Even during the once-tumultuous Deebo Samuel situation, the culture inside the 49ers remained strong. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have taken pride in the atmosphere of hard work that they have fostered inside the building, and the fruits of that labor showed themselves after Drake Jackson was taken on Friday night.
Here was Jackson on KNBR’s Murph and Mac yesterday talking about what happened once he became the 49ers' first pick of the draft :
“Nick Bosa texted me. Arik Armstead FaceTimed me right after. Who else did I end up talking with? Trey Lance called me. Emmanuel, uh Sanders I think? Not Sanders...Emmanuel Moseley, the cornerback. I was astounded, man. I was like, ‘Damn, this is crazy, man!’ Everybody hitting me up off the team, but they’re kind of like legends, too, so I’m fanboying but I’ve got to be a professional at the same time.”
For Jackson, a second-round pick to be contacted by four players on the team immediately after being selected speaks to the environment this regime has cultivated over the past five seasons. While Bosa and Armstead’s calls might have been expected, given that Jackson is going to be playing alongside them on the defensive line, Moseley and Lance’s calls were certainly not the norm.
Other than play-calling, culture building has been Kyle Shanahan’s strength since his arrival in 2017. Even that year, when the team started the season with nine straight losses, they still played hard and held together. Here was the celebration from their first win that year over the New York Giants in Week 10.
Congrats on the first of many, Coach! pic.twitter.com/7CgSMpSOBX— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 13, 2017
A team going nowhere that year was celebrating like they just clinched a playoff birth.
While it might not be surprising that the team that has appeared in two out of the last three NFC title games has a good culture, that can’t just be taken for granted. Teams change a lot year to year, but those calls to Jackson paint the picture of a team that’s still very much hungry for more in 2022.