Coach Kyle Shanahan is still struggling with last season’s Super Bowl loss, and he’s not hiding from that. He’s also excited about the 49ers’ legitimate shot at redemption next season.
Shanahan shared those views during a virtual show on the state of the 49ers franchise that aired on Wednesday for season ticket holders and the media, ahead of Thursday’s reveal to the general public.
In a nearly 10-minute interview with 49ers broadcaster Greg Papa, Shanahan covered a variety of topics. It was recorded last week, so you were not asked how an unidentified player is coping after testing positive for COVID-19, how catchers Deebo Samuel and Richie James are recovering from recent fractures, or what led to Shanahan to sign a new contract last week. 2025.
Shanahan was not available for follow-up questions from reporters.
Here is a summary of four topics that he did cover:
1. Recovery from the collapse of the Super Bowl:
Shanahan “Everyone knows that, the way it ended last year, we had the best possible chance to be a champion.” We fell short. That, of course, is exactly what we are going to do this year.
“… We were between one and three plays below a world championship, it has been difficult to sit down with the whole offseason. It is also something that I am very proud of with the status of the franchise. Fortunately we did not get there.
“We earned it. We earn it by doing it the right way. We won it by playing very good football on offense, defense and special teams. We did it with a whole team. You look at the numbers of our entire team with the way we play: the offensive defense ran the ball, threw the ball, turnovers, everything, it was a football team as good as ever.
“I know we were good enough to win that Super Bowl and we didn’t.” That is something we have to live with. That is why the state of the franchise now is that we have to go back to that moment. We have to go back to the fourth quarter, have an advantage and finish the job.
“It has been rare with this quarantine and being in the low season. I still feel like 2020 has just started. Now we are a month away and I can’t wait to start. ”
2. About Jimmy Garoppolo’s projections
Shanahan “Jimmy had an incredible year last year. When you look at it statistically with what he did, he is extremely accurate, he put us in very good situations and he also won some games for us. We had several games, he had to go out enormously in third and long and last minute units and make great plays that won us some games.
“Going out of what he had with the air conditioning, and … where it took us to the Super Bowl, he fell a little short, our entire team.” But Jimmy was one of the best quarterbacks in the league this year and there is still plenty of room to grow. He knows. I know that. Having just one (full) year in this league and doing what he did is very exciting. I can’t wait to start with him this year and I hope he gets better and better. ”
3. In luck of left tackle
Shanahan “I have been very fortunate where I have been with some of the best tackles in this league: from Joe Staley (2017-19) to Trent Williams (2010-13 in Washington), being with Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns, 2016) and Duane Brown when he was in Houston (2008-09). I’ve been with some very good ones. Losing one like Joe was overwhelming, and he had to. It wasn’t something he had a lot of options; It was the right decision for him and his family. As a player, it is very difficult to replace.
“When a guy like Trent is available randomly like that, that was the first draft pick we made when we were in Washington. To be with Trent as a rookie, he was as valuable as any player we’d ever been with. He’s a guy I really think he could play (3 technique defensive tackle) in this league if he wanted to. He’s a boy if he goes to the basketball court, he plays as a point guard as well as he plays in the center. He is that type of athlete. It is very cute. Joe Staley was similar as well.
“As long as you can deal with O-linemen like that, who have that kind of athletic ability and size, it’s a huge advantage in our game.”
4. In virtual low season
Shanahan “From a meeting room point of view, we have been able to do more this offseason than ever. The negative is that you can only do so much. We are not training these boys to learn how to train. We are training them to use their bodies.
“They will miss 10 practices in OTA and minicamp which are really crucial to prepare and give the rookies a chance. … It will be very difficult for some guys, and for some it will not affect as much depending on their makeup. But it’s definitely a challenge. ”