Bradley Pinion satisfied with 'most consistent year' despite slow start


Bradley Pinion satisfied with 'most consistent year' despite slow start

Bradley Pinion’s statistics were not optimal during his contract year. But, considering the level of competition he faced, the 49ers’ punter said he is satisfied with the results.

“I thought I had a good year,” Pinion told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I got off to a slow start and had a big run-back against the Chargers. And we had a blocked punt against L.A., so those always hurt your numbers. The numbers might not have been where I wanted them this year, but I thought I had probably my most consistent year, yet.”

Pinion was tied for 29th in the NFL with a 43.7 average. He was tied for 24th with a net average of 39.1 yards. Net average is the most meaningful stat for a punter, and it was the lowest of his four-year career. Pinion ranked tied for 10th in the league in 2017 with a 41.3 net average.

The 49ers, under then-general manager Trent Baalke, selected Pinion in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and traded longtime stalwart Andy Lee to the Cleveland Browns.

This season, Pinion and the 49ers’ punt coverage team faced some of the top threats in the league, including five of the top six in return yards – Tarik Cohen (Chicago), Desmond King (L.A. Chargers), Dwayne Harris (Oakland), JoJo Nelson (L.A. Rams) and Marcus Sherels (Minnesota).

Another potential game-breaker, Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill, had one return for 5 yards. Cohen had four fair-catches and no return yards against the 49ers in Week 16, as Pinion had a 45.3 net average. But King had a 56-yard return in Week 4 in the 49ers’ 29-27 loss to the Chargers.

“We played the death row of returners this year,” Pinion said, “and one of them got us.”

The 49ers do not have a long list of scheduled free agents, but Pinion and kicker Robbie Gould have contracts that are scheduled to expire this spring. Those players are allowed to negotiate only with the 49ers until March 11.

In addition to his punting chores, Pinion handles the kickoffs and is the holder on all of Gould’s kicks. Over the past two seasons with Pinion holding, Gould made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts (96 percent) with the 49ers.

“We’ve talked a lot, and we’re on the same page,” Pinion said of Gould.

Pinion said he wants to remain with the 49ers, and he has gotten the impression from those inside the organization that they want him to return, as well. But until the sides enter into negotiations and a deal is struck, he knows nothing is certain.

“You don’t know where you’re going to end up,” Pinion said. “It would say something if you can spend your whole career in one place, and I’d love to do that. But it boils down to whether you can come to some kind of agreement. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s a crazy business.”

How Jimmy Garoppolo's impact on 49ers' offense goes beyond numbers

How Jimmy Garoppolo's impact on 49ers' offense goes beyond numbers

Despite the 49ers finishing with a 13-3 record and advancing to Super Bowl LIV, few NFL pundits seem willing to give Jimmy Garoppolo any credit for the team’s success.

The quarterback needed just eight pass attempts to defeat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, as San Francisco rode a dominant run game and suffocating defensive performance to a 37-20 victory.

Fox Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd isn’t among the detractors and voiced his support for Jimmy G ahead of a Super Bowl showdown with reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

“He carried this team in the middle of the season when they fell apart physically,” Cowherd said on "The Herd" this week. “I’m not a stat guy, I’m an eye guy. Watch the games.”

The success of the run game for the Niners this season didn’t necessitate a lot of pass-heavy games, but Garoppolo still finished eighth among qualified NFL quarterbacks in passer rating.

[RELATED: 49ers taking entire staff to Super Bowl]

When the 49ers have ended up in a shootout this year, Garoppolo has stepped up.

When they’ve needed him to just manage the game and make the occasional throw downfield, Garoppolo has stepped up.

No matter what the scenario, Garoppolo has delivered and this 49ers team wouldn't be anywhere near the Super Bowl without his steady leadership guiding the offense.

Jimmy G now has the chance to solidify himself among the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks when he and the Niners take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami for Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium.

49ers taking entire staff to Miami for Super Bowl 54, Jed York reveals

49ers taking entire staff to Miami for Super Bowl 54, Jed York reveals

The 49ers will fly to Miami on Sunday to play in the NFL franchise’s seventh Super Bowl. Despite this being a semi-regular thing, CEO Jed York isn’t treating it that way.

York said Friday that he’s bringing all full-time staff to Miami for Super Bowl week and treating them to the game. He even mentioned bringing interns.

That’s, you know, a lot of people on the 49ers’ dime.

“We're taking a lot of people. We wanted to make sure that our entire staff had the opportunity to go,” York said in a meeting with local reporters. “Everybody from [head coach Kyle Shanahan to general manager John Lynch] all the way down to interns, everyone's been a part of this, and we wanted to make sure they're there to help and also celebrate the moment that hopefully gets us over the hump."

That’s an unusual benefit for support staff outside football operations, one that will allow everyone involved with the 49ers to enjoy a week basking in the team’s achievements leading up to Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium.

[RELATED: Jed York felt 49ers could reach Super Bowl when they drafted Nick Bosa]

The 49ers are trying to win their sixth Super Bowl title, which would tie them with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots for the most in NFL history. The Chiefs are currently 1.5-point favorites in this clash of Titans.