4 things learned from 49ers actions during 2020 NFL Draft

General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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49ers Kyle Shanahan
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

No. 4: No escape from Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse

The 49ers traded away only two players on their current roster, both of whom were going to carry a moderate cap hit. Those two were running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. There was a justifiable reasons to move both of them: the strength of their position groups coupled with their cap hits, but they also shared another common theme.

Both players found themselves draw the scorn of head coach Kyle Shanahan at some point of the season, either because they were no longer available or their play started to drop.

In any case, as the season wrapped up, both Breida and Goodwin became afterthoughts.

For Goodwin, it was readily apparent what was going on. He missed Week 4 with the beginnings of an injury, came back and played poorly for Weeks 5 and 6, and that was it. Goodwin received little to no snaps the rest of the way, with both injuries and personal reasons stopping him from returning to the field. He finished the season majorly underperforming even modest expectations, and even when he was healthy, the 49ers made him a healthy scratch.

Breida had a far more interesting path to the doghouse, especially because of his status heading into the season. Breida was RB1 and, in the early games, he showed it. He dominated against the Cleveland Browns during Week 4 and continued to play well until he caught the injury bug. An ankle sprain put Breida on the backburner, the same time a certain Raheem Mostert began to show up and out. Couple that with fumbling issues, and Breida only had two offensive snaps during the NFC Championship game and didn’t touch the ball during the Super Bowl.

Both players earned the eye of coach Shanahan for whatever reason, and as other players began to show up, they began to fade away. Where some coaches would have stuck with a guy because of their talent or raw ability (Goodwin’s speed is a rare commodity), Shanahan made it clear if he could no longer trust you, he could no longer have you on his team.

This potential insight bodes poorly for a player like wide receiver Dante Pettis, whom Shanahan has very publicly called out. It also is a hint of the culture the 49ers are building, where nothing is given and everything is earned.

If a player falls behind, they don’t get a break. They have to get going.