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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

John Lynch believes 49ers have emerged from offseason with an opportunity to be better

Sep 13, 2020 at 12:06 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing to step onto the Levi's Stadium football field and kick off their 2020 season, seven months after suffering a heartbreaking defeat in Super Bowl LIV. General manager John Lynch believes his squad has emerged from the offseason as a better unit. Now, the 49ers just have to go out and show that today against the Arizona Cardinals, and then the rest of their opponents this season.

"The great thing about that, Greg, is that this is a show-me league," Lynch told Greg Papa during the 49ers pre-game show (via Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports). "So we gotta show up and prove that. I believe that potentially we've got an opportunity to be better."

Of course, that will depend on this offseason's additions, plus others, stepping up and filling in for losses like defensive tackle DeForect Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders. The 49ers in April made defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk first-round draft picks.

Aiyuk, however, was among the players listed as inactive for Week 1 against the Cardinals.

The team will also depend on other defensive linemen and young receivers to step up to fill the void. They added a weapon for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in tight end Jordan Reed.

San Francisco is getting back some talent in players like defensive lineman Kentavius Street, wide receiver Trent Taylor, and running back Jerick McKinnon. Lynch also hopes to see others, like defensive tackle Solomon Thomas and wide receiver Dante Pettis, step up their production this season.

"So there's a lot of subtle additions I think have us really, really excited about the opportunity to be better," Lynch continued, "but that's all for naught unless you go show that. But I do believe we've come out of this offseason with an opportunity to be a better football team.

"I know the mentality has been special. There's so many worries about a Super Bowl loss hangover and all that, but I can tell you, we didn't have a traditional offseason, but from the day these guys returned, from the day we started our offseason program on Zoom meetings, they've been on point. If there's a hangover, I'm not feeling it."

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