John Lynch on 49ers: ‘We have to play near-perfect’

By David Kenyon
Kelley L. Cox, USA Today Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are not a good football team. An important step in remedying that problem is being realistic about their situation, and that’s exactly how general manager John Lynch is operating.

Rob Lowder of The Niners Wire shared what Lynch said during an interview on KNBR Radio.

“I’m sorry to say that our roster just isn’t where it needs to be to overcome mistakes. We have to play near-perfect.”

In an era of unbridled optimism no matter a team’s true ability, that’s a refreshing piece of honesty from a team executive.

San Francisco’s roster has steadily deteriorated since the former management pushed out head coach Jim Harbaugh. During his four-year tenure, the 49ers posted a 44-19-1 record during the regular season, made three consecutive NFC Championship Games and lost in the Super Bowl once.

Now in the third year of the post-Harbaugh era, the 49ers are considered one of the NFL’s worst teams.

The offense has a longtime star in Joe Staley, a decent running back in Carlos Hyde and a promising tackle in Trent Brown. However, the scoring unit is otherwise filled with short-term patches (like quarterback Brian Hoyer) or players who ideally won’t be starting for much longer.

San Francisco has a legitimately promising defense, given the potential of Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster and others. Still, the unit needs more experience and better depth.

Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan overhauled the roster during the offseason, so 49ers fans can be hopeful about the future. The duo certainly is trying to capitalize on the grace period afforded them, and that effort won’t go unnoticed by a frustrated fan base.

Unless the 2017 team consistently plays near-perfect games — and that’s not going to happen — San Francisco will toil to the expected below-average finish. But with Lynch and Shanahan recognizing and addressing the team’s current state, the future is a little brighter.