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News & Events


49ers Enter Camp with Super Bowl Aspiration

Posted Jul 24, 2014

As the 49ers reported for training camp on Wednesday, key members of the team stressed that camp was all about coming together and not setting lofty goals.

Do the San Francisco 49ers have a “Super Bowl or bust” mentality?

It depends on who you ask.

Sure, there’s outside pressure to win the franchise’s sixth world championship after reaching three consecutive NFC title games and falling short in Super Bowl XLVII.

But as the 49ers reported for training camp on Wednesday, key members of the team stressed that camp was all about coming together and not setting lofty goals from day one.

“We don’t put all that extra pressure on ourselves,” linebacker Patrick Willis said. “It’s just about camaraderie. It’s about gelling together. It’s about building a team that’s going to withstand anything.”

So while San Francisco enters 2014 with arguably the deepest roster of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach, Willis is staying even-keeled about his team’s chances of playing meaningful games in February.

“We know what’s expected of us, but we’re trying not to get too confident now,” Willis said. “We’re taking it one day at a time.”

The day-by-day approach has been a staple of the Jim Harbaugh era. The 49ers coach always strives to make incremental improvements each day he’s at the helm of San Francisco’s ship.

Actually, Harbaugh likens getting better to another sport.

“We’ll chase it, like the NASCAR boys,” Harbaugh said back in 2012. “We’ll chase getting a mile an hour faster. Chasing getting zero to one percent better any way that you can.”

The 49ers will do some literal chasing this coming season. They’ll look to catch up to the defending NFC West and Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.

When the division rival’s name was brought up to Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers quarterback didn’t say too much.

Instead, Kaepernick stressed what matters most in the upcoming matchups, which includes a prime-time game at Levi’s® Stadium on Thanksgiving night.

“I think this team, and all of us, don’t take the approach of talking about it,” the fourth-year quarterback said. “We want to go out on the field and handle our business that way, go about it that way. We get to see them twice this year.”

Seattle aside, leaders in the San Francisco locker room know what will be the ultimate determining factor when the ’14 season is said and done.

“Our goal is to get to the Super Bowl and win it,” 14-year veteran Justin Smith said. “You can actually say it the last couple years with a straight face… It’s a good feeling to be in that situation.”

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