Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Florio doubles down on criticism after 49ers players say the Super Bowl is the goal

Jun 26, 2020 at 10:59 AM--

It's Super Bowl or bust for the San Francisco 49ers, as it probably should be. That's what the team's head coach, Kyle Shanahan, is thinking. That's what his players are thinking.

Shanahan recently spoke with team radio voice Greg Papa for the 49ers' State of the Franchise event and shared exactly what his expectations are for the upcoming season.

"I know we were good enough to win that Super Bowl, and we didn't," Shanahan said. "And that's something we've got to live with. And that's why the state of the franchise, right now, is we've got to get right back to that moment (in the Super Bowl). We've got to get right back to that fourth quarter, and get to have a lead, and we've got to finish the job."

Those comments irked Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who, during a recent episode of Pro Football Talk Overtime, blasted the 49ers head coach for making them. The NFL writer believes that Shanahan's words are irresponsible. He thinks they put too much pressure on a team that has to focus on playing through the upcoming season, and not just look toward the end result.

Of course, Shanahan knows the 49ers have a season to play. He knows it won't be easy to reach the mountaintop again. He knows it won't be easy to win it all. The coach shared that during the same conversation with Papa, and that has been ignored by Florio.

"I know we've got to go through a season, and it's going to be a lot harder to do that," Shanahan said. "A lot harder. And we can play a lot better and still not do what we did last time. That's why all of our guys have got to take this challenge, and we've got to take advantage of this offseason. We've got to still find a way to take a step ahead of other people because everyone's chasing us right now, and it hasn't been that way."

The State of the Franchise this week aired interviews with 49ers defensive players, and they all have the same mindset as their head coach. The goal is to win the Super Bowl, and they seemingly said all the right things while stating that. They, like their head coach, know everything is earned, and nothing is given.

"I think the focus is obviously to make it back to the big game and winning it, this time around," linebacker Fred Warner said. "I think that's the focus every year, is to make it to the Super Bowl. But we all understand that there's a lot of time and effort required to get to that point."

Florio doubled down on his criticism on Friday morning after hearing 49ers players share what is motivating them this offseason.

"You can't start looking down the road if you're a football team," Florio said during a discussion with Dan "Big Cat" Katz. "You've got to do it week after week after week. You've got to build the house one brick at a time, and this kind of talk — there's always a team that glosses over how hard it is to put a great season together, and to go back to 0-0, and do it again. And it's hard, and it's difficult, and if you start looking past games and weeks and months, you're walking into a buzzsaw.

"That's my opinion, and I've seen it happen enough times that I think I'm right."

Florio reiterated that the talk by Shanahan and 49ers players is dangerous, and almost always leads to disappointment.

Added Florio: "You can't have guys on the team talking about, 'We need to get back and finish the job. Oh, we can't wait to finish the job.' You're not going to be in position to finish the job if you don't take every game seriously."

"Big Cat" seemed to offer up a voice of reason and explained to Florio why he might be overreacting to Shanahan's and players' statements.

"You're just taking the worst interpretation of what Kyle Shanahan is saying here in the worst possible situation," Katz rebutted. "Kyle Shanahan's admitting what we're all thinking. The 49ers are going to be in the top-five Super Bowl favorites to get back, to win the Super Bowl. They went there last year.

"There are expectations there. To ignore the expectations, I think, is foolish. You have to face those expectations and say, 'This is what we're looking for. We are trying to get back there.' No one is saying they are going to overlook everything."

You can listen to the entire debate below.

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