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By Ricardo Rabanales
With just a few weeks left until the 2021 NFL season kickoff, the San Francisco 49ers coached by coach Kyle Shanahan prepare to face what could be their consolidation campaign. After last season was clearly affected by the team’s injuries from week 2 against the NY Jets. Among the most prominent injured players were DE Nick Bosa, QB Jimmy Garoppolo TE George Kittle, DE Dee Ford, CB Richard Sherman, among.
At the end of the season, SF finished with a total of 57 injured players, the most among NFL teams last season.
What happened during offseason?
At the beginning of this season, San Francisco presents two important changes in the coaching staff, which are the departures of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to take the position of head coach of the NY Jets and coordinator Mike LaFleur to join the same team as coordinator. offensive. At the end of March, the Bay team hit the Miami Dolphins trade bell, getting the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s Draft that became Trey Lance, North Dakota State QB.
With pick 48 came Aaron Banks OG from Notre Dame; pick 88 went to Ohio State RB Trey Sermon; the 102 Ambry Thomas, CB of Michigan; 155 Jaylon Moore, OG of Western Michigan; 172 Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon CB; 180 Talanoa Hufanga, S from USC and at the end with pick 194 Elijah Mitchell, RB from the University of Louisiana.
In the free agent market, the 49ers stayed a bit on the sidelines compared to other teams in the league, albeit renewing contracts with key players for the team’s success like Trent Williams, with whom they reached a six-season deal and 138.06 million dollars with 55.1 million guaranteed. Making him the highest paid LT in the league. Also noteworthy is the renewal of the contract of FB Kyle Juszczyk for five years and 27 million dollars, of which ten are guaranteed, and CB Jason Verrett for one season and 5.5 million dollars;
On the other hand, center Alex Mack arrived for three years and 15.84 million dollars with 5.1 of them guaranteed and EDGE Samson Ebukam Edge for two years with a salary of 12 million dollars, of which five are guaranteed.
What to expect this 2021 from the 49ers?
The expectations of this season for those of the Bay are great, and with a lot of pressure on their shoulders, entering the fifth year in charge of Shanahan with the return of all the injured cavalry, adding to that the factor of rookie QB Lance, who is He hopes to cause healthy competition in the locker room for the QB1 spot that belongs to Jimmy Garoppolo today.
With a healthy roster we all know what the potential of this team can be: reaching a Super Bowl as we saw it in 2019 with Jimmy G available all 17 weeks of the regular season. The changes in the coaching staff do not come to worry much, since on the offensive side, Shanahan will continue to command the plays and on the defensive side DeMeco Ryans will continue with the defensive system that Robert Saleh left running.
If we know something that works in the NFL, it is to have players with immediate impact on your team, who with their presence alone can change the atmosphere of a game and make the key plays at the right time. SF has at least two playmakers on both sides of the ball: on the offensive side we have an exceptional TE –and without fear of being wrong top 3 in their position– as George kittle, together with the duo that make up the YAC Bros (Named for their ease of getting yardage after the catch): Deebo Samuel and Brandon aiyuk give a dynamism to SF’s offense like no other WR duo in the league,
The X factor, on offense is Kyle juszczykBy far the best fullback in the league, who gives the 49ers versatility like no other team at this disused position. On defense, we can find the defensive rookie of the year 2019 Nick bosa Coming from a strong ligament injury, but being this the mainstay of that monstrous defensive line, with Bosa one hundred percent healthy, he must be a Top 5 in his position with at least double digits of sacks and taking a lot of doubles blocking opposing offensive lines, thus releasing a lot of pressure on the other 3 on that line.
In the second level we can find the LB All-Pro 2020 Fred warner which for many experts is a top 3 in his position, excellent in his pass coverage (allowing only 7.1 yards per pass according to Pro-football Reference) and one of the best defending the game on the ground, being also the leader in and off the field for a defense with very interesting side pieces.
My forecast for this SF 49ers season
I see them winning the NFC West (by far the most competitive in the league), finishing with a 13-4 record as divisional champion. In the playoffs, anything can happen, but SF will be a tough opponent and will surely host the first playoff game at Levi’s Stadium, where the 49ers generally feel comfortable and confident to win.
In conclusion, this is going to be an interesting season for the 49ers and coach Shanahan, anything other than a playoff victory being labeled a failure. This roster is designed to win immediately and lift the Lombardi in a window of a few more years. Good luck to everyone this season and success. Thanks for your time to read me.