Brandon Aiyuk and Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers get into a fight during practice, as the couple exchanges TWICE before coach Kyle Shanahan tells them to turn it down
- Brandon Aiyuk and Fred Warner hit each other on Tuesday
- Aiyuk previously called 49ers teammate Warner ‘irritating’ and ‘irritating’
- But Warner said he “picked him” to bring out the best in Aiyuk for the new season
San Francisco 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk and linebacker Fred Warner got into action on Tuesday, when the pair traded punches twice over head coach Kyle Shanahan’s objections.
The biggest fight between the two came after Warner sent receiver Marcus Johnson to concussion protocol with a late hit.
While players said the high temperature of the day and a long workout with full pads contributed to the tetchiness, according to ESPN, Shanahan made it clear that Friday’s incidents exceeded his limit.
“I want everyone to challenge each other,” Shanahan said on Friday, according to the site. “I don’t care how much c**p talk to each other; I don’t care how close they get to fighting.
Brandon Aiyuk has yet to break through after being drafted by the 49ers in 2020
Fred Warner said he decided to ‘nag’ Aiyuk because he knows ‘how much he has in him’
“They can do whatever they want to make themselves as intense as they want and bring out the best in each other, which happens a lot that way. And so it is on the field.
“But once you hit, you get kicked out or you get a penalty, and we’re proud of that: I want people to be annoying, I want people to get as close as possible to all those things. I want people to get right on the line where they’re about to black out, but you can’t black out on the football field or you’ll cost your team.”
Aiyuk and Warner’s beef didn’t come as a complete surprise, as Aiyuk (perhaps jokingly) called his teammate “annoying” and “irritating” days earlier.
Warner, in his own words, sees Aiyuk’s own ribbing as a way to improve him.
“I picked him specifically with Brandon,” Warner said. “I think he is ready to take the next step in playing at the elite level. I’ve been chasing him a bit… because I know how much he has in him.
“And I know if I nag him a little bit, it will make him sick and tired and stand his ground. He’s really starting to get that mentality that he knows he’s a man and he’s capable. I try to get the best out of him. That is it.’
Kyle Shanahan drew the line on throwing punches after Aiyuk and Warner fought on Tuesday
Aiyuk was a 2020 round one (25th overall) that has shown promise but hasn’t fully broken through yet.
After racking up 748 yards in 12 games in his rookie year, he appeared in all 17 games last year, but only tapped to 826.
Things seemed to calm down for San Francisco after things turned violent between Aiyuk and Warner.
There were no incidents on Wednesday ESPNand a video posted to Twitter that day showed the pair seemingly smoothing things out after training.