Kyle Shanahan said what all 49ers fans rightfully should be thinking: getting back to the Super Bowl -- and winning -- is the expectation.
In speaking during San Francisco's virtual State of the Franchise event last month, the 49ers coach insisted that the team needs to get back to the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LV this coming season and "finish the job" -- a comment that drew the ire of Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.
"The worst thing you can do going into a season is set unrealistic expectations," Florio said on "Pro Football Talk." "And the worst message you can send to your locker room is we want to fast forward to the point where it went off the rails for us last year. When you start thinking about that moment and getting back to that moment, I guarantee you, you're never going to get back to that moment.
"When I saw those quotes, I was blown away because I would expect it from Freddie Kitchens. I would expect it from a lesser coach."
What a ridiculous take. Of course Shanahan and the 49ers believe they can get back to the Super Bowl. They held a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV for crying out loud.
"That's why it's taken you 167 podcasts to get me back on because I know Florio is going to find something on here," Shanahan half-jokingly said to Simms. "And he's going to be like, 'Oh, Kyle is only worried about this.' Whatever. I don't get mad at anyone because you guys need content.
"But that's just why it's hard to talk. Man, we were a couple of plays short of the Super Bowl (win). What do people expect our expectations to be? That's what it is."
Exactly. Anything else would be a loser's mentality. And as Shanahan went on to explain, there's a difference between confidence and arrogance.
"Hell yeah, we feel like that," Shanahan added. "But if we just think like that, and think we're just going to show up, we won't get to the playoffs. This league is too hard. No one has an easy way.
"The hardest years of my life, coaching, I feel have been the two years I've gone to a Super Bowl because you know you have a good team, and how much harder it gets each week the way teams are playing you. And how intense it is because you don't want to mess that up.
"This year will be so much harder. We can have a better team, and still not do what we did last year. And no one's more aware of that than myself. I've been around this sport way too long. But every time I answer a question, I'm not going to cover all that."
How you could take any issue with Shanahan's expectations is beyond me. You can bet his players certainly don't.
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49ers' Kyle Shanahan addresses Mike Florio's criticism of expectations originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area