LOS ANGELES -- After being on very successful Seattle Seahawks teams, Richard Sherman has kept a realistic outlook on what his 49ers could be after a 4-12 season.

He still sees potential.

“It’s been up and down,” the veteran cornerback said Sunday after a season-ending loss to the Rams. “We’ve won some and we’ve dealt with the injury bug more than anything, but it’s been a good learning experience. It’s good learning for the young guys.

“Some guys got some valuable experience. It’s been good learning. Obviously, it’s unfortunate the way it played out, but next year, we’ll have another chance at it.”

Expectations were high for the 49ers heading into the season after their five-game winning streak that ended 2017. Sherman explained that losing running back Jerick McKinnon before the season and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3 -- both to torn ACLs -- makes it difficult to determine how close the team really is to being successful.

“It’s hard to tell without your guys out there," Sherman said. "Without Jimmy G, you’ve got your franchise quarterback you lose, what, three games into the season? You lose the running back you just paid no games into the season. Your starting receivers get banged up. You lose a safety a game almost every game all the way up until the 10th, 11th game. I think it'll be tough to know how good we’ll be 'til we have a consistent unit out there and show some continuity.”


Sherman himself took some time getting back into game shape while rehabbing his Achilles during the offseason. With Sunday's game out of reach, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Greg Mabin went in for Sherman, who was dealing with a little soreness.

“I know he would have liked to play longer, but we wanted to be smart with that and also give the other guys a little more chance out there,” Shanahan said.

Sherman, who's under contract with the 49ers for two more seasons, said his offseason training won't be too much different than his usual maintenance program.

“You’ve got to rest to it,” Sherman said, “but you always need more maintenance to get it stronger. Obviously, I’ll have the offseason to actually work out and get it stronger and work on my quick twitch. Do the things that I didn’t have time to do once we got into season. It’s constant. Once you get to a certain age, it's constant body maintenance.”