The San Francisco 49ers were minutes from winning a Lombardi Trophy last season. Despite sustaining some losses to its NFC championship roster, general manager John Lynch believes his team can be even better in 2020.
"I think it's a state of a team that I think is very well-equipped to compete for championships," Lynch said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "Now, it's incumbent upon us to find a way to be better than we were last year, which was pretty darn good.
"We talk about it a lot, (coach) Kyle (Shanahan) and I. It's a philosophy that we kind of bonded on when we first started having conversations. It's something Jon Gruden used to talk about. You never stay the same. You're either getting better or you're getting worse."
Lynch has done well to replace his losses with similarly skilled players. With Joe Staley retiring, he acquired Trent Williams via trade. After shipping DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis, the 49ers used their first-round pick on Javon Kinlaw. When Emmanuel Sanders left in free agency, Lynch snagged scout favorite Brandon Aiyuk in the first round. Even an injury like Deebo Samuel's recent broken foot hasn't dampened the optimism.
"I'm very encouraged with where our franchise is," Lynch said. "Our goal was to give ourselves a chance to be a better football team this year. I think we've done that. I think we have a chance to be a better football team, and that's tough when you talk about some of the losses that we've had.
"I'm very encouraged, and now we've just got to go do it. That's the great thing about this game. You can talk about it all you want, but you've got to walk the walk, and we're looking forward to having the opportunity to do that."
In a deep NFC West division, Lynch's Niners will need to be every bit as good as last year to get another shot at a Lombardi Trophy.