Editor's note: 49ers Game Plan airs Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area.
SANTA CLARA – Three days after the 49ers’ crushing overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the team put together what Kyle Shanahan described as its best Wednesday practice of the season.
Shanahan, who sat down Thursday for an interview that will appear on “49ers Game Plan,” said he believes his team has responded well after the frustration of an 18-15 loss to Arizona to re-focus on facing the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
“You can usually tell how guys are after a loss by how hard they work,” Shanahan said. “I haven’t seen the guys step back at all. I think they’re putting even more (work) into it with each practice they have. I think we’re getting better and I think it’s a matter of time.”
Shanahan and the 49ers are still searching for their first victory of the season after going 2-14 in Chip Kelly’s only season as head coach. The 49ers are one of only four teams in the NFL to head into Week 5 without a victory.
“I think winning can become a habit,” Shanahan said. “When you get into these tight games, which most NFL games are, there are very few plays that separate a win and a loss. When you get into that fourth quarter and it’s tight and you haven’t won many of them, it’s hard to believe you’re truly going to. The only way you change it, is you start winning. True confidence is from having success that you’ve experienced. If you haven’t had that, it’s just talk.
“We’ve put ourselves in position to do it, which is close and it’s a step in the right direction. But it’s definitely not enough. We have to figure out how to finish one out.”
On Sunday, the Cardinals took advantage of miscommunication among the 49ers’ defense for Carson Palmer’s 19-yard walk-off touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald in overtime. It appeared 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman was late in relaying the defensive call to safety Jimmie Ward after throwing a shoe off the field. Ward did not get into position in time to prevent the touchdown pass.
“You got to make those plays in a moment of truth, and you’re not going to get a lot of opportunities,” Shanahan said. “Those opportunities have been there, but we’ve come up a little short.
“You can’t count on the other team to mess it up if you want to win consistently. You have to go do it yourself. You've got to make it happen, and we haven’t done that, yet. But I expect to do that Sunday.”