Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Rice wonders if 49ers players have gotten too comfortable with Kyle Shanahan

Dec 21, 2020 at 10:29 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have now lost six of their last seven games and have been eliminated from playoff contention. This, of course, comes just one season after representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.

A somber Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after the 49ers' latest loss, a 41-33 defeat by the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Turnovers were once again a culprit in the team's ninth defeat of the season, ensuring that Shanahan finishes with a losing record for the third time in four seasons as a head coach.

"Extremely frustrated (about the turnovers)," Shanahan said. "I really wanted the guys to come out and play good football, and I think offensively, defensively, and special teams, guys did a lot of good things. When you have four turnovers, it doesn't matter what you do, especially when it's 4-0 (turnovers) and they get 24 points I believe they had off turnovers. Regardless of what you do on the field in any aspect, it gives you very little chance to win."

Yes, injuries have played a big part in this season's disastrous storyline. Hall of Fame wide receiver and 49ers great Jerry Rice joined 95.7 The Game on Monday morning, as he does each week, and shared his thoughts on one other area that might be contributing to San Francisco's woes.

"I was listening to Kyle Shanahan yesterday, and you could tell he was really deflated because he said, 'I expected this team to play better,'" Rice said on The Morning Roast.

Reflecting on his own career, Rice remembers the great Bill Walsh expected great play out of his players every time they stepped onto the football field.

"It was almost like that fear factor, just a little bit," Rice explained, "and there was no way you wanted to let that guy down. And I don't know if the players have gotten really comfortable with Kyle Shanahan. They might not have that fear factor there anymore, but [that's something] that I think really puts players to always go out and give 100 percent.

"And I'm not saying that's happening with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers right now, but Bill always kept us on edge. He really wanted to let you know that you're replaceable, so you were accountable every time you stepped on that football field."

The 49ers have two games remaining following their playoff-eliminating defeat in Arlington, Texas. They will return to State Farm Stadium on Saturday and face the Arizona Cardinals as the road team before closing out the season at the same venue as the home team against the Seattle Seahawks.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Rice below.

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