The San Francisco 49ers are set to begin a new phase of training camp Monday, when players put on pads for the first time.
Yet already, Niners’ wide receiver Dante Pettis appears primed for the regular season.
Through the first couple of days of drills, the second-year wideout has looked good and confident. After an injury-shortened rookie season of 27 catches for 467 yards and five touchdowns, Pettis is eager to make a bigger splash.
During Sunday’s scrimmages, Pettis made a nice connection with Jimmy Garoppolo, making a catch on a comeback route vs. cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Pettis also made a reception in double coverage, hauling in a pass from Nick Mullens down the sideline.
“I think it’s understanding the offense,” Pettis told reporters after practice Sunday. “Last year was just all over the place. But now that I actually know it, had the full offseason to really learn the offense and all that stuff, now I can just go out and play. I don’t have to think like, ‘Am I going to end up here or there?’ ”
Pettis said he added strength and at least 10 pounds during the offseason, which he believes will help him in 2019.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan is eager to see Pettis take some big strides after what he learned as a rookie.
“I want to see him improve a lot,” Shanahan said. “I’ve got a lot of belief in Dante, but I don’t think he’s there yet. I think there’s a whole other level that he can reach. He needs to do it with size, with mentality, and just getting after it every single day.”