49ers

49ers expect Super Bowl disappointment to fuel quest to return in 2020

49ers expect Super Bowl disappointment to fuel quest to return in 2020

SANTA CLARA -- Not only did the 49ers let a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl slip away on Sunday night, they also lost all the wins that got them closer to a championship.

The 49ers' record immediately reset for the 2020 season. And, now, the climb begins again.

The 49ers won 15 of the 19 regular-season and postseason games in which they played. But, now, like the 31 other teams in the NFL, they start the next season at 0-0.

The 49ers built tremendous chemistry in the locker room and the playing field throughout the 2019 season, and members of the team believe that is not going away any time soon.

After coming out of nowhere to win the NFC West and advancing to the Super Bowl, 49ers running back Raheem Mostert said he does not believe the club faces any more pressure next season as a team that is not going to sneak up on anyone.

“Our odds are greater than most people think, simply because we’re going to be losing some guys in the offseason and we’re going to be gaining some guys,” Mostert said. “But the core values of this team are always going to be the same, regardless. We have the formula. We know what it takes. We got guys who’ve been to the dance now, so it’s just more motivation than anything."

Mostert said there has already been talk among the players of taking a trip together in the offseason to continue to cultivate the chemistry among the individuals in the locker room in order to take steps to ensure the team has a similar bond as this season.

Coach Kyle Shanahan believes the 49ers are a special group that is capable of beating the odds. Only three teams that lost the Super Bowl one season came back to win it all the next: Dallas (1971), Miami (1972) and New England (2018).

Shanahan said he believes the reason it has been difficult for losing Super Bowl teams to earn the Lombardi Trophy the following year is mostly because it is so difficult to advance all the way to the championship game in the first place.

“It’ll be hard to get back here, but looking around this room, looking at all the guys, we got the pieces for it,” 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said this week. “Guys have the right mindset for it. That’s the encouraging part. I think most guys feel the same way the last couple of days.”

Veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has appeared in three Super Bowls. He lost with the Pittsburgh Steelers, won with the Denver Broncos, and was back on the losing end on Sunday.

He said he re-watched the film of the 49ers’ 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV several times – each time hoping the video showed a different ending. Sanders’ future is uncertain. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. But he spoke as if he anticipates being back with the 49ers in their quest to win a championship next season.

“So now we have to move on and look forward to next year and this offseason and grinding and try to get back and try to win it again,” he said.

The 49ers had their final team meeting on Wednesday. The offseason program does not get started until mid-April. During his final address to the 49ers, Shanahan said he wants to keep the same approach next season.

“He’s proud of us. He loves us,” Mostert said. “He wants to get up and talk the same way next year. That’s his mentality. We all were, basically, ‘Hell, yeah, let’s do it.’”

Garoppolo said the disappointment of experiencing a loss in the Super Bowl will fuel the entire time, but he said it will especially fuel him after the club was unable to close the deal on Sunday night in the final eight minutes.

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The 49ers spent the first few days after the defeat working through the process toward acceptance and hope.

“Sunday night was awful. It was an awful feeling,” 49ers offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey said. “You obviously don’t want to miss out on those kinds of opportunities. But it’s motivation. We know we have a chance to continue to do something special, and that’s what we’re going to try to do, and it starts today, I guess.

“Guys are going to get away. You got family stuff to deal with. People, go home, see your loved ones. And we get right back to it pretty soon.”

Why Kendrick Bourne is thrilled 49ers put second-round tender on him

Why Kendrick Bourne is thrilled 49ers put second-round tender on him

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has become a staple of the 49ers' offense, and the team is looking to keep him around.

Back on March 17, the 49ers placed second-round tenders on Bourne and running back Matt Breida.

Appearing on the 49ers Insider Podcast with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco last week, Bourne was asked for his thoughts on the 49ers' decision.

"Definitely thrilled," Bourne said from his parents' home in Portland, Oregon. "Just kind of relieved a little bit, just feeling the respect coming around a little bit on my name, respect from the league and all that, the whole nine yards. Especially going to the Super Bowl, my team being a great team, us making it that far helps everybody, period, on the team. So just thrilled and thankful for the Niners for still believing in me after three years, believing for Year Four and just ready to attack it.

"It just sucks that our OTAs have been postponed. Really excited to get back and get to work, be around the guys again, but just a little more time to work and get a little more polished before OTAs, so I guess that's cool now."

As a restricted free agent, Bourne is allowed to negotiate a contract with another team. If he signs an offer sheet and the 49ers choose not to match, the team would get a second-round draft as compensation.

[RELATED: Impact Sanders had on 49ers' receivers]

Undrafted out of Eastern Washington, Bourne signed with the 49ers in 2017. This past season, he caught 30 passes for 358 yards and five touchdowns.

NFL Draft 2020: Agents share how coronavirus changes impact prospects

NFL Draft 2020: Agents share how coronavirus changes impact prospects

The 2020 NFL Draft might favor players who were able to able to attend the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, because of pro days and in-person meetings being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But some agents believe teams have all the information they need to proceed on schedule.

Leigh Steinberg and Chris Cabott, from Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area about how their preparation for the draft has been consistent to what they’ve done in the past. Their agency represents Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, among other draft hopefuls.

Both longtime agents believe players who attended an All-Star event or the combine have an advantage, but that always has been the case. As in every draft, there will be players who exceed expectations and those who don’t live up to them.

“When I first started in the industry in 1975 with Steve Bartkowski, there were no pro days, no team meetings, no combine,” Steinberg said. “If you look at statistics from players then, to those selected in 2005, the players in 1975 were more successful and productive. 

“Teams obviously believe that the more information they have, the better, but at some point, it’s enough. I believe they have enough information to make educated and prudent choices.”

Brett Tessler, who represents 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, believes players who weren’t able to attend or weren’t invited to the combine are at a disadvantage across the board. An off-the-radar player won’t have the chance to catch a scout or coach’s eye at a local pro day and jump up a team’s draft board.

“For most non-combine guys, it's going to put everybody at an equal disadvantage,” Tessler told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Teams will rely more on the spring testing numbers that they got prior to this season.

“But, the biggest disadvantage for non-combine guys trying to get drafted is the lack of being brought in for pre-draft visits, where the medical staffs can do all the background work on these guys that they need to do.”

Just like everyone across the nation, players, agents and teams are taking advantage of video conferencing technology such as Zoom and Skype for their 30 one-on-one pre-draft visits. This actually might be the one advantage for players who have grown up with video calls as the norm.

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As in the past, teams still have the ability to ask players schematic questions using a virtual chalkboard, and go over game film during video conferencing sessions. Cabott also believes one resource could be more important than in previous pre-draft research.

“Trainers,” Cabott said. “Those guys who were working with players, getting them ready for pro days will have information that will be important for teams. They can give projections, send videos of testing and have insight to a player’s work ethic.”