Not always knowing the extent of his role on game day, Trey McBride has come out of games surprised at the amount of playing time he received.
But ahead of Sunday's 26-9 loss to the Rams, the second-year tight end knew his workload would catch his attention.
"They did tell me to be ready to go into 11 personnel and to be ready to play this whole game," McBride said. "Every week, I come in ready to play. I know the whole game plan, whether I'm playing one play or I'm playing everything, so I prepare like I'm playing every snap, every week."
In a game that didn't feature many bright spots, McBride delivered one of his best performances.
He finished the game with four receptions and matched wide receiver Michael Wilson's team-high 62 yards. And for the first time all season, fellow tight end Zach Ertz didn't lead the unit in most snaps played.
McBride did, with 44.
McBride's consistency, dating all the way back to OTAs, is one of the reasons why coach Jonathan Gannon likes the direction McBride is trending within the offense.
"He's an explosive player," Gannon said. "He's a pretty good blocker, which we kind of challenged him on that, to improve that part of his game, which he's done. He's a fast guy that gets open and catches the ball."
McBride had college numbers catching the ball. but he's learned to embrace the run-mentality of offensive coordinator Drew Petzing.
"It's always cool when you're a huge part of the run game," McBride said. "When the running back is having a great game and you know you're a huge part of that, so that's something I always love to do."
The tight end room is pretty diverse in terms of playing styles. Ertz is more dynamic in the passing game, having now extended his streak to 122 consecutive games with a reception. Geoff Swaim has only had double-digit receptions in four of his 10 NFL seasons. Six games in, he only has two catches.
But Swaim has solidified himself as the top run blocker, and he has become a sounding board for McBride.
"I've been leaning on him (Swaim) a little bit, a guy who's been in this league for a while and a guy who was been a really good run blocking guy," McBride said. "Having him help me, working on my technique, trusting what he's going to tell me and that he's giving me good information.
"Most of all, just trusting that you can do it and having confidence and going out and doing it."
Gannon said safety Budda Baker, currently on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury, could "possibly" have his three-week practice window opened this week. Asked if quarterback Kyler Murray could have his window opened, he said, "We'll see."