Kyle Shanahan frequently says he doesn’t want his team to get too high or too low. Their recent play has tested that theory as good vibes pervade the 49ers locker room. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Kyle Shanahan refuses to get too high on 49ers’ recent success

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers facility was livelier than it had been in the last two seasons on Wednesday. Players joked with each other, and there was a buzz that had been noticeably absent as recently as a month ago.

Winning three in a row tends to have a positive effect on morale. But the good vibes belied a core philosophy of head coach Kyle Shanahan: Never get too high or too low.

“Once you start to make decisions or lead anything based off of ego, you get humbled as fast as anything in this league,” he said Wednesday.

Shanahan said he has a “1,000 stories” from his own career and from being an observer of the league that informed his way of thinking.

The obvious example would be Super Bowl LI. Shanahan was riding high as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, but couldn’t preserve a 25-point lead late in the second half.

So, forgive the 49ers head coach if he doesn’t get carried away in his team’s recent fortune.

“I know everyone’s extremely positive about us recently. That’s neat that everyone feels that way, and we’re excited too,” he said. “But I also know if our kicker’s not 100 percent on all those field goals that we’d be feeling a little bit different.”

That’s the nature of life in the NFL. In one season, the Niners have exhibited how there’s a slight margin between defeat and victory.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is nearly universally credited for turning those close losses into thrilling victories. Fans call him “Jimmy G-sus” for the miracles he performs and, like his nickname-sake, he works in mysterious ways and has an inspirational effect on the people around him.

The defense is performing as their exposure on the field is limited thanks to the offense dominating possession. And special teams is doing its job, putting points on the board and helping with the battle for field position.

“It’s all tied together, and I think we’re working in the right direction for that,” Garoppolo explained.

A franchise quarterback alone can’t be credited for a total team turnaround. It can’t be that simple. Garoppolo wasn’t the one who led the defense to a stop on 3rd-and-short late in the contest against Tennessee, which forced the Titans offense off the field and set the scene for Garoppolo to author another game-winning drive.

So what is it that actually ties it all together?

“It’s the magic of football,” Garoppolo cracked.

Whatever it is, the combination of Garoppolo and Shanahan has it.

But don’t expect the coach to get too excited about it.

Contact Examiner Sports Editor Jacob C. Palmer at jpalmer@sfexaminer.com or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.Jacksonville Jaguarsjimmy garoppolokyle shanahanSan Francisco 49ers

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Musician shot by off-duty FBI agent on Haight Street speaks out

Man thought official was a ‘fake cop’

Newsom: California’s homelessness crisis ‘a disgrace’

Governor uses State of the State speech to call for new revenue to tackle problem

Emails reveal another FBI suspect may have given Mayor Breed a gift

onguard Mere days after Mayor London Breed revealed she took a potentially… Continue reading

Video shows angry 49ers fan throwing items at cashier on Super Bowl Sunday

San Francisco police are asking the public for help identifying an aggressive… Continue reading

New plan provides a road map to better transit for Bayview residents

SFMTA to review suite of 101 projects designed to improve community safety and access

Most Read