A lot of people are high on the San Francisco 49ers after the team's impressive and, for some, unexpected 2-0 start. Don't count former NFL safety Ryan Clark as someone who is jumping on the media-led bandwagon. He went out of his way to bash the team during a segment on "NFL Live" this week called "Contender or Pretender."

The Buffalo Bills were the lowest-ranked 2-0 team within ESPN's Week 3 power rankings. They sat at No. 15 while the 49ers sat two spots ahead of them at No. 13. Clark took exception to that.

"[The Bills] should be higher because you know who should be behind them? The 49ers," Clark said. "They are pretending. They are faking us out. They are imitators, pretenders, whatever you want to say. They are not the real deal at 2-0."

Apparently, at least some of Clark's disdain for the 49ers has to do with the team's quarterback.

"Listen, I still don't believe in Jimmy Garoppolo, and I know a lot of people said he's gotten over some of the struggles of the preseason and he's fully back from the injury," Clark continued. "Kyle Shanahan did a great job of scheming people open against the Cincinnati Bengals but [Garoppolo] was not sharp against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They won that game because Jameis Winston was just actually worse.

"Watching this team progress down the rest of the season, Jimmy Garoppolo is going to have to be better, but they have to continue that run game that we saw unveiled in Cincinnati this weekend."


ESPN's NFL insider, Adam Schefter, joined KNBR on Thursday morning and defended the 49ers' fast start.

"So what?" Schefter said of Clark's comments and pointed out that there is always a team that manages to rise from worst to best in a division.

Added Schefter: "Ryan Clark is thinking of the 49ers from last or the previous years. This is a different team. The defense is better. The running game is strong. Jimmy G has another year in the system.

"And yes, there are questions. Let's not anoint them as potential Super Bowl contenders yet. There are definite questions that this team has to answer, but the team is still 2-and-0 on the road."