49ers

John Lynch envisions 49ers' final six games to set the tone for 2018

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AP

John Lynch envisions 49ers' final six games to set the tone for 2018

Left tackle Joe Staley compared the elation in the 49ers’ locker room Sunday to what he experienced after the team earned a trip to the Super Bowl five seasons ago.

Young players, veteran players, coaches and executives took part in an enthusiastic celebration at Levi’s Stadium after the 49ers recorded their first victory over the season – a 31-21 win over the New York Giants.

General manager John Lynch, who earned nine trips to the Pro Bowl and won a Super Bowl ring as a player, was a bit surprised at the genuine show of emotion that included dancing and players hoisting a bucket of water to douse coach Kyle Shanahan.

“I’ve always been an act-like-you’ve-been-there guy, so I was a little surprised I was acting like that,” Lynch said for “49ers Game Plan,” which will air Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3).

Lynch said the celebration was a spontaneous show of pride for a team that lost its first nine games of the season, including an unprecedented streak of five consecutive losses by three points or fewer.

“It’s easy to lose a team when you just haven’t won,” Lynch said. “That’s what this business is all about. When you’re not (winning), it can be miserable. I think the fact that everyone feels that positive energy and sees progress despite the fact that it wasn’t showing up on the win-loss record.

“And that’s why you saw a 46-year-old GM bouncing around with our players. It was fun. That’s what makes this league so special.”

But Lynch also sees it as the beginning, not the culmination of this season's journey. He envisions the final six games to serve as a set up for the 2018 season, as many players have chances to show coaches and management they are part of the solution.

“We want to continue to see who’s responding, who is going to be a part of this moving forward,” Lynch said. “But we also want to raise that standard. After a win like against the Giants, yeah, we were elated in the locker room.

“But that didn’t keep us and the coaches from going in there and coaching hard and saying, ‘Hey, guys, we won, but we can be so much better if we tighten up some of these details.’ We’re going to continue to develop that as part of our culture.”

Earl Thomas issues contract ultimatum to Seahawks

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USATSI

Earl Thomas issues contract ultimatum to Seahawks

On the same day 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was quoted in The MMQB saying his former team "lost their way," the turmoil in Seattle continued with another defensive back. 

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas issued his team an ultimatum via his Instagram account. 

"Extend... if you don't want me let's make a trade happen," wrote Thomas in the caption of his post. 

The 29-year-old is entering the final year of a four-year extension he signed in 2014, worth just over $25.7 million in guaranteed money. Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs made Eric Berry the NFL's highest-paid safety afer he signed a six-year deal worth $40 million guaranteed.

If Thomas is still in a Seahawks uniform by then, he will first play against Sherman and the 49ers on Dec. 2. 

'The thing that Jerry Rice was No. 1 at ...' -- Cris Carter assesses best receiver ever

'The thing that Jerry Rice was No. 1 at ...' -- Cris Carter assesses best receiver ever

In case you didn't have cell phone reception over the weekend and missed it, Jerry Rice made it official ...

"I'm the f***ing best football player of all time," Rice declared while in Tahoe for the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.

In football, we typically separate the "best ever" by position group because it's hard to determine the best player overall. So, it's basically unanimous that Rice is the best wide receiver to ever play.

But what made him so special?

"The thing that Jerry Rice was No. 1 at -- Jerry Rice is the best conditioned athlete I've ever seen," Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter said Monday on Fox Sports 1. "He took training to whole another level. ... Jerry Rice wasn't fast on the clock, but he had game speed. I never saw anyone catch him.

"He was the No. 1 football player ever at catch and run. They didn't talk about yards after catch until Jerry Rice. The No. 1 focused and disciplined athlete that I've ever been around."

Rice holds NFL records in touchdowns (208), receiving yards (22,895) and receptions (1,549) -- to name a few ...