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NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger: This is a do-or-die year for the 49ers

No pressure

San Francisco 49ers Rookie Camp Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger is a former NFL offensive lineman that has been doing film breakdowns on air and his twitter account for a few years now. Baldinger joined 95.7 The Game Monday morning to discuss if the San Francisco 49ers should be worried that Nick Bosa remains unsigned, what the season outcome will be, and much more.

The first interesting topic was when Baldinger was asked, “what’s the learning curve like in that first camp for a rookie? Is it more critical than ever for a rookie to come into a camp, as opposed to a veteran that’s been around for eight or nine years?” Here’s what he said:

Yeah, it is, because, there’s a great deal of installation that goes on. Every day that you miss, you get behind, and it’s just hard to catch up. You’re going through every single play, against every look. These are things you don’t get a lot of time to review and rehearse later on in training camp and during the season. It’s a foundational based knowledge, and I think it hurts a lot of players.

Baldinger admitted that it is critical, but he also cited how Nick’s older brother Joey—who went through the same thing—did have fresh legs and was an instant star. That’s putting a ton of pressure on Nick to perform at a high level out of the gate, but he was selected number two overall for a reason. If this does go into the season, Bosa will have to play himself into shape. That could take a couple of games. The 49ers might not be able to afford to be patient, and that’s where things get tricky.

Baldinger also talked about how important it is that the 49ers are bringing back all of their starters on the offensive line and how cohesiveness will play a big part in their success. He did say, “Aaron Donald ruined the Niners last year, that can’t happen again.” I chuckled at that. As if the team goes into a game against the Los Angeles Rams and says, “we’re going to let Donald destroy us this game!”

Here’s the headliner of the interview: Which should Niners fans be more concerned about, Jimmy Garoppolo’s durability, or Garoppolo’s ability to perform at a very high level. Say he’s healthy, can he reach that franchise level?

I’d like to say yes; he can do that. Yes and Yes. I’d like to say there’s nothing to worry about. He’ll be back and be fine. It was a non-contact injury. These things happen. This has to be the year that the 49ers compete. Every week. This is a team that’s been building for three straight years. The quarterback is the biggest part of it. This is a team that has to go out and win ten games this year. If they don’t, regardless of what Garoppolo does, it’s going to be a major disappointment. Heads will roll, as they like to say. This is a do-or-die year for Garoppolo and the 49ers. I expect ten wins from this football team this year.

Baldinger didn’t seem like he was saying that to say it. He went on to say that there’s no such thing as a five-year plan in the NFL. That would be correct. The 49ers will be out of excuses if there’s another losing season. If that losing record is because of injury, well it might be time to find new players. Perhaps it’s time to find someone else to pick said players. You also argue that the roster is night and day talent-wise compared to when John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan took over. Three years in, it’s time for production.

Check out the rest of the interview below, where Baldinger speaks highly of Deebo Samuel.