The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

New-Look 49ers Strive for the Gold

All-Pro Reels
The San Francisco 49ers prepare for their game against the Washington Redskins.

The San Francisco 49ers kicked off the 2023-24 NFL season on Sunday, September 10, at Acrisure Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Red & Gold currently stand at the top of the league with a 5-0 record, being one of the two teams that remain undefeated. The team concluded the 2022-23 season with a 13-4 record, tied for second-best in the NFC. Despite falling short in the conference championship, the 49ers developed strong chemistry within their roster, keeping fans and players hopeful for the upcoming season.

The Off-Season

Unlike the previous season, the 49ers made significant off-season moves that are projected to alter the momentum of the team. 

The 49ers traded rising third-year quarterback Trey Lance, who they drafted third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, to the Dallas Cowboys in August. In his first season, Lance was to standby as a backup quarterback for Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers shifted to starting Lance the following season after falling short of the 2022 NFC Championship title. The quarterback’s sophomore season was cut short when he went down with a broken ankle in week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. Garoppolo, who had re-signed with the team as a backup to Lance, was again bound to lead the 49ers. His fifth season in Red & Gold came to an end when he suffered a foot injury in week 13 against the Miami Dolphins. Despite leading the team on a 6-3 run, the 49ers chose not to extend Garoppolo’s contract.

Placekicker Robbie Gould parted ways with the 49ers after six seasons. The veteran kicker was a key component in many of the team’s neck-and-neck matchup victories and completed 161/184 field goal attempts and 221/230 extra-point attempts in his tenure. Gould looked forward to returning to San Francisco for a seventh season, but the 49ers had moved on to rookie Jake Moody.

The 49ers’ defensive coordinator of two seasons, DeMeco Ryans, became the head coach of the Houston Texans in late January. The defensive coach was awarded the 2023 NFL Assistant Coach of the Year Award for his ability to lead the 49ers’ defensive unit to the top of the league – the team ranked number one in defense, holding their opponents to below 17 points and 300 yards per game. Despite the loss of Ryans, 49ers fans have remained confident in the ability of the team’s defensive unit to match the dominance they held the previous season. “I’m still as confident in them as before,” states Raj Melwani of OurSF49ers. “The new defensive coach Steve Wilks is still finding his footing with the team and how to utilize all the talent he has. I feel like as the season continues they’ll be among the best in the league.”

Despite losing many key organization members, the 49ers also signed and extended crucial players. 

In early March, the 49ers picked up Javon Hargrave, the number one ranked free agent of the off-season. As one of the top pass rushers in the NFL, Hargrave totaled 23 sacks during his three-year tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles. The addition of Hargrave onto the 49ers roster has boosted confidence in the team’s defensive unit in light of DeMeco Ryans’s departure. 

The 49ers’ most prominent move of the offseason was the extension of defensive end Nick Bosa’s contract. Bosa had anchored the 49ers’ defensive unit ever since he was drafted by the team second overall in 2019. Bosa has been recognized as a top defensive player across the league, winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and leading the league in sacks (18.5) last season, which earned him his first Defensive Player of the Year award. Upon the expiration of Bosa’s four-year contract, fans waited anxiously for an extension. On September 9, two days before the first game of the regular season, the defensive end signed a five-year, $170 million contract extension. The extension of Bosa’s contract has brought utmost enthusiasm for the 49ers’ success in the 2023-24 season.

Striving for the Gold

The 49ers made numerous moves in the 2023 offseason that they hope will bring them a step closer to bringing a Super Bowl title back home to the Bay Area – their first title in over two decades.

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