The San Francisco 49ers wrap up their OTAs on Friday, and open up their mandatory minicamp next Tuesday. They will then close up until training camp in late July, at which point expectations will likely remain plenty high. The team has seen their Super Bowl odds climb up into the top third of the league, and some folks are predicting 10 or more wins for the team.
Naturally, players are getting questions about the high expectations. Earlier this offseason Jimmy Garoppolo signed a nine-figure contract extension to be the 49ers franchise quarterback. We don’t know how that will pan out on the field, but with the media, he’s already spitting some franchise quarterback quality cliches when asked about playoff talk.
“I think we’ve got to have a strong finish to these OTAs first. People always like to talk about the predictions with the season. Even when the season just ends, they start talking about it. It’s all noise on the outside, but I think we have a good group that is locked in right now. We’re focused on OTAs. We’ll go in to training camp, hopefully have a good training camp and take it day by day.”
Garoppolo will get plenty of media sessions during training camp, and I suspect most of them will include a question or two about expectations. The team entered last season with zero expectations, and even when Garoppolo took over as starting quarterback, expectations were relatively low. However, five straight wins later, the 49ers were the talk of the league. A Jimmy G contract extension later, and the hype only grew.
For the time being, their star quarterback seems to recognize the expectations and is willing to chill on the hype. On the one hand, it’ll be good to keep the team grounded. On the other hand, it leaves us with a whole lot more quotations to come just like this. Prepare for plenty of, “We’re gonna take things day-to-day.”