John Lynch: “It hurts.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan’s 2019 season post mortem, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department,

Your quarterback has been getting a lot of heat this week. Probably should be expected, but where is your support of him? There’s already been talk about situations about what you guys could do in the offseason?

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan: “Same as it was the day before the Super Bowl. There’s no difference. He was on his way close to Super Bowl MVP. We all know we didn’t make those plays at the end. We made those plays all year, our whole team. That’s one of the reasons we were there. Whenever you don’t make those plays at the end in a game like that, first and foremost the quarterback is going to get attacked and then usually the play-caller. We understand that’s how it goes.”

Have you had to talk to him at all or give him any sort of pep talk or he’s just good about shrugging it off?

KS: “I’ve talked to all the guys a little bit. I talked to him a little bit on the plane on the way back, not too much. Saw him a little bit yesterday. There’s not a whole lot of pep talk to say right now. We’ve all got to grieve the loss a little bit, which we will do the right way, and we’ll be fired up to come back.”

Are you guys embracing the historical challenge of trying to bounce back from the Super Bowl and just how hard that might be?

KS: “Yeah, definitely. There’s a reason not a lot of teams have done it. It’s not an easy thing to do. But, I also think that we’ve got different people than a lot of teams have. Some of the stuff we talked about yesterday as a team. I look back all the way to our first season, when we started 0-9, no team had ever finished better than 3-13 and we finished 6-10. I just look at little things like that. There are lots of stats, but I think we have a lot of stats that prove we’re different people and I want those guys to keep that in their minds. We’ve got to deal with some of this and get it out of our system and stuff. I know it will fuel us more and we’ll be pumped to come back and get after it.”

ME: What do you feel the reason is that it’s difficult to bounce back after a Super Bowl loss, historically for teams?

KS: “One, just in general how hard it is to get there. That goes with it. Just because you go one year doesn’t mean you’re going the next year. How much teams change on a year-to-year basis, how much the injuries play into the toll, how much calls by a ref play into the toll, how much every little thing goes. It’s not just a seven-game series. It’s one game. That’s what’s different to me in football than all other sports. That’s why I always do think it’s the hardest. I think people do have hard times getting over that stuff. I think sometimes you work a little bit longer into February than you’re used to. A lot of guys want to relax for a long time. That’s why it’s important to me that we do for a few weeks. It’s also to be cognizant of that, so you don’t relax too long. I think we’ve got the right guys that we’re not going to have to convince that. These guys wish we were playing this week. We’re fired up to go. We can handle how hard the loss is. We want to put ourselves in that position again.”

What is your evaluation of the offensive line specifically in pass protection not just in the Super Bowl, but over the course of the whole season?

KS: “I mean, it was good enough for us to go and have a chance to win the Super Bowl. We’ll try to get better in every aspect. Our O-Line is one of the reasons we were second in the league in running the ball. I think we were pretty effective on third down throughout the year. I know we weren’t on Sunday at the Super Bowl, but throughout the year we were. It’s hard to do that stuff without a really good O-Line.”

Is there any concern that you guys seemed to struggle against the really elite interior guys, Kansas City Chiefs DL Chris Jones being one of those guys against Kansas City?

KS: “No, I think everyone struggles against elite interior guys. I don’t care what guard you have in this league. When you have a guard one-on-one with a player like that, it’s about five at the most in this league that are like that, those guys are real tough to handle. That’s why you’ve got to be balanced and mix stuff up. He had his plays, but we also had our plays, too.”

 

John, I’m sure you know there’s visual evidence of your knee-jerk reaction was to a call a timeout in the second quarter. Kyle explained his reasoning for that. Tell us about the knee-jerk reaction and has it evolved since?

General Manager John Lynch: “Yeah, I think it’s just as if I was a player looking at the sidelines saying timeout, timeout. I was thrilled for our guys. I get excited watching these games. Not much I can do up there, but I’ve got these guys’ backs. It’s not my role to do time management. I don’t focus a lot on it. I was proud of our guys getting a big stop. That was my initial reaction. [President of 49ers Enterprises and EVP of Football Operations] Paraag [Marathe] does study a lot of time management. I’m also asking him, ‘Should we get the timeout?’ That’s all it was. It was quickly erased when they almost pinned us at the half yard line. Kyle knows that. I watch the game with emotion because I care. That’s all that was.”

Would you have handled that any differently in hindsight now?

KS: “No, absolutely not. I think that was one of the reasons we were up 10 points going into the fourth quarter. Absolutely wouldn’t have called a timeout at that time because we were expecting to be backed up and inside the 10, just like we probably should have been at the one, if they didn’t mess that play up. No, I was as confident as what we did in that situation as anything we’ve done all year. I mean that strongly. That’s something you work at for two weeks studying that team, what they’re capable of doing. You’re not going to give the ball back to them no matter what in that situation. The way he did that third-and-15 at the end of the game is how he does the two-minute drive. Felt extremely good with how we went. Not using the timeout there was a no-brainer. If we would have gotten an explosive run on the first one, then it would have been a whole different deal. But, we got a two-and-a-half-yard run. The whole goal was to not let them call a timeout there. You hurry to the line to act like you’re going, but then you don’t so you can ensure that [Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick] Mahomes won’t have an opportunity. And then we run a ball and then we make them use one of their timeouts. Now it’s third down, at least we’ve made them use one of their timeouts, we’ve taken enough time off that if we don’t get this, it’s going to be harder. But, there is still a lot of pressure. You’ve got to move the chains there. They brought a corner blitz. [RB] Jeff [Wilson Jr.] did an awesome job. We got a big play. Ended up having an opportunity to score if we don’t get the offensive PI.”

ME: You’ve been asked a million questions about 28-3 and every time you answer you say there’s one play call you’d like back. Is there one play call you’d like back? Or is it too early?

KS: “No, I’ve been through it all. Probably a thousand times in the last three days. There actually isn’t. I’m very excited with how that game went up to that point. I know what we didn’t get done and what happened, but a lot of credit I give to Kansas City. Making that third-and-15 isn’t a high-percentage deal. It has been with Mahomes this year. Throwing to the fast receiver in [Kansas City Chiefs WR] Tyreek [Hill] got behind our defense. Really thought we had the game won right there. Then you look at how you get back into it. To look at the calls and everything, you always want them to work so any time a play doesn’t work, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’ll think of something different, so hopefully they can execute that play.’ I was very happy with how the game went from a management spot, calling the game. The one thing I was contemplating that was hard on me is after we missed the post to [WR] Emmanuel [Sanders], I knew how tired our guys were. That was my hardest thing, that I really wanted to call a timeout there to give them the energy to beat the corners again because it was very hard how they were going. The reason I didn’t is because if we didn’t get that first down, we’d still have three. They couldn’t run the clock out that way. They ended up busting that long run which made it so it didn’t matter anyway. In hindsight with that, I wish I had called a timeout just so they could have recovered a little bit more and had more energy to get away from what the DBs were doing.”

Do you feel that third-and-15 was the biggest play in the game? Do you feel that your defense was getting gassed a little bit when they went up-tempo?

KS: “Yeah, I mean, I think they might have a little bit after that. I wouldn’t say just because of the up-tempo. We did a good job with the rotations up front. I don’t think the reason we missed that play is because we were gassed. Patrick has a huge arm and they’ve got a lot of speed at receiver, that’s a very long-developing play. It’s tough not to take the bait on a 20-yard in route because you rarely think they are going to have the time to get a 60-yard throw over the top of that. That was a tough play for [CB Emmanuel] Moseley just not to take that bait because usually it can’t hold up. That’s why [DL DeForest] Buckner was one inch away from him, too. He held onto it as long as he could, which wasn’t long, then threw it up. They’ve got the right two guys for that play and it was a hell of a play by them. That’s why they got back into the game. That is why they were able to score there, which made it a three-point game with six minutes to go, which isn’t a time that you’re all thinking about clock. You’re up three points with six minutes to go. It’s time to attack and move the chains. We did what we thought was right. But, we didn’t convert those first downs. When we didn’t, we gave him the ball back. He was hot by then, went right down and scored.”

Does Emmanuel have to take that into account, the pass rush and how it’s gotten there and the amount of time that Patrick has to throw?

KS: “Yeah, I mean, he’s got to take that into account. But, you take everything into account. The play that they ran, the situation they run it in, what we worked on throughout the week. It’s not just Emmanuel. There’s 11 guys out there and they’re all tied together. But, we weren’t tied together right on that play.”

Revisiting the end of the second quarter again. Once they didn’t pin you back, you have 59 seconds and three timeouts and you had gotten a first down on all of your drives. You’re fairly aggressive. I understand if you pop a run and if that works we’re maybe not discussing this. Why wasn’t the mindset like, hey three timeouts, 59 seconds, let’s go get a touchdown?

KS: “It was, depending on how the first play went. If I would have called a screen and that would have gone for 10 yards, or called a run that went for 10 yards, would that have been considered aggressive? Those are the things that are extremely weird to me when I hear from other people. Yeah, I called a run. I don’t think that’s not aggressive. I’ve call runs sometimes on third-and-10. I think we were averaging about seven yards a carry at the time. We have a number of explosives. So, I like the run call. It also guarantees that the clock will be running after it. You look back to some of the mistakes I might have made earlier this year. You look at the end of the second quarter versus Seattle in our loss. I didn’t think I was real aggressive, but we threw and [Seattle Seahawks DE Jadeveon] Clowney got a sack-fumble, they got right back in the game right there. You look at right before or in overtime at the end, they had three timeouts and we didn’t want to tie. We tried to go for it. You see what happens when there’s only a minute left and you get a pass tipped, we get a pass dropped. We go three-and-out. We throw a go-route to [WR] Deebo [Samuel], we just come up short on. They get it right back and [Seattle Seahawks QB] Russell [Wilson] goes down in no time and we lose the game. I mean, that one I’m very confident in what happened there. I would do that over every single time, especially when you’re getting the ball in the third. That’s what I felt was one of the main reasons we were up 20-10 in the fourth.”

The late post to Emmanuel, you kept Kittle back in on pass protection on both third and fourth down. Was that the similar dynamic as the Rams game? Was that the same play?

KS: “Yeah, it was the same play as the Rams game. We had a formation a little bit differently, but it was the exact same play.”

On a play like that, in an ideal world, would you want Kittle to be running a pass route?

KS: “I mean, we mix it up all the time in the games. You can’t have receivers go back and block linebackers in protection. You don’t want to bring extra O-Linemen in. Your choice isn’t protection, whether you go five, six or seven man, has to involve running backs and tight ends. When you’re going a take a shot like that on third down, you better protect the edges. You do it with a tight end and running back. We mix that up all the time though. It depends on what stuff you are getting, what type of play you are running. Kittle was out on a number of the third downs throughout the game and we weren’t able to get to him.”

You eluded to the fact that you heard some of the second-guessing. How much are you, both you guys, letting in with all this talk? One of your assistants, offensive assistant Katie Sowers, tweeted out the next day something about wow there’s a lot of hatred in the world. Are you guys feeling this intense blow-back? Some of your players have talked about the loss fueling them. Do you think that’s going to happen?

KS: “I don’t feel it’s intense blow-back, I’m not on Twitter and whatever, all that stuff is. I would never do that to myself anyways. You know, I’ve lost the Super Bowl before, I’ve been a part of a bigger lead that was lost, so I’m very well aware of what goes with that. I also am not a good liar. How you guys hear me talk is exactly how I feel. I’m really upset about the loss because it’s hard to get there. I personally thought we had the best team in the NFL this year. We weren’t. We’ve got to deal with that. I truly believe that we had that and we should have proved that and we didn’t get that done. That’s what’s really cool about sports, it’s what hurts about sport, it’s what is fun about sports, it’s why I like sports, it’s also why everyone likes watching it, because there is a lot of emotion in there. When I do feel this way and stuff, I mean it, it makes me feel stronger because it does hurt a lot. I also know how much I can deal with it. That’s the worst stuff that happens, I can’t wait to try our butts off to get back there next year.”

JL: “I think I would add to that, I’ve been on the other side of winning one. I know how good that feels. I’ve always heard how devastating, what a punch in the gut losing one is. We’re going through that right now. That’s hard. But, I think something that was important, something we talked about a lot as a team, let’s not just do away with what a special season that we had. Let’s not just forget that. Let’s talk about the moments and memories. Something we did in our team meeting yesterday. We had our guys, just random guys, stand up and talk about their favorite moments and memories. Yeah, it’s hard to get back. I believe eight teams have gotten back after losing a Super Bowl, three have won it, five have lost, so it is tough. But, we do believe we’re different. There’s not many teams that go from four wins to 13 and dominate an NFC in the playoffs and get there. We believe this team is different. We believe we’re capable of doing that. We have to own the disappointment, but some of the things being said, I think this group is very strong in terms of who we are. I know this guy right here, in my mind, was the best coach in football this year. In the last game, we have to all own what happened. Our guys are like that, who are going to take that, put it on their shoulders. They’re going to own it. We’re going to move forward and we’re going to be better from it.”

Do you try to replicate what you had as far as the roster and the personalities, togetherness? There’s going to be comings and goings, but what is your goal as far as do you try to replicate what you had this year from the feel of the locker room?

JL: “Kyle and I, he’s been coaching a season. We’re always have conversations. The simple answer to that, we’re trying to get better. Now, there’s some realities that are different. I think an analogy for me is the first couple years, I think we brought year one 14 free agents up here. Those days aren’t happening any more. We can’t go to the grocery store and say I’ll have that, I’ll have that, I’ll have that. It is more like, I’ll have that, but I might have to put that back. There are tradeoffs. It’s tightening up, but we knew that all along. The bright side is that we’re top-five in returning starters and they’re really good players. We’ve accounted for taking care of some of our own players. That whole process will start, Kyle and I are having our discussions internally. That’s important that we really take a pragmatic approach. First of all, we get over this loss, then we start having those conversations so that we go into the Combine and the Draft ready. We’ll be there. A lot of work has been done, now Kyle joins the process. And we’re committed to finding a way to be better. We’d love to keep everybody. This team is special. There’s a special feel to it. We hope that’s the case. It’s probably not likely, it just doesn’t happen in this league.”

Some of the financial work has already started with C/G Weston Richburg’s restructure. I think LB Kwon Alexander restructured too. Do you feel that it will be possible to balance some of these things financially so that you guys can re-sign the guys you need to and still maybe make an addition this offseason?

JL: “I think someone was asking me, characterize our situation. It’s not bleak. It’s not like some people where you have to cut players just to be able to meet certain deals. I think more so understanding that there are players that are really good players we want to take care of, knowing it is tight. There may have to be tradeoffs along the way. But, I think we’re in a good position to find a way to certainly keep the core together and even like I said our mindset to improve it.”

About the defensive line, DL Dee Ford, will he have to have any sort of surgery in the offseason, getting those knees right for 2020?

JL: “Not as we know right now. We’ll have those conversations. But, I think Dee is in good health right now. He was dealing with some of those tendinitis issues and such, but I think he’s in a good spot right now.”

As far as DL Arik Armstead, he said yesterday that he’s not averse to a franchise tag. Is that something that you guys have thought about? Is that an option for keeping him for 2020?

JL: “Arik is an excellent player. He had an excellent year. I think everything is on the table. We want to find a way to keep him and make him a part of the 49ers for a long time.”

It’s not unlike what you had when you first got here, but kind of this condensed window after the Super Bowl, what kind of challenge does that present in terms of turning your attention to Combine, free agency right around the corner?

JL: “Just a lot of communication. I think the good thing with Kyle and I, we’re always talking. His focus has had to be on the season. And so, he trusts that our group is doing a lot of the legwork so we can present it to him. We continue to have conversations. He’s already in position that he knows a lot of the issues and now we’ve just got to really fine-tune it and see exactly how we want to approach things. That’s kind of how I would characterize it.”

I took that from your first answer that QB Jimmy Garoppolo is your starter in 2020. Can you just explain your thoughts on him, what you thought of his season as a whole?

KS: “I think Jimmy is one of the main reasons we got to the Super Bowl. I think he overcame a lot. This was his first year in his career going through an entire NFL season. He still doesn’t have as many starts and stuff as [Cleveland Browns QB] Baker Mayfield. I think he had a hell of a first year truly playing the position, especially coming off an ACL where you have to fight through that a ton as a quarterback, where your rhythm and everything is not there at the beginning of the year. For him to be like that and to not let the pressure get to him, and to improve as the year went, I think says a ton about Jimmy. I can’t tell you how much I loved coaching the guy as a player and as a person this year.”

ME: You mentioned you heard about the pain of losing a Super Bowl, but you never felt it until now. How does it feel to you?

JL: “It stinks, you know, it really does. I think having it in your grasp and you’ve got such a group of men, a locker room, that just cares. They care about each other, they have each other’s back. We’ve answered seemingly, we didn’t win every game, it wasn’t perfect, but we answered every call. To not finish the deal, it hurts. That will stick with us for a lifetime. But, to me it’s about what you do going forward. I think the one thing I would say, too, for all the negativity, or perceived negativity, I also know that I got off the plane, I went to my daughter’s basketball game, I can’t tell you how many people came up and said thank you. To all the people out there that appreciate that, appreciate the effort of the team, Kyle and his staff, we are appreciative. I think a big part of the turnaround, getting to the Super Bowl, now our goal was to win the Super Bowl, we all know that, but just the feeling that has on this community, the Faithful, the fans, when we go on the road, at home, having the excitement back in here in Levi’s, a lot of positive things transpired. We can’t forget about that.”

Can you take some inspiration from the team that just beat you? They were so close and probably felt they should have been in the Super Bowl last year. Pretty young group. Are they an example of how a team can continue to come back?

KS: “Yeah, I haven’t looked at that yet. Yes, there’s probably a thousand others we could say whatever direction we want to go to show that. I don’t think our guys need us to prove it to them. I think they know it. I think our guys believed and knew how good we were this year. They knew how close and how easily we could have finished that. We didn’t. That’s stuff you’ve got to live with and deal with. Everybody wants to make it a little bit more than it is. It’s hard to lose a Super Bowl, I promise, because it’s really hard to get there. It’s exhausting. It’s a grind. You want to finish it off the right way. I say it all the time, one team is happy at the end of the year. I haven’t been happy yet at the end of the year in my career. I plan on it happening someday. I plan on it happening every year. I also know the reality of this sport. It’s funny, I’ve done this long enough that I know why I do it. That’s why I wanted a general manager who does it for the right reasons, I want the players who do it for the right reasons. We love football. We love it out here. I thought it was weird, I thought I was getting set up, but I couldn’t believe how good this place treated me when we were 0-9, when we were 4-12. It was better than any other place I’d ever been in how people treat me. Now they treat me still very good, even actually a little better this year. It’s as cool as it can be. What people don’t realize, I think, because not everyone is in our situation is that when I have 200 texts, which would be more if I didn’t always change my number, but if I had 200 texts after an NFC Championship game, everyone telling you how good you are and stuff, we felt that way throughout the season before it started. When you have 200 people texting you after Super Bowl, ‘How you doing? Are you okay? We still believe in you.’ I know there’s a lot of people saying I’m not that good out there. What I can say to you guys is, it doesn’t change how we feel inside when people tell us how good you are. You have to be even that strong, it doesn’t change how you are inside when people tell you how bad you are. It doesn’t matter. We’re playing the sport. Everyone else can evaluate it all you want. I am proud as can be of how our team handled everything, how I did, how John did, how everyone did. Now we can deal with whatever because we’re proud of how we handled it. If I wasn’t proud of that, then the stuff would be very hard on me. That’s what’s cool when you get in these moments and you can feel all this, it makes you stronger. That is a cool feeling. Not to mention how hard grieving the loss of a Super Bowl is. We’ll start that process.”

This article has 153 Comments

  1. Here’s to being a contender, not a pretender! Here’s to the 9ers 2019 – 20 season! To be 31st out of 32 teams isn’t bad after being the 2nd worst! Here’s to everyone that helped to make it happen!
    And here’s to getting even better, to being the best and another SB win!

      1. Razor
        * The seasons of loss & rot are behind us…..The ghost of seasons past!
        * If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind!!!
        * Are you ready to put together your 9er 2020 draft prospect list?

            1. If we’re going IOL at 31, I want Cesar Ruiz, OC, MI. If we decide to give Jimmy more Firepower, I want Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU.

              1. Razor
                Third time I’ve tried to respond, but PD MODERATOR doesn’t like what I’m saying?
                * I doubt WR jalen Reagor will still be on the board when 9er pick at # 31.
                * Like MIch. OC Cesar Ruiz, but want to see his Combine results. My concern is his fit with KS ZBS, (his Reach blocking and ability to get to 2nd level.) His videos show mostly power blocking, the rest looks good.
                * I posted my player watch list earlier, assuming you seen it?

              2. Razor
                I’d Be surprised if TCU WR, Jalen Reagor is still be on the board when 9ers pick @ #31
                CBSSports.com has listed @ pick # 27
                I like Mich. OC Cesar Ruiz. @ pick # 98 he looks good. But I’d like to see his Combine results. Will he fit Shanahan’s ZBS? Is his lateral movement quick enough to reach block and can he get to the 2nd level?

  2. The 9ers exceeded my expectations by a whole lot this year! I was thankful that they made the playoffs. I Couldn’t believe they made the super bowl. Next year!

  3. Disappointed? Yeah absolutely. Worried that maybe we won’t get back there like so many other teams? Not really. I have faith and it feels great baby.

  4. I am confident that the same FO that turned this franchise around in 3 years will do what it takes to keep this team on top. And I couldn’t imagine a better group of guys to have on this team next year than the 53+ that we watched this season. Of course there will be additions and subtractions and most likely the FO will make the wrong call on a draft pick or maybe a free agent. But would anyone seriously doubt this group?

    1. This is a great group of players, great turn around from ’18. Great front office turning this team around. Next year they hopefully patch up some positions that need to get better thru the draft and FA. The young players will be seasoned more and I expect them to compete for the division next year or maybe the SB again. But….is KS going to win a SB??…

      Is the new wonder coach and offesnive guru going to have a legacy of not winning the big one??..He’s going to be, and already is a winning HC, but he can’t afford to go 0-3 and 0-4 in the SB. Not a good legacy. He sounded very confident in this interview, being 0-2, that he made all the “right” calls, no regrets..hmmm..I also have a feeling he doesn’t buy all the way into JG but he sure plays it off he thinks JG is super.

    2. Steve Young: ‘Kyle Shanahan has to develop trust in Jimmy Garoppolo’
      By Charean Williams on Feb 6, 2020, 9:10 PM EST…NBC Sports

      If the 49ers had held on, no one would have questioned Kyle Shanahan’s decision not to call timeout before the Chiefs punted with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. But the 49ers blew the 10-point fourth-quarter lead, so Shanahan’s decision invites questions. Former 49ers QB Steve Young, who now is an ESPN analyst, wondered whether Shanahan’s fear of JG is greater than his trust in his quarterback.

      “I think he and Kyle have to work on their dance step,” Young told Ron Kroichick of the SF Chronicle on Thursday. “The thing before halftime doesn’t make sense to me. If I was the QB, and you just let the clock drain away, what are you saying to me? That’s just me. I understand you want to drain a little bit of time so you don’t have to give it back to Patrick Mahomes. I get that, but how about some time for me???That tells me there’s an ongoing relationship that needs to be developed, a trust maybe that needs to be worked on.

      “Look, I always put myself on the field. How would I feel? And I would feel like, ‘Hey, wait a second, put the ball in my hands.’ So those two have to figure out how to continue to build off what they’ve done.”

      Garoppolo went 3-for-11 for 36 yards and an interception in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, posting a 2.8 passer rating. Young credited Garoppolo for “owning” his fourth-quarter numbers and hopes he can rebound — and grow — from the missed opportunity..“Jimmy doesn’t know his ceiling,” Young said. “Just keep playing and it works itself out over time. People say, ‘I know his ceiling.’ No, you don’t, because Jimmy doesn’t even know it, and Kyle doesn’t either. You can think you know, but it needs to play out.”

      1. Don’t really buy this trust thing. If anything, Shanahan put too much faith in Garoppolo. He called the big shot, and Garoppolo missed it badly. It isn’t “Shanahan needs to trust Garoppolo more”, it’s “Garoppolo needs to show Shanahan he can be trusted at every juncture”.

        1. The “big shot” is not a high percentage pass. Even Mahomes only hit 6 of 15 passes during the season that were around 40 yards in the air. Jimmy actually hit one of 2, which beat the odds (typically around 40%) although the pass to Kittle was called back. IMO, a higher percentage pass should have been attempted.

          1. That’s different from not trusting him, though. Part of the reason they don’t work too often is because of the little parts that need to go right, too. In that play, it went right, except Garoppolo didn’t do his part. So the idea that Shanahan should show more faith him in is pretty bogus in my opinion, if it’s going to indicate anything (and it doesn’t really have to do so), it’ll be that Shanahn needs to really keep the stabilizers on Garoppolo.

  5. “Just because you go one year doesn’t mean you’re going the next. Teams change. Injuries play into the toll. Calls by a ref play into the toll. It’s not just a seven-game series. It’s one game. That’s why I think people have hard times getting over that stuff.”

    — Kyle Shanahan

    Sound familiar, Scooter?

    1. Yes. And something I have agreed with both yourself and Shanahan about. I know it is going to be hard to get back there next year, and any year. But I trust the 49ers have the right guys in charge, and the right nucleus of players, that the team should be putting itself in a position that with a bit of luck going their way they have a decent chance of going the SB every year for a while. And if you put yourself in that position consistently you will get your chances.

          1. Thanks folks. We’ll see if I am right in time, but this is definitely how I feel about where this team is placed. I am looking forward to watching a good, competitive team for a while.

    2. Completely agree the superbowl is promised to no one.
      -This year the niners were able to survive some big injuries but next year it may not be the case.
      – Don’t expect this team to have the depth it did last years.
      – Next years schedule looks to be a bit easier but that’s before all the offseason moves are made.

      That said, before the year one of the arguments I had was with Jack regarding the talent of the roster and I will admit I was largely wrong. Specifically, I was wrong regarding the db’s, oline and linebackers… they were all much better than I thought.
      The nucleus is largely intact, and this team should be contending for the NFC Championship/Superbowl for the next 3 years.

  6. I’m reading the team has around 20 million in cap room. Any numbers on what the number would be once Goodwin and McKinnon are let go?

    Great year!!

  7. I sure feel better than I did Sunday but this loss is going to haunt. I won’t get over it till we win Lombardi #6 💔

  8. Can you be any more stubborn and arrogant about admitting it was the wrong move, than Kyle Shanahan has shown when it comes to not taking the time out before the half and giving up that possession? He keeps insisting he’d do his half time fold every time! Wrong Kyle! You are sending the message to not just Jimmy G but your entire team that you don’t trust them to get the job done – your O not to score and your D to not stop Mahomes! You’re playing not to lose rather than playing to win. It’s gutless. Until Kyle understands this, admits it and changes his thinking about it, this team will always come up short when the final opportunity arises. And there is absolutely no evidence that supports it was the reason the score was 20-10 later in the game any more than the flips side that their is evidence that the score could have been 27-10. I call BS on that narrative, Kyle.

      1. The “no timeout” decision was a dumb move. Everyone on earth but Kyle was scratching their heads asking WTF? Sure, if we had won the game, no one would be harping on the mistakes. We would all be in a state of rapture over our 6th ring. In reality, the “Im okay w/a tie at the half” strategy was part of a series of blunders which led to one of the biggest choke jobs in SB history and there’s no sugar coating it.

        1. “Everyone on earth but Kyle was scratching their heads asking WTF?”

          Not quite. It was similar to an NBA team holding the ball for the last shot. I’m reminded quite often how little knowledge most fans have of clock management. This is just another example.

          1. It’s confirmation bias. People want to find someone to blame so they ignore the fact the 49ers were in scoring position with 10 seconds on the clock if the OPI hadn’t been called. Those same people would be criticizing Shanahan if the 49ers had left time on the clock and KC had scored before the half.

          2. JP (formerly known as Kyle Shanahan), Suggestion for ya. Learn the difference between football and basketball. Not all samsies.

          3. Yep. The last thing the team wanted was giving Mahomes another shot before the half with timeouts up their sleeve. Don’t go into the half behind after the team had done so well to get back on even terms. So first things first, remove enough time to prevent that from happening. Then try and score. If that doesn’t work out, run out time. Exactly what Shanahan did.

            1. It’s a reasonable strategy. I think the reason why some do not think it was is that most people (including many on this blog) prior to the game believed that the 49ers would need to score over 30 points to win the game. And this appeared to be a lost scoring opportunity. If Kittle’s catch stands, it actually looks more brilliant because KS kind of made it look like they were just going to run the clock out and instead attempted to score with less than 30 seconds on the clock; scoring rapidly like what would be expected from the Chiefs. In a sense, turning the tables.

              1. The Chiefs punter is very good at downing the ball inside the 10. I’m pretty sure the Chiefs gunner muffed that a bit or else they would have got the ball around the 1.

                These are all things that played into the decision.

                At the end of the day, that last possession of the 1/2 was the least of the reasons why they lost and is being blown WAY out of proportion.

              2. Steve Young: “The thing before halftime doesn’t make sense to me. If I was the quarterback, and you just let the clock drain away, what are you saying to me? That’s just me. I understand you want to drain a little bit of time so you don’t have to give it back to Patrick Mahomes. I get that, but how about some time for me? That tells me there’s an ongoing relationship that needs to be developed, a trust maybe that needs to be worked on. Look, I always put myself on the field. How would I feel? And I would feel like, ‘Hey, wait a second, put the ball in my hands.’ So those two have to figure out how to continue to build off what they’ve done.”

                Thank God for Steve Young.

              3. Why can’t Kyle just let Jimmy be a QB? Is he not confident in what Jimmy can do or is this a control/I’m the coach and I’ll decide type of thing?
                Looking into Shanahans approach this past year,combined with his previous work, I don’t know Faithful. We might have a problem.

              4. The whole thing feels dysfunctional. Kyle reminds me of an older brother playing “keep away” with a younger sibling. Hopefully, JG will learn to challenge the hierarchy. Next time, he should call the timeout himself.

              5. Mike Holmgren wanted to tame Brett Farve as much as he could, but in the end, if he wanted his QB to make plays down the stretch without doubt, he had to let him make the throws, all of them.
                Same thing with Bradshaw and Noll, Reid and Mahomes, Young and Siefert.
                Now I’m not saying Jimmy G is in the same class as those guys but if you want your QB to be a QB in championship moments, let him experience it by doing it.
                Take the shackles off Kyle!

              6. ‘Hey, wait a second, put the ball in my hands.’

                He did. And the shot play worked except for the OPI. The team then built a 10 point lead into the 4th quarter.

              7. Jack, yeah we know what happened, but now we need to see Jimmy and this offense be less predictable and do more.

                Why is KC’s offense so good? Because they attack you from everywhere.
                Kyle tries to be too cute setting up plays from previous plays. Series from previous series. Just take what the defense gives you.

              8. How about showing your QB you trust him in a pivotal moment early on, instead of waiting till he’s behind the 8 ball late in the game? Not the best way to build someone’s confidence.

              9. “ KC scored 28 points fewer than SF this season“

                Which offense will be less predictable and sustainable next year?
                The one that relies on the run exclusively and occasionally throws, or the one that uses all its personnel in both run and pass and never lets up?

              10. That tells me nothing.

                The offense became one dimensional in the playoffs. It caught up to them.

                It’s like that team in basketball that shoots threes all season then gets to the tournament and can’t hit a shot. Then what do they do!

              11. What’s funny is that in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, with a 10 point lead, it was going away from that one dimension that bit them.

              12. Exactly. Too predictable!
                He out thinks himself and doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
                Instead, how about a balanced approach and using the guys, your playmakers an opportunity throughout the entire game to actually get in the game and contribute.
                No, instead, he won’t call a play for a guy for like 2 or 3 quarters and expect that guy to do something miraculous when called upon.

    1. To be fair, there are 2 parts to the timeout question, and I’m not sure which part people are upset regarding?

      1. Are people saying that after the stop SF should have immediately called a timeout after the defensive stop at the 1:47 mark? *This is the part where John Lynch was signaling for the TO and I too was upset about initially.

      or

      2. Are they upset regarding the 49ers not being more aggressive at the 59 second mark trying to move the ball with their remaining time?

      In hindsight, I can understand being upset with second reason.
      However, his reasoning for not calling a timeout at the 1:47 mark is understandable and statistically the odds strongly against John Lynch’s (and mine) initial reaction. There was a high probability they would be backed up inside their own 10 with KC having 3 timeouts. And if KC’s special teams hadn’t screwed it up SF would have had the ball at the 1 yard line. In this scenario the odds say SF has a less than 10% chance of scoring. Additionally, if KC got the ball near midfield after a stop they would have had a near 50% chance of scoring.

      Now, as to the second part… I believe a solid argument could be made for the use timeouts here… but I don’t think that is the part most people are upset with.

      1. An argument can be made regarding part 2, but really the same argument for why bleeding time in the first instance makes sense is just as valid for when they had the ball. If you go ultra aggressive and KC makes the stop, you hand them the ball back with time and their timeouts still intact. Last thing you want in that situation.

    2. Agree PHD…everybody in the world knows Kyle screwed it up in the first half and the fourth quarter..he ought to hold himself responsible… he IS NOT and he would do it over and lose? Lip service .. terrible lip service

      Also Jimmy said “we” missed plays we normally make…No YOU missed plays….like missing Kittle being wide open all game long sheeeesh…..take responsibility for it….”I missed some throws and I know I frustrated Kittle” would be more manly after all he is the leader

      So much for manning up….weak narrative if you ask me…Kyle should say “I should have called a timeout before the punt”..duh…and Jimmy “I missed some plays” …. its a weak ass million dollar narrative..

      1. That’s why KS will be known for winning games during the season but not good enough or smart enough to win the SB..Also JG not being good in the playoffs or SB since he didn’t throw much in the 2 games before and missed Kittle and didn’t look good in the SB. They make excuses and blame others. KS is really off standing behind every move he’s made in Super Bowls he’s lost..sheesh!!..Hope they’ll win one.

  9. KS is not second guessing his play calling. Guess he is happy with the results.
    .
    KS does not need to second guess. We are the ones doing that. Not trying to score at the end of the first half, just seemed to me that he was playing for the tie. Too bad he needed to play for the win. Steve Young was second guessing him, and John Lynch was first guessing him, when he was frantically calling for a time out.
    .
    By not admitting he could have done better, KS is not admitting he has learned anything. He imploded in the second half of the Falcons/Patriots SB, and went brain dead in the last 6 minutes of this last SB.
    .
    ‘Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.’- GS

    1. I wonder why. Is it his arrogance, stubbornness, hubris, lack of trust, fear of admitting he made a mistake, blindness, cluelessness? I have always taken him to be brighter than this. Guess I was wrong. I sure hope Paraag didn’t have something to do with this decision.

      1. JL admitted Paraag had game management responsibilities. His fingerprints were all over the decision to let the clock run down, wasting an opportunity to score.

        1. No, he said Paraag does study a lot of time management.
          Considering he was talking to Lynch, I highly doubt he was also telling Kyle how to manage the clock.

    2. Funny. The same person that complained when Shanahan tried to win in OT against the Seahawks rather than run out the clock for a tie and prevent Wilson getting the ball is complaining about Shanahan not keeping time on the clock at the end of the first half in the SB to avoid any chance of Mahomes getting the ball back with time to score. Par for the course I guess, but man…

    3. Agree…Kyle pulled more than one boner is this game so did Jimmy….refs and defense did the job at the end of the day a team has to put up more points than the other…the offense did the defense no favors in this game

  10. ‘Not using the time out there was a no brainer.’ -KS
    .
    Exactly.
    .
    Just like not giving the ball to Mostert in the first quarter, and giving a RB who just ran for 220 yards, only 12 carries.
    .
    I am glad JG stood tall, and accepted blame. He sure wished he could have had some throws back. JG manned up, and is moving on, being wiser from this last game. He needs to work on his ball security, so he does not throw a lollipop to be intercepted. He needed to be able to find the open receiver, like Kittle was at least 3 times. There was an open receiver in the flat, that could have been used as the safety valve, instead of trying to force the ball into coverage.
    .
    I still think JG can lead this team to victory, but KS needs to put him in the best positions to succeed.He needs to coach JG up so he sees the whole field, and coach him to look off the safeties.
    .
    JL is the epitome of class and dignity. He has established a winning culture, and the Niners are a deep talented team, filled with playmakers. They are young, and will be competing for a ring next season.

  11. Great season, great team. I’m still more upset with the sorry ref crew than anything.

    How can I fairly judge this loss when the game film shows the ref helping KC. The refs can control the outcome of any game with one penalty like the OPI on kittle when it should have been illegal contact by the defender. Or how about the obvious holding by chiefs olinemen in the 4th? Am I supposed to judge our dline for not overcoming holding on a Mahomes 44 yard pass?

    How about when Williams was out of bound but yet still scored a TD? That horrible call is not jimmy/kyle or lynch fault. It was blatant favoritism by the refs towards KC.
    Remember in the first game, kwon got ejected for helmet to helmet but no call on KC in the 4th quarter of a SB?

    If you think the refs had no part in the outcome of this game, that’s your choice, but I know what I’ve seen with my own eyes, and I believe the refs had a lot to do with the 4th quarter issues we were having and if they call a even game. Then there is no comeback by KC just like the previous three-quarters of the game when could do any aginst us.

    1. I kinda knew the fix was on, when the ref who blew the call in the Rams/ Saints game was the one who officiated the SB.
      .
      Guess they like to reward incompetence.

  12. He did the right thing not calling TO , because if the Chiefs put the ball inside the 5 , like they should have done, they were getting the ball in 49er territory and going into the half with the lead . No doubt

    1. That was the part I was questioning earlier.
      At what point was it “obvious” that Kyle should have taken the timeout.
      If it’s prior to the punt. It has to be known if the Chiefs downed the ball at the one as the very nearly did. Then the odds were heavily slanted in favor of the Chiefs scoring prior to the half… not the 49ers.

    2. How about the Niners just try and score when they have a chance instead of worrying about what the Chiefs are going to do?

  13. My first reaction regarding what happened at the end of the 1st half was similar to Lynch. But with more reflection and knowing that the team was going to get the ball back to begin the 2nd half, the decision could have gone either way. And as Scooter has pointed out numerous times, if the OPI call hadn’t occurred, we’d probably be lauding KS’ brilliance for lulling KC into thinking the 49ers were looking to run the clock out.

    What I find interesting is that KS, the coordinator, was the one getting the heat for the Atlanta loss despite the epic collapse by the Falcon’s defense and Dan Quinn emerged relatively unscathed. Is Saleh getting any heat for this loss even though the defense gave up 21 points in less than 7 minutes? I am certainly not saying that it is all the defense’s fault, but don’t they deserve some of the blame if blame is to be assigned?

    1. With a 10 point lead in the 2nd half the defense forced the turnover. Yeah they deserve some blame, but they set it up for the offense to put it away and they couldn’t. Instead they managed only 3 first downs the rest of the way.

      The inability to bleed clock late was a big reason for the loss when he was with Atl, and played a role on Sunday.

      1. And a big reason why there was an inability to bleed the clock late was the big right hand of Chris Jones. Two batted down balls when receivers were open in the middle of the field, and one tip (not sure if it was Jones who tipped it). That was frustrating. I don’t recall seeing that very often against the Niners this year, and it happened twice in the last 1/2 quarter.

        1. Yeah, that was a huge issue at the end.

          For all the blame being given to the play calling, in the end there were plenty of opportunities in the passing game the team just missed. I am not sure why Shanahan went away from play action at the end there, but even so it was an execution issue. I don’t think the answer was just to run it more – KC were setting to stop the run and the time off the clock that would have achieved (without 1st downs) was too limited to make a difference. It just would have meant the 49ers had less time at the end to try and regain the lead.

  14. Lip service at its finest….still in shock Kyle is fine without calling the time out in the first half wtf? is that?…and no mention of not running the ball down their throats to finsish the game with 6 minutes remaining wtf? is that?

    Hopefully next year Jimmy can scan the field and not miss wide open receivers and move in the pocket better

    Well great year it was a lot of fun, second to last to second best…..all in all team should still hold the heads high

  15. Razor
    I believe the 9ers need to address both Interior O-Line and WR, in the 2020 draft. But I also
    believe the # one priority is for at least one CB early and maybe a second one later.
    What’s your opinion for the 9ers # one position need in 2020 draft?
    * I posted players I liked earlier, assuming you seen them?
    * I seriously doubt TCU WR Jalen Reagor will still be on the board when the 9ers pick. Not
    unless he fails miserably at the Combine.
    * OC Cesar Ruiz, Mich looks like he could do the job, but want to see how he does at the combine. My only concern is his ability to fit Shanahan’s ZBS. * Ruiz is Listed at pick # 90, assuming you agree with 9ers trading down for more picks?

    1. No, I was almost resigned to be silenced if they had won the SB. I wanted them to win, and they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I will keep rooting for the Niners to get their sixth ring, but until they get smarter, that may be a futile endeavor.
      .
      Now that they lost, I feel perfectly fine posting about ways they can improve. I see many pundits are excoriating KS, so they all saw what I saw. I just want KS to learn from his mistakes so he does not keep making them. KS needs to eat some humble pie, since he just seems like a slow learner.
      .
      If they had achieved their quest, I would not have said a word, but now……

        1. You have pushed back on everything I say. You were wrong about me about many things, and especially about me wanting them to lose.
          .
          You certainly do not think I have any right to criticize them, but I feel many 10 point plans emerging.

          1. I’ve pushed back on your wanting to put the blame solely on Kyle and
            Your insinuating that Paraag was in charge of managing the clock.
            I don’t mind questioning coaches but I disagree with not recognizing things in context… or others complicit in the loss.

            And for the record I was speaking about Monty. But if you see a little of yourself in that kind of fan???

            1. Shoup, Monty showed his colors all last season. Seb? Well, he’s all over the place. Trying to pin him down is a fools errand.

  16. Ok, it took me over 4 days before I could bear to think and discuss 49ers following the loss. But it will take me another 4-5 months to fully get over the despondency of the loss.

    In some ways the loss reminded me of Albert Camus’ book ‘The Stranger’ where several witnesses from various stages of the protagonist’s life shows up in court to testify against the character of the protagonist on very minor issues– an idea that was copied in the last episode of Seinfeld. Together the insinuations were used by the jurors to convict the man.

    In a similar way, the weaknesses of the Niners that we knew existed showed up at the worst possible time in the second half, especially the fourth quarter.
    We knew that Sherm was slow relative to these receivers. His only chance was to jam the receiver at LoS but receivers get paid too, and the Chief’s receivers have significant SAQ to avoid the jam once in a while. That’s what happened with Watkins getting behind.
    We knew that Moseley lacked experience and that showed up in his lack of discipline where he did not stop covering Watkins and switch back to Hill who ran some sort of a post-corner route on that critical third and 15.
    We knew that Garland was a journeyman , as is Person. Those two critical pass bat downs by Jones were directly related to Garland (and/or Person) not maintaining engagement with the tackle.
    We knew that the O line’s overall pass pro was average and it showed when the Chiefs’ D line stepped up their game in the fourth quarter.
    We knew that the D line has had problems in consistently setting the edge against mobile QBs this season. Armstead overpursued Mahomes and let him slip outside multiple times.
    We knew that Dee Ford can disappear for stretches at a time and he was not a factor at all in the game.

  17. Razor’s 2020 Mock 1.0

    31 Cesar Ruiz, IOL Michigan

    138 Levonta Taylor, CB Florida State

    158 Tipa Galea’i, EDGE Utah State

    190 Jon Runyan, OT Michigan

    194 Reggie Floyd, S Virginia Tech

    222 Reggie Corbin, RB Illinois

    1. Razor,
      If they resign Blair and Armstead I believe they will not draft a edge rusher. If they don’t resign Armstead (and I believe they will) they will probably get a back a 3rd round pick.

      1. Gotta think about grooming Ford’s replacement at some point, OldCoach and Tipa was available. Yes he’s got some trouble in his past, but so far he’s taken advantage of his 2nd chance. Blair and Armstead play different roles than Ford and Tipa….

    2. Is Jon Runyan making a comeback? 😂 Any relation to the OT that played for the Titans and Eagles?

      Given the limited number of picks, I am very much hoping they trade back this year.

  18. Chris Jones did exactly what I advised the Niner interior rushers to do. Even if they could not get to the QB, they needed to get into the passing lanes and get their hands up to possibly tip the ball.
    .
    Unlike many pundits, I thought the Chiefs would try to run the ball.
    .
    Too bad JG did not get the ball out of his hands quickly, by throwing to the receiver in the flat. He still needs to work on his ball security. JG will get better, and I hope he becomes cognizant of where every defender is on the field, and can find the open receiver. He needs to be able to face one way, while looking in another direction, in order to look off the safeties.

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