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Jerry Rice thinks 49ers can win the Super Bowl -- this year

Mike Florio and Chris Simms preview the Steelers and their offense without Ben Roethlisberger traveling to take on the 2-0 49ers.

The 49ers have made substantial progress, getting their quarterback healthy, and picking up a couple of road wins to start the season.

Now, one of their best players in franchise history thinks they’re destined for much bigger things.

Via Gary Peterson of the San Jose Mercury News, 49ers legend Jerry Rice said during an interview with 95.7 The Game that he thinks Jimmy Garoppolo can lead his old team to the title.

“I think they might just have to go back and practice in Youngstown,” Rice said with a laugh of their stay in Ohio last week. “They gotta stay in that Holiday Inn, they have to eat that ice cream, they just have to focus on football. If they do that, man, I feel like they have a great chance of winning the Super Bowl.

Of course.

Rice went into enthusiastic detail about the offense, and Kyle Shanahan’s creativity, and the development of rookie wideout Deebo Samuel, and it’s almost like he talked himself into something.

“I don’t want to jump the gun, Rice said, “but I’m starting to feel it a little bit. These guys are looking really, really like contenders.”

It might take more than wins over the Buccaneers and the Bengals to prove that, but they’re at least on the right track.