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49ers' Samuel vows to bounce back after 'awful' 2022 season

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San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel candidly opened up about his 2022 season on Tuesday, describing his performances as "awful."

"It was awful ... every aspect," Samuel said, according to NBC Sports. "Me and (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) had a long meeting the other day. We watched tape, we talked about it, (and) we put it behind us. I'm just going through the tape and looking at just how sluggish and how bad it looked on tape."

He added: "Just reflecting on the last offseason, it kind of played a bigger role in that. I'm never going to put something like that on tape again."

Samuel put on a show in 2021 en route to earning the first All-Pro berth of his career. He caught 77 passes for six touchdowns and 1,405 yards, good for a league-high 18.2 yards per reception. Samuel also broke out as a rusher, racking up 365 yards (6.2 per carry) and eight touchdowns on the ground.

However, fresh off signing a three-year, $71.55-million contract in July 2022, the 27-year-old wasn't able to replicate those numbers last season, as he finished the campaign with 632 yards and two touchdowns on 56 catches to go along with 232 yards and three TDs rushing. He also missed four games due to injury.

Samuel - who previously requested a trade from the 49ers amid stalled contract talks in April 2022 - said his contract situation early in the 2022 offseason was a distraction and affected his preparation for the season, according to David Lombardi of The Athletic.

San Francisco finished last season as the NFC's No. 2 seed en route to reaching the NFC title game for the second straight year. The Philadelphia Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl with a 31-7 victory over the 49ers in the conference championship matchup.

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