The 49ers management combination of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are trying to keep hopes within manageable levels for a team that has seen the messiah-like saving grace of a rampant Jimmy Garoppolo.
Jimmy Garoppolo QB #10
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
College: Eastern Illinois
NFL Draft: 2014 / Rd: 2 / Pk: 62
They want the franchise and its fans to keep in mind that they had less than an auspicious start to the season even though they finished it on a high note, and they still have plenty of more slots to fill with their considerable cap money reserves.
The 49ers odds for next season might be at an all-time high in the fans' minds, but the management is looking to keep everyone's feet on the ground, which is easier said than done for the franchise at this point.
The team hasn't had this much buzz surrounding it since the heady days of head coach Jim Harbaugh when the team came within a hair's breadth of winning the Super Bowl after appearing in three back-to-back NFC championship match-ups.
Levis Stadium was still brand new as Harbaugh watched over the meteoric rise of Alex Smith, the up-and-down roller coaster ride of Colin Kaepernick, as well as the fall from grace of Aldon Smith. All this was accomplished in the midst of bitter feuding between him and the franchise general manager Trent Blake as well as CEO Jed York.
After the hiring of a first-time head coach Shanahan and the installation of Lynch in his first position as general manager, the two rookies went on to preside over a sea change in the franchise's fortunes. Their 0-9 start gave way to a 5-0 winning streak powered by Garoppolo's magic to see the season off at a heretofore improbable 6-10. It's been nothing short of incredible for the young hires.
The team showed a remarkable resilience and maturity by avoiding the finger-pointing and blame games at the start of the season that so often accompanies a disappointing run on the field. Shanahan and Lynch brought with them a change in the 49ers somewhat paranoid culture, weathering the bad games with a poise that was infectious throughout the team itself and the fans up in the stands.
The most impressive trick they turned came with the signing of Garoppolo from the New England Patriots, a virtual steal that was apparently only made possible by 40-year-old hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady's reported insecurity about his starting position in the team. In all fairness, though, nobody could have really expected Garoppolo to explode into the form he's been showing in the games he's had for the team. The 49ers franchise has at last found the long-awaited quarterback who shows the ability to lead them all the way to the promised land.
Although the team's management has a $130 million war-chest with which to fill out the offensive line, pass rusher, cornerback and wide receiver positions, their obvious priority will be the securing of Garoppolo within the team for the long term. A failure to accomplish this might very well see the resurging hopes of the 49ers fanbase take their new-found enthusiasm back into storage, and nobody wants to see that sad day come.
|2017||San Francisco 49ers||6||5||120||178||67.4||1,560||8.8||7||5||8||57||96.2||15||11||0.7||1||1||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||0||0||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||0.0||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|2016||New England Patriots||6||2||43||63||68.3||502||8.0||4||0||3||15||113.3||10||6||0.6||0||2||1|
|2015||New England Patriots||5||0||1||4||25.0||6||1.5||0||0||0||0||39.6||5||-5||-1.0||0||--||--|
|2014||New England Patriots||6||0||19||27||70.4||182||6.7||1||0||5||36||101.2||10||9||0.9||0||--||--|
Last time Jimmy Garoppolo lost a start was December 14, 2013, in the FCS quarterfinals, against the Towson Tigers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 1, 2018