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John Lynch expects better effort from 49ers defense in Super Bowl: “It’s been addressed”

Feb 2, 2024 at 2:09 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers take pride in physically dominating opponents, setting the tone for each game. However, the team is not pleased with the defensive efforts displayed in the playoffs so far. The 49ers are determined to turn things around with the Super Bowl looming.

Amid questions about the defense's perceived lack of effort on certain plays, general manager John Lynch addressed the issue with reporters on Friday.

"Effort's a non-negotiable," Lynch said as the 49ers gear up for Super Bowl 58 against the Kansas City Chiefs. "I mean, that's one of our core values, and I believe that in my heart of hearts. We've got four Hall of Famers that represent the defense I played in at Tampa, and if you ask every one of us that played on that defense, 'What was our calling card?' It starts with effort, that being a non-negotiable."

When asked to assess the defense's performances in their two playoff games, linebacker Fred Warner bluntly responded, "Yeah, not good enough. Not good enough at all. ... The standard has been what it has been for as long as I've been here. And we've relied heavily on winning games on defense, holding teams to minimal points, suffocating teams, dictating how the game is going to go based off of how we go. And that hasn't been the case last two games, and that's for a bunch of different reasons."

Warner admitted he didn't want to look at the stat sheet after the NFC Championship Game victory over the Detroit Lions, knowing that they surrendered too many rushing yards in the first half.

"I knew it wasn't a good half at all," Warner added. "And yeah, we had to switch some things up."

Lynch asserted that the defense's shortcomings have been addressed, and doubts fans will witness another disappointing effort from the unit.

"I really would be shocked if we saw that again," Lynch said. "And sometimes that comes. I mean, there's excuses for it, but they're just that. They're excuses, and that has to be non-negotiable. Play your heart out, and then we've got a lot of good players, a lot of good depth that you can get.

"So those aren't plays that we're proud of, those players are proud of. It's been addressed, and I'd be real surprised if I saw [it during the Super Bowl]."

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