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49ers ecstatic about fast 3-0 start but know they can improve

Sep 21, 2023 at 10:22 PM--

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There was a common theme from the San Francisco 49ers when reporters asked about the team's impressive 3-0 start to the season. The locker room is ecstatic about the fast start but also knows they aren't where they want to be just yet.

Last season, the 49ers lost four of their first seven games. The team was 1-2 after three games. So, remaining undefeated through Week 3 this season means a lot.

"That's the goal, and real happy to be 3-0 right now," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "It's really cool to do it after a Thursday night game. There's not many times in the NFL where you get to enjoy a win more than just that night, so it's always cool when you win on Thursdays.

"I told the guys if they want to win and have a weekend off, we got to earn it, and those guys did. And now you can sit back and relax a little bit, kind of enjoy how these last three weeks have gone, and be ready to go on Monday."

When asked to assess his team's performance in the 30-21 win over the New York Giants, the 49ers coach first praised the positives.

"We did real good time of possession," Shanahan said. "I think we had like 40 minutes. I thought our defense played real well. I thought they stepped it up last week. They started doing that in the second half last week, and I thought it continued into today. It was a good job making them one-dimensional in the run game."

San Francisco has scored 30 points in each of its three games this season. Shanahan feels they left some more points on the field, though.

The coach noted, "We did very well in third downs on offense today, which allowed us to keep some drives going, but we got to improve because I think we could have had more points than that."

Everyone had the same reaction to the question. Yes, being 3-0 feels good, but there is still work to be done if the team hopes to win a championship. After all, that is the goal for this talented roster.

"That's exactly how you draw it up, 3-0 to start," linebacker Fred Warner told reporters after the game. "We talked about it, trying to get off to a faster start. Nobody's satisfied, though. ... I think there's so much room for improvement.

"You can watch the tape, and there's little things all over the place that every single guy can get better at. And we got a long ways to go [to become] the team that we want to be going forward."

Quarterback Brock Purdy won his eighth consecutive regular-season game, turning in another solid performance, finishing with 310 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 111.3. How does the second-year quarterback feel about the 3-0 start?

"It's huge," Purdy responded. "Obviously, you want to win every game, but we have a high standard. We have a standard that we want to be the best versions of ourselves. So for us, it's sort of like, yeah, we win the game, which is most important, which is great, but there's stuff out there that we can clean up and be better at.

So that's the standard that we have here. And we have 14 more games to do that, to be the best versions of ourselves and clean things up. So we're going to take it one day at a time. But it's huge for us to be 3-0 and have momentum."

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel noted that the 49ers hoped for a fast start this season, which makes sense considering how the team stumbled out of the gate a year ago.

"3-0 right now, feels good," Samuel shared. "We harped on starting off fast, and that's what we're doing even though we're making a little bit more mistakes. But as long as we get the win, we can continue to grow and continue to build on not making as many mistakes."

Players hope things continue to trend upward for the team. The mentality will remain the same moving forward.

"We expect to win every game," running back Christian McCaffrey said. "And the fact that we're 3-0 is awesome. We know it's a long season, and there's still so much football left. I love the mentality of our team right now because I think we're 3-0, we're happy, but we're still hungry, and there's still a lot that we can get better at, and that's a good place to be."

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