49ers' Kyle Shanahan praises Deebo Samuel's work ethic, says receiver's been sending him shirtless pics

Samuel was an All-Pro in 2021, but his stats did not measure up in 2022

Deebo Samuel has been the hardest on himself over his performance during the 2022 season for the San Francisco 49ers.

Even as defenses have had to refocus to worry about his threat of beating them down the sideline and through the trenches, Samuel admitted in June that he was "awful" and that a contract dispute messed up his normal routine on how he prepared for the upcoming season. He has been adamant about being ready for 2023 and is working to get back to All-Pro form.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Samuel on Tuesday as training camp revs up.


49ers kyle shanahan praises deebo samuels work ethic says receivers been sending him shirtless pics

Deebo Samuel, #19 of the San Francisco 49ers, stands on the sidelines during the second quarter of the NFC Championship NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Jan. 29, 2023 in Philadelphia. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

"I don't think Deebo had to be that harsh on himself to you guys, but it was cool to watch," Shanahan said. "Deebo is one of the best players in this league and anytime he doesn't play like one of the best players in this league, everyone's going to be disappointed, including himself. I think that was the case. 

"It's a fine line to say that he was awful just because he wasn't one of the best players in the league. I think he was disappointed. I think he can get back to playing a little bit more like he did in 2021. I think he took one small step back, but that doesn't mean he can’t take two steps forward. 

"And where Deebo was at, I think the last time you guys saw him showed that his mind was right to get back to that spot. And that's what's been real cool with him in these 40 days away. Just seeing him yesterday for the first time."

49ers kyle shanahan praises deebo samuels work ethic says receivers been sending him shirtless pics

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch during rookie training camp at the SAP Performance Facility on May 12, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)


Shanahan also dropped a funny line about the text messages between himself and the can-do-it-all receiver.

"Never had a grown man send me so many pictures with his shirt off, but it looks good," he said. "I can tell he put the work in, so I know you guys heard him that day. That's the last time I really heard him, but I see better than I hear. Deebo is in a really good spot, and I'm really excited for Deebo this year."

Samuel burst onto the scene during the 2021 season, when Shanahan used him in the passing and running game. In 2022, he fell off a bit only catching 56 passes for 632 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 232 yards and three scores.

49ers kyle shanahan praises deebo samuels work ethic says receivers been sending him shirtless pics

Deebo Samuel attends the Fanatics x NBPA Summer Players Party hosted by Michael Rubin at Tao Nightclub at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas on July 8, 2023 in Las Vegas. (Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

San Francisco made it to the NFC Championship, but freak injuries led them to an exit.

Ryan Gaydos is a senior editor for Fox News Digital.

Authored by Ryan Gaydos via FoxNews July 26th 2023