop chemistry during an offseason where they haven’t seen each other very much.
Taylor opened up about his work with Jimmy G and the other receivers mentioned, talking to the Athletic’s Matt Barrows about what the group has been working on as well as his own recovery after five foot surgeries during the 2019 season.
“It’s not like we’re just running routes and going home,” Taylor said in a phone interview. “There’s a lot of talking, learning from the quarterback’s perspective and the receiver’s perspective… So I think it’s real beneficial for us.”
Between Garoppolo’s 2018 injury and Taylor’s 2019 injury, the pair haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time together. However, when they have linked up, things have gone very well, with the receiver catching 17 passes for 191 yards for 11.2 yards per catch.
Taylor went on to talk about his recovery, saying that he’s feeling up to speed after having to sit out majority of the 49ers’ journey to the Super Bowl last year.
“I’m back to doing all my normal stuff,” Taylor said to Barrows. “I don’t know if you would say that I’m ready to go out and play a football game. I mean, I could if I had to. But mainly, I’m just steadily getting back to normal right now.
“It feels good. My foot’s able to run routes and make cuts right now. So I’m real happy to be back doing that.”
Poindexter, Hurd, Pettis
What’s interesting about the group that Garoppolo is working with is that it’s all guys that are likely not going to be the 49ers’ No. 1 or No. 2 receivers, considering the presence of WR Deebo Samuel and 2020 NFL Draft 25th overall pick Brandon Aiyuk.
Taylor and Bourne are also likely favorites to make the final roster, but Hurd, Pettis and Poindexter all have something to prove.
Hurd, like Taylor, missed all of last season after impressing early in the offseason and preseason, with NBC Sports’ Peter King saying that Hurd was going to be the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
After being selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Pettis enters a prove-it offseason. His production hasn’t hit the expectations one has for a Day 2 receiver pick, although that’s because other weapons have stepped up.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Follow and reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier.