The last few years haven’t been great for the San Francisco 49ers. They had a disappointing 8-8 season in 2014, moved on from Jim Harbaugh, and went 5-11 in 2015 under Jim Tomsula and 2-14 in 2016 under Chip Kelly. So, how are things different in 2017? According to the team’s longest tenured player, offensive tackle Joe Staley, this 49ers team is smarter.

Staley also said Kyle Shanahan is “the smartest coach I’ve been around,” among other things.

If you were a coach associated with the 49ers over the last few years, good luck not taking that one personally.

Time will tell if that translates into more success on the field. But if the last few seasons are the measuring stick, things can’t get much worse.