The San Francisco 49ers spent the offseason overhauling their roster, and while we saw some intriguing moves, it does not change the fact that the team laid a bit of an egg in Week 1. We saw some solid play from different players, and some notable highlights, but the team still lost 23-3 at home to the Carolina Panthers.
While the team added talent, there is still a lot to be done to get to the level they need to get to. Part of that is talent, and part of that is improving within the scheme. General manager John Lynch discussed the season-opening loss in his bi-weekly Friday KNBR appearance. He thought the team was intense and physical, but it was not enough for a roster still in the early stages of a rebuilding process.
“I felt like the intensity and physicality was there. I think execution is the next step for us. When your opportunities are there, we’ve gotta make ‘em. Anyone who watched that game could see, early on in particular, we had opportunities and we didn’t cash in on them. And I think it’s fair to say that our roster’s just not where it needs to be that you can overcome those things. We’ve got to, not play perfect, but we gotta cash in when we’ve got our opportunities and we’ve got to stop from beating ourselves. When we do that, we believe that we can compete against most teams in this league. Along with that physicality, intensity, you’ve gotta bring the execution. And it’s one thing Bill Belichick says all the time, ‘In order to win you have to first keep from losing.’ And so we’ve got to continue to get better in that respect.”
Lynch is in the first year of a six-year contract, so it is not surprising he is comfortable saying the roster is not yet good enough. He inherited a bare cupboard, and this is a multi-year rebuilding process. This past offseason, the 49ers current roster includes 30 players added this offseason, and we will see plenty more next offseason.
The 49ers head to Seattle this weekend for an even stiffer challenge than what Carolina presented last week. The 49ers don’t need to play a perfect game to make this competitive, but they can’t afford any stupid mistakes. Odds are still long, but like Bill Belichick said, before you can win, you have to avoid the stupid mistakes that lead to losing.