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49ers coach Kyle Shanahan wants Dante Pettis to ‘earn a role on the team’

Dante Pettis, 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers third preseason game of the year saw wide receiver Dante Pettis playing late into the contest.

This surprised a lot of people. Pettis was a second-round pick last year and someone many thought would have a significant role in the offense this year.

While that can still definitely happen, it appears Pettis needs to lock up a role – which explains why he was still in the game.

There were high hopes for Dante Pettis when he was drafted last year. In his rookie campaign, he flashed some of that potential. However, the numbers still weren’t great.

Playing in 12 games, Pettis reeled in just 27 receptions. He did manage a solid 467 yards out of that though – showing big-play potential. Pettis also racked up five touchdowns, again showing his playmaking ability.

That clearly wasn’t enough to completely convince head coach Kyle Shanahan though.

While you could knock the team for having drafted Pettis so early without believing in him, or knock Shanahan for seemingly losing trust in him so fast, you should respect the move.

Shanahan is showing that he’s not just going to give someone a role based on how early they were drafted. Just because the team invested a lot in someone doesn’t mean they get a free ride.

Shanahan wants to see more from Pettis than he showed last year. He’s getting the chance to prove himself this preseason.

The San Francisco 49ers have a lot of young talent at the wide receiver position. It will be up to Dante Pettis to prove to Kyle Shanahan that he deserves playing time.