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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Fred Warner confident Super Bowl win is in 49ers’ future

Feb 13, 2024 at 4:07 PM--


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Disappointment pervaded the San Francisco 49ers locker room on Tuesday, less than 48 hours after the team's gut-wrenching Super Bowl defeat. Many players struggled to discuss the game with reporters. An emotional Brandon Aiyuk even had to end his conversation early, with the wide receiver no longer able to respond to questions.

Linebacker Fred Warner, typically smiling for the media, understandably appeared deflated as he tried his best to field questions.

"I'm just disappointed because we had more than enough opportunities to go and take it," Warner said. "Like we talked about, Super Bowls aren't given. You've got to take them in the moments where they're there, and we didn't. And we had such a [great] team to do it. We had such a great opportunity. We were playing the right way. And what sucks is you have to go back to ground zero and start all over again."

Warner believes the team possesses the necessary traits to rebound from the devastating loss. The 49ers have a resilient locker room that has demonstrated its ability to overcome adversity in the past.

"The thing that gives me hope is knowing how much it means to me, how much it means to the organization, how much it means to [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and the players and [GM] John [Lynch], and the things that make up a championship team, I know we have those things," Warner continued. "You got to act the way of a champion before you are a champion. So I know it's not a thing of if—it's just when. And it sucks that it wasn't this time because it should have been. But like I said, not if, but when."

Tight end George Kittle is equally confident that the 49ers will bounce back next season.

"I feel like we have a lot of guys who are still under contract," Kittle said. "[QB] Brock's [Purdy] on his rookie deal. I think we have a lot of guys who play football at a very high level. I have [DE] Nick Bosa coming back, right? Yeah, I think we can win a lot of football games."

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk echoed the sentiments of his teammates, saying, "I feel so confident in the team that we have and knowing who will be back here and also knowing that guys that do leave, I think we always do a good job of finding a way to replace that production or that leadership or whatever we need to do."

Sunday was running back Christian McCaffrey's first Super Bowl appearance. He's been hungry to get there, and that hunger only intensifies after having experienced losing the big game.

"I think, when you get there, you now know what the deal is," McCaffrey said. "But I think it definitely makes you more hungry, and it definitely hurts worse."

Dre Greenlaw eager for surgery, rehab


The 49ers lost a key defender during the game. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw suffered a torn Achilles in the second half, and the loss was felt throughout the defense. Warner has spoken to his teammate since Sunday night and shared insight into the injured linebacker's mental state.

"Obviously, he's down, but he has a good mindset about it, and he's just eager to get the surgery done so he can get right into rehab and get back to work," Warner said. "I have no doubt in my mind he'll come back better than he was. He's made of the right stuff, and, yeah, he'll be back."

Greenlaw had been battling an Achilles issue for several weeks but fought through it for his teammates. It finally caught up to him in the Super Bowl.

After the game, Kittle was asked about Greenlaw's injury, saying, "That's depressing to get injured in the Super Bowl. ... Dre's the heartbeat of our defense, him and Fred in there, and how they feed off each other. ... We lose a guy like Dre, it's tough. He's just such a fantastic football player, and he's everything that the Niners stand for. So to lose him, it just really, really sucks for him."



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