With Super Bowl loss still on their minds, San Francisco 49ers try to press on to avoid hangover

INDIANAPOLIS — Fresh off of a family vacation in Cabo San Lucas, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on Tuesday geared up for evaluations at the NFL scouting combine. In so doing, he took the first steps toward laying the foundation for a campaign that he hopes features a rebound from a painful fourth-quarter collapse against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

Shanahan and the Niners will try their best to avoid the dreaded Super Bowl hangover in which the losers of the championship game occasionally have struggled to make it back to the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. 

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will look to further strengthen the roster through the draft and free agency. 

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But Shanahan isn’t cooking up any secret recipe for success or life-changing words of wisdom to help his players avoid regression following the Super Bowl loss. The approach is simple, he said.

“You just deal with it,” Shanahan said with a shrug. “Any time you have a tough loss, you have a grieving process that you have to go through, especially with the amount of time that you put on the line for that, but that’s life. No one died. It is disappointing — you have to grieve it — but I’m doing a lot better now than I was three weeks ago, and I plan on doing better in three weeks than I am now. 

“I think our team is made of the right stuff,” Shanahan continued. “I think it’s very important to our team, not just individually have a career in this league, but we have guys that want to win in this league and it’s very important to them, and those are the kinds of guys that we’re going to continue to bring into our building.”

Lynch’s take was similar. He stressed accountability and said careful self-examination is crucial for every member of the team, particularly when it comes to that fourth quarter, when Kansas City outscored the 49ers 21-0.

“We left a little bit out there and it’s a shame,” he said. “It’s something that we’re going to have to deal with, really, for the rest of our lives. … We all have to take a hard look at the fourth quarter. We built this team to be finishers and we all fell short of that. … We all have to own that and the guys have done a great job of doing just that and not running from it. Then, the other side, you have to give the Chiefs a tone of credit. They went out and earned that game and we fell flat.”

Follow Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones.

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