If conventional wisdom were still in play, today would mark the best opportunity at knowing what the 49ers will look like this season.
But that isn’t the case with this unit. And the Faithful should get used to it.
Before training camp started this year, it seemed like this wasn’t a lesson that needed to be taught. Optimism was the operating emotion in Santa Clara, and everyone knew there was a long road ahead for Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch as they rebuilt an entirely broken roster and rehabbed an organization that desperately needed a brand overhaul.
Then, a couple preseason games happened, and fans across the Bay Area started to lose their minds.
“Start CJ Beathard now!” they demanded — despite their being no upside to playing a rookie if he’s a player the front office actually likes for the long term.
And they felt validated when Shanahan left the field at Levi’s Stadium and gave a frosty press conference that indicated he wasn’t happy in any way with his team’s performance.
It’s a worthy attitude for Shanahan to espouse — especially after last year’s team struggled with an unfocused, and often disinterested, locker room.
But fans should know, they aren’t Shanahan. Keeping the big picture in mind is not only encouraged, but the healthy decision.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Trust the process
Jed York hired the right people, but they aren’t miracle workers. It’s going to take at least two more drafts to turn this roster into anything worthy of the playoffs. Losses this year will mean wins in the future.
2. Find silver linings
It’s an exciting time for the 49ers as they have actual, real-life NFL players on the field. Pierre Garçon, Elvis Dumervil and Marquise Goodwin are all solid players who will make an impact. Learn to appreciate what they give you without placing unrealistic expectations on them.
3. Embrace incremental progress
If the defense manages to be around the league average, that’s worth celebrating. Shanahan’s offense looks sharper by the week and they win in a blowout (after Week 1)? Extend the watch party and revel in the good times.
4. Think for the future
You don’t want the team to trade draft picks. It’s really that simple. If they can part ways with a veteran and get another selection in next year’s draft in exchange, that’s the kind of transaction you embrace with open arms.
5. Practice self care
If you find yourself upset as the team dives toward another sub-.500 finish, go for a walk, pet your dog, take a long bath. The Niners will need you in years to come. No point in burning yourself out this
Contact Examiner Sports Editor Jacob C. Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.