It's been a difficult season for the San Francisco 49ers. They started the season losing nine straight games. It's enough to demoralize a team. That hasn't been the case with the 49ers. Despite all of the obstacles the team has faced this season, the overall mentality among the coaches and players is positive. Everyone feels that the franchise is headed in the right direction.

The 49ers have won just two regular-season games in 2017 and have four games to play. Head coach Kyle Shanahan believes this season will be something the team can build upon going forward. It was something the young rebuilding 49ers needed. On Friday, Shanahan shared with reporters why he feels that way.

"This season, we've had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season," Shanahan said. "It has been tough considering our record (2-10), but I do look at this season as a positive. Don't misunderstand me when I say that. We're extremely disappointed with our record, but I think this season, although it hasn't gone exactly how I want, I think it was a necessity into where we're trying to go.

"I do believe it's going to be part of the process that will lead us to better things. I think we've had to find out a lot about people, a lot about some of our players, they've had to find out a lot about us coaches, and I think we've gotten better through it.

"I think a true brotherhood, people who play for each other, people who can get tighter, I feel like that happens through going through adversity together and responding together. Nothing's been perfect, by any means, very far from that, but I feel like our guys have grown stronger throughout the year. I felt that, not just last week, but I felt it for over the last month.

"It always is nice when you do win because you can reward that feeling and guys, they feel it, they hope it, and then you get to see the result. That game versus Chicago, we could have missed the field goal at the last second, they could have had those laterals and returned the kick at the last second, and we probably would have felt a lot different. But should we have? Yeah, because you're graded on wins and losses. If we would have missed that field goal, does that take away all the positive stuff that we felt that we did? And it probably would have, but that's why you have to be so mentally strong in this league and see the big picture and try not to let outside things affect you. You worry about things you can control, and that's doing your best, playing your hardest, trying to get better each week, and I think our team has done a good job focusing on that stuff.

"It's been nice to get a win last week to reward them. I hope we can continue and get some more but our whole thing here is just trying to get better and if that's all you focus on and worry about nothing else, usually good things happen, and you hope they happen sooner than later."



Shanahan continued to discuss what he feels was a necessary season and how his team can grow from going through it.

"I personally think everything happens for a reason," Shanahan said. "So I try not to label things, even though it might seem like a negative, I think sometimes, if you would have told me that I had to come here, it was going to take me 10 weeks to get a first win, I would have said, 'That's going to be rough.' I would not have said that was a positive. I would have said that was a negative. But you try not to sit here and harp on that. You try to think, 'Alright, this did happen.'

"Yeah, it's tough, but for some reason, it's going to be positive because it's going to lead us to something. It's going to pull us together. It's going to have us go through some things that we can fight through to still get through this, maybe can help us next year when we go through something. Hopefully, it's not nine in a row. Maybe it's one. Maybe it's two. Maybe it's three. But when you go through things like that, and you know how it feels before, you know how to handle it better the next time.

"I think when you're, I like to say the word 'battle-tested,' and when you've gone through -- I don't think you find out about yourself or about the people next to you until you see how they respond to adversity and I think we've seen that a lot this year. And that's why I think our team has a very good feeling for each other and what we're capable of. I think the guys who have stood through this and have continued to get better, those are the guys you know you can count on that you know are going to be a part of this next year and a part of this for the future.

"And of course, we're going to continue to add and hopefully build each year and year out but I think, going through this, you get a foundation of some players that can handle stuff and are battle-tested and are going to be much stronger for it going into next year."

It will be interesting to see which "battle-tested" 49ers players remain going into next season. The team has the salary cap room and draft capital to add some key players and move the rebuild along. With the addition of Jimmy Garoppolo, the quarterback position, which is what you typically build your franchise around, is no longer a question mark. The 49ers can now focus on surrounding the quarterback with playmakers and protection.