Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Juszczyk, 49ers have ‘100 percent faith’ in Kyle Shanahan and his decisions

Nov 10, 2021 at 6:42 PM--

There is a lot of blame being thrown Kyle Shanahan's way for the San Francisco 49ers' 3-5 start. That blame is being focused on Shanahan the head coach and Shanahan the personnel decision-maker. While the 49ers preach that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are a team and make roster decisions together, some wonder if the coach has too much say in those decisions, leading to questionable moves.

Of course, some are also blaming Lynch for the past roster miscues.

San Francisco entered the season with playoff aspirations. Everyone expected the team to bounce back from its six-win, injury-plagued 2020 campaign. Instead, with just three wins in eight games, Shanahan and the 49ers appear to be headed toward their fourth losing season in five years.

On paper, the 49ers have the talent to compete. Were they Super Bowl contenders? Obviously not. But they certainly should have beaten an Arizona Cardinals team that lacked several stars, including quarterback Kyler Murray, on Sunday. Instead, the 49ers were embarrassed in front of their home crowd, losing 31-17.

"I don't think our problem is our talent," fullback Kyle Juszczyk told Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto on 95.7 The Game. "I think we have just as much talent, if not more talent, than most of the rosters in the NFL. I think Kyle, as the head coach, he's always going to be the first one to take the blame, and I think he would happily do so in this scenario. And he's going to tell you that he should do better but that's what any head coach is going to say."

Bruce asked Juszczyk about the whiffed draft picks in recent years. Even this year, there are several rookies who aren't contributing as much as most expected. For example, offensive lineman Aaron Banks has been active for just one of the 49ers' eight games this season. He has no in-game snaps. Other than two games, running back Trey Sermon can't get any meaningful snaps either. Banks was a second-round pick and Sermon a third-rounder.

In some cases, undrafted free agent signings are getting more playing time than draft picks. The 49ers fullback tried to argue that analysts can't judge draft picks and undrafted acquisitions separately.

"To speak on the draft picks that haven't panned out as well, those guys, those undrafted free agents, the free agents that are playing above those draft picks, he brought them in too," Juszczyk said. "So you have to see kind of both sides of it, both sides of the coin, and also understand that the draft is a crapshoot. It is. It is not easy for anybody and there are very few people that I think can say they have a consistent track record of getting it right every single season.

"You know, I have to say that I think Kyle is doing a phenomenal job, and I don't think -- there's nobody in our locker room that is calling for a different head coach, I can promise you that. We all have 100 percent faith in our coach and all the decisions that he's been making. Him and Lynch as well. We really do have their backs 100 percent."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Juszczyk below.

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