The San Francisco 49ers have gone from uncertainty to a position of strength and optimism in just a matter of months.
Following last season’s loss in the NFC Championship Game to the Los Angeles Rams, All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel asked to be traded, while the team had a brewing quarterback controversy.
But in just the last several weeks, Samuel agreed to a contract extension, the 49ers promoted Trey Lance to the QB1 position and Jimmy Garoppolo had his contract restructured while agreeing to be Lance’s backup.
It’s hard to imagine San Francisco’s offseason going any better than it did.
More and more people are now picking it to reach the Super Bowl this season and possibly even win its sixth world championship.
One of those with high expectations is Vernon Davis, the team’s former tight end from several years ago.
Vernon Davis thinks the 49ers have Super Bowl aspirations 🏆
"If the quarterback position is the way it’s supposed to be – solid foundation – this team is going all the way. No doubt about it. They have everything else."
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) September 1, 2022
“I’m very optimistic about this team,” Davis told hosts Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto. “This is a unique team. They’re talented all across the board … This team is stacked. If the quarterback position is the way it’s supposed to be – solid foundation – this team is going all the way. No doubt about it. They have everything else.”
In An Enviable Position
No one knows quite how good or great Lance will end up being, but he flashed his potential during two preseason appearances in August.
Look for head coach Kyle Shanahan to limit Lance’s workload early on by running the football a ton and relying on more short-to-medium-range passes, especially with two relatively easy opponents in the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks to start the regular season.
But if Lance gets injured or goes through a particularly bad stretch, Shanahan can simply go back to Garoppolo, who is a very good and proven signal-caller, even if he isn’t a championship-caliber one.
But up and down the roster, San Francisco looks loaded.
In the backfield, Elijah Mitchell spearheads a strong and deep running game.
There are concerns about the offensive line, and some wonder if the team’s QB situation may not be fully tenable.
However, Davis has been there before.
The 49ers Had A QB Controversy During Davis’ Time With The Team
About a decade ago, Davis was one of the league’s better tight ends, and he started his career catching passes from QB Alex Smith.
But Smith never made the Pro Bowl, and when he suffered a concussion in 2012, QB2 Colin Kaepernick took over under center.
He played so well that even when Smith was cleared to return, he remained as the Niners’ new QB1.
Some wondered what they were doing, but they went all the way to the Super Bowl that year under this new arrangement.
Lance was reportedly very happy to know that Garoppolo’s backup, and it appears the two have a strong relationship.
If the Niners stay healthy, a Vince Lombardi Trophy may be in their immediate future.