After eight games this season, there has been no shortage of frustration for the 49ers and their fans. Stagnant offense, penalties, and turnovers have been a constant theme throughout the year. Levin Black and I had the chance to sit down with fullback Kyle Juszczyk today, and among other things, we asked him what is going to change this week against the Rams.
“I think we just have kind of that underdog mentality and that pissed off mentality. This team is fed up with ourselves, with what we’ve been doing. We’ve had discussions in the locker room. We’ve had lots of different pow wows with each other and what we can do different to change it this week. We feel like we’re putting together a good plan of what we can do differently. Obviously something needs to change. There’s a lot emotion driven behind this team and guys are ready to figure it out. We’re passionate about the work we’re going to put in this week and we feel very driven.”
It’s not hard to sell the underdog mindset to the team at this point. McGlinchey has just been lost for the season. The defense just got worked on their home field by Colt McCoy and the Funky Bunch. The division is long since out of reach, and the seventh seed in the NFC is slipping away with each passing loss. It’s pretty much now or never for the 49ers at this point.
Discussions and pow wows are great, but a turnaround like what is required in San Francisco is easier said than done. If giveaways could be stopped simply by talking about not turning the ball over, surely this team would have done it before racking up a -9 turnover differential in 2021. Indeed, if the offense could speak consistency into existence, those words would have been uttered before scoring fewer than 20 points in four games this season.
That isn’t to say that the 49ers can’t turn things around, but most fans are going to need to see it before believing it can happen. We’ll have plenty more from this interview later this week, but feel free to watch the whole thing above or here on the Niners Nation YouTube page.
Kyle appeared thanks to a partnership with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation to support its Sports Matter Giving Truck #GiftofSportTour. Later this month, he will be virtually surprising a group of young athletes at a local San Francisco nonprofit through video technology built onto the Giving Truck. Throughout the months of November and December, the Giving Truck will be traveling to organizations across the country, giving out 10,000 gifts of sports equipment to youth sports organizations in need across America.