The San Francisco 49ers opened the season by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-17 with a dominant defensive performance. However, with an injury to RB Tevin Coleman, numerous penalties that negated big plays and touchdowns, and a curious decision to have WR Dante Pettis play only two snaps, one has to wonder how the 49ers will fare when they face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2.
One of the biggest questions surrounds Pettis, who has had an up and down offseason heading into September. When Pettis only was in the game for two snaps on Sunday, the questions only got louder. But head coach Kyle Shanahan took the blame for it and said he will not let it happen again.
“Dante got a setback with his groin injury where he just missed some time to practice so that gave him a little bit of a setback leading into Week 1, which made it easier for Deebo [Samuel] to start over him. We went in knowing Deebo was going to get more playing time. I definitely didn’t plan on Dante getting only two reps. He should have been in more than that. That starts with me. I’ll make sure not to let that happen again.”
Some thought that Samuel had overtaken Pettis, but Shanahan said that was not the case.
“It’s definitely not Deebo’s job. It’s not anyone’s right now. That’s something that I kind of talked about all preseason. No one’s really taken that role.
Looking at the WR group as a whole, Shanahan said he was excited, noting that they have young guys who are hungry to learn. On the flip side, he understands that some of these young guys aren’t quite ready yet, so he needs to know when to press them and when to take a step back and let them breathe.
“…We’ve got to continue coaching these guys real hard, putting the pressure on them and we need them to respond. I get to deal with these guys every day, I get to talk to them all the time and I truly believe we’ve got the right men in our room. We’ve got guys who can handle coaching, that work hard, it is important to them and they know that I’m going to be tough on them, but it’s because I believe in them. We need them to come through and I know they will.”