This isn't how anyone within the San Francisco 49ers organization envisioned the first seven weeks of the 2018 season. That includes Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. Injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon coupled with a few excruciatingly close losses have led to the 49ers 1-6 record with the halfway point approaching.
The midway checkpoint also marks the NFL's trade deadline as teams have until 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday Oct. 30 to strike a deal. San Francisco notably acquired Garoppolo ahead of last year's deadline. The 49ers are likely to be quieter this time around, but that doesn't mean the team won't be doing its due diligence.
Shanahan reiterated on Monday what he's said many times before: The 49ers are always looking to improve the roster, but they won't make a short-term move that jeopardizes the big picture.
"Everyone would love a quick fix right now," Shanahan said. "I know I would, I know our players would, I know John and the personnel staff would. But, it's not just about a quick fix. We're dedicated to try to win this Sunday. But, we're also not going to just do something that makes us feel better today that hurts us for the future."
Lynch and his team are likely to field calls over the course of the next week. Clubs are always talking to one another – figuring out which players might be available and at what cost. That also means the 49ers will be putting out feelers and making inquiries of their own.
"We're always looking to try to improve our team," Shanahan said. "We're always calling and seeing if there's anything out there that we haven't heard, also."
Patience can be a challenge amid growing frustrations that escalate after each loss, but Shanahan hasn't lost perspective on the overall vision. The inability to finish a few close games and a glaring turnover problem doesn't negate that there have been some positives.
Despite the injuries to McKinnon, Garoppolo and others, it's very easy to argue that San Francisco should have won its games against the Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers. The, "If ifs and buts were candies and nuts" argument is valid, sure, but it doesn't completely diminish the fact that the 49ers are a few plays away from a 4-3 record.
The margin between most NFL teams is remarkably narrow. That parody is why coaches and GMs commonly say that things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem.
"Our record right now doesn't impact the big picture to me," Shanahan said. "It's tough to deal with. It's frustrating. We're all working extremely hard and want much better results. But, just because the record doesn't show that isn't going to make you doubt yourself and go rip up your plans and do something totally new.
"We knew when we came here it was going to take some time and we want that to be as fast as possible, there's no doubt about that. But, you also don't want to make stupid decisions because of that. We're trying to be smart in everything we do."
San Francisco has a trio of winnable games approaching against teams with currently just one win: Week 8 on the road versus the Cardinals followed by back-to-back home primetime games in Weeks 9 and against the Oakland Raiders ("Thursday Night Football") and New York Giants ("Monday Night Football"), respectively.
The 49ers may acquire some reinforcements along the way, but don't expect to see a splashy move over the next seven days. San Francisco has made its bed for 2018 and it's up to the current players and coaches to keep things moving in the right direction.
"We're trying to build this thing to last and to do that, it does take some time," Shanahan said. "Planned on it going faster and it hasn't so far. But, that doesn't make me lose any confidence in what we're doing, (and) the people that we have here.
"I know we need to continue to work (and) continue to get better, but we're going through a tough time right now. But that doesn't change anything to me where I feel we're going."