We are 3 months into the new league year and the 49ers have created quite a buzz. A team that was previously 2-14 suddenly has the eyes and ears of pundits. Even more than that, the fans are devouring every single morsel they come across. We’ve seen a boom in fan-podcasts, sites and writers like never before. This craze is a great change from the mood and demeanor of the previous 3 seasons and rightfully so. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have shown that there is, indeed, a plan in place and that things will turn around for this team.
John Lynch, in particular, is quite the story. When reflecting on the period when the 49ers were entertaining the various GM candidates, Lynch was on no one’s radar! And when he was selected, the same fans were FURIOUS! The shouts/tweets were all unanimous:
-JED STRIKES AGAIN!
-WHO IS THIS GUY?!
-A BROADCASTER, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
But to everyone’s surprise, Lynch and his transparency with the fan base, is not only seeming to work, but the fans seem to trust his more than they have trusted anyone else in recent memory! It seems that John Lynch can do no wrong! Lynch is so good at his job, that Jed York can suddenly tweet about “U2” without receiving death-threats or being told to sell the team!
But what does the success of John Lynch, and the sudden approval of Jed York mean for the new Head Coach? It means that he’s suddenly the man with all the pressure on him! Lynch destroyed the 1st round of the NFL draft and he manipulated the draft boards to his liking with the help of Paraag Marathe. We have seen/heard Jed affectionately refer to Lynch as “Captain America.” And just think, it wasn’t long ago, fans and critics were wondering who would win in a power struggle between GM and HC. I can recall fans saying that Lynch was just a puppet and a “yes-man” there to do any and everything Shanahan desired. But my-my, how the tables have turned! It seems like the front office is suddenly in-sync and are a well-oiled machine. Now Shanahan has to perform to avoid being the odd man out. Suddenly Shanahan has to show that he can carry his own weight.
Let’s be honest here: no one expects the 49ers to win a Super Bowl this year. No one expects them make a playoff push this season. No one even expects a winning season at this point. But on the flip side; no one expected Jed to pull off landing Shanahan. No one expected Lynch to thrive immediately. No one expected the 49ers to get Thomas AND Foster in this draft. No one even expected the positivity coming from the NFL pundits and writers. But all of that is happening so it only seems fitting that we adjust our expectations for this coaching staff, right?
What should the fans expect from a first time head coach and his first time defensive coordinator? What kind of season should we be anticipating from a 2 win team with so many new rookie players and coordinators? Going off of that, we should be looking for 4-6 wins (tops), right?! I don’t know if fans are necessarily feeling that way. given the 49ers’ success since March 9th 2017. Maybe I’m wrong, or, perhaps it’s just me? Maybe I have a new outlook on this franchise and I am buying into all the hype. Maybe I have a new trajectory for the team that I only expected 5 wins from initially. I see Jed York with the same set of eyes, but I have a softer spot in my heart for him now. I don’t think of GM Lynch and “former player/analyst Lynch” anymore. Suddenly there is a new hope. Suddenly I expect Shanahan to shock and surprise the league like his CEO and GM have. To be clear, it’s not because of anything that he has personally done. It’s strictly about my previous expectations being vastly exceeded.
I don’t know… maybe I’m looking into this too hard… maybe I should take off the 49ers-glasses… maybe I’m crazy… maybe, just maybe, it’s not just me!
What say you faithfuls?