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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


Richard Sherman believes disciplined and hungry 49ers won’t let season get derailed

Jul 31, 2020 at 9:46 AM--


A lot of things could potentially derail the San Francisco 49ers' quest for redemption. The team is hungry to right a wrong that happened in February. The team is hungry to return to the Super Bowl and not let victory slip from its grip.

COVID-19.

A Super Bowl hangover.

Regression.

Injuries.

A lot could go wrong. Distraction won't be an obstacle this season. From top to bottom, the 49ers are focused. That was evident from the State of the Franchise event in June when several players stated the goal is to emerge as Super Bowl champions. Even head coach Kyle Shanahan is focused on getting back to that moment.

"We've got to get right back to that fourth quarter (in the Super Bowl) and get to have a lead, and we've got to finish the job," he said.

No one is looking past the arduous journey to get there. But make no mistake, anything short of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy will be seen as a failure.

"I think going to the Super Bowl and having that expectation this year and having that goal at the forefront and having that sour taste in their minds is going to discipline them in a way that few other things can," veteran cornerback Richard Sherman told The Athletic this week. "That's why you play the game."

It's easy for a young team to get distracted. It could be easy for players to become careless and expose themselves to a virus that might quickly derail everything for which the 49ers are fighting.

The NFL notified players of rules against engaging in high-risk activities — things like going to indoor nightclubs, concerts, and bars or parties with more than 15 people. Players participating in such activities could even face discipline from the league.

Other than the focus that has been evident all offseason, the 49ers might have another advantage over other squads like the Raiders or Dolphins.

Location.

"It's not like we're in Miami or in Houston or in Las Vegas or somewhere where the nightlife is crazy, and the distractions are immense," Sherman continued. "No offense to Santa Clara. But I think that works to our benefit. I think the young guys coming in are disciplined and hungry, and they will not let the season be derailed by a lack of discipline."

Another advantage is Santa Clara's more cautious approach to reopening its economy amid a pandemic. There aren't the same options that exist in other NFL cities, and those that do exist are probably closed.

Still, Sherman knows he and the veterans might have to remind the team's younger players to stay focused and out of trouble. As has been the case since Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over, there is a team-first mentality in Santa Clara, and that could be the 49ers' biggest advantage as it heads into uncharted territory.





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