SANTA CLARA — Tuesday’s postseason press conference had a different tone than those of years past.
Shanahan and Lynch were comfortable facing questions, familiar with their settings.
They’re eager to get to work this offseason and they don’t see why the team’s recent success would change their long-term approach to rebuilding the franchise.
“I get everyone is excited, especially when you finish the season with five in a row or six out of the last seven. We understand that,” Shanahan said. “But I also know that doesn’t help at all.”
They especially don’t care that their draft position was negatively affected by winning their last five games.
“We’re trying to build a winning culture,” Lynch explained. “And you play to win.”
Lynch pointed to his former coach Tony Dungy’s first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996. That Bucs team also finished 6-10 to surpass expectations and improved by four wins the following season.
One of Lynch’s teammates that year was Martin Mayhew, who — along with Adam Peters — has been imperative to the Niners’ roster improving this season.
“We’ve got to pedal to the metal and continue to work vigorously, which we will,” Lynch said. “… We’re much further along, but our work ethic can’t change. Last year it was survival. … We’ve got to keep that mindset, but definitely we’re much further along and in a much better place.”
An apt summation of the 49ers’ 2017.
Contact Examiner Sports Editor Jacob C. Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.