Brandon Aiyuk Gets Into Scuffle With Fred Warner At 49ers Training Camp
Well, this is certainly a headline I didn’t expect to write.
During Tuesday’s practice at the San Francisco 49ers training camp, two starters got into it after a bit of chirpiness. The two players: wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and defensive captain Fred Warner.
The initial scrum happened after Warner and the linebacker group swiped at the ball in Aiyuk’s hands after a play, leading to the Arizona State product taking exception to that.
First rough stuff of training camp: Brandon Aiyuk seemed to take exception to some post-catch swatting from Fred Warner and the LBs. Deebo Samuel bolted into the fray from 20 yards away to help his fellow wideout. #spicey
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 2, 2022
The situation had seemed to resolve itself until Warner delivered a late hit to another receiver, causing Aiyuk and his fiery personality to step in. The two key players threw up their hands like they were about to box, before all hell broke loose and a dog pile commenced with those two at the bottom.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan eventually stepped in to break up the scrum, passing practice while rallying his team in a huddle.
The second fight prompted Kyle Shanahan to stop practice and bring in the team. ST coordinator Brian Schneider said afterwards that Shanahan told the team he appreciated the intensity and energy, but to turn that focus toward the game, and to take care of each other. #49ers
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) August 2, 2022
To most, this would be a bad sign for an organization undergoing a massive change at the quarterback regime, but not for the 49ers. Warner is the leader/captain of one of the most elite defenses in the NFL, and amongst those responsibilities is getting his players prepared for any and all opponents that trash talk this year.
The BYU product has been doing this all camp long, with Aiyuk himself jokingly calling the linebacker “annoying” and “irritating” after last Wednesday’s practice. When asked about his teammate’s comments, Warner gave the answer only a leader would give.
Fred Warner explained why he’s always chirping Brandon Aiyuk, who called him “annoying” 😂 pic.twitter.com/6cYSgS3trc
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) July 30, 2022
“Specifically with Brandon, I chose him out,” Warner said Saturday, via David Lombardi of The Athletic. “And I’ll say why: I think he’s ready to make that next step into playing at an elite level. I’ve gotten after him a bit … because I know how much he has in him. And I know if I nag him a little bit, he’s going to get sick and tired of that and start to hold his own. I like what I see out of BA. He works super hard, and he’s started to really gain that mindset of knowing he’s a guy and he’s capable. I’m trying to get the best out of him. That’s it.”
And Aiyuk isn’t the only one on the offensive side of the ball, picking on Lance and others to help establish their confidence before the start of the regular season.
“I’m trying to get everybody battle-ready,” Warner said. “When you get down to it, there’s a lot of games where it comes down to one or two scores when you’re playing against a top-tier team. You may have some guys on the opposite side of the ball who are even chirpier than I am. And you want to look across and say, ‘Man, this is nothing; I’ve been going against the best all training camp,’ so now you go out there and you got extreme confidence. ‘OK. I’m ready. I’m battle-tested. Let’s go do this.”
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