Reliving San Francisco's Super Bowl disappointment hasn't been an easy undertaking for many of the 49ers. (It's just as difficult to write about, too). Multiple 49ers have revealed they haven't mustered the desire to replay February's heartbreak. Even recently, Nick Bosa admitted he has yet to bring himself to re-watch that fateful fourth quarter.
It took seventh-year defensive back Jimmie Ward a few months to fix his attention back on that game. But since, he's re-watched the match somewhere between 10-20 times. In order to move forward, Ward believes, at the very least, you have to shake off the loss to zero in on the season ahead.
"I feel like you've just got to get over it and think about how you can get better until Game 1," Ward said.
While painful, players are using February's results as fuel heading into the season, although a guarantee at a shot at the title is far from a simple task. Head coach Kyle Shanahan noted just how difficult the road will be as the 49ers must take steps ahead of the rest of the league now that they are the team being "chased."
Ward is on par with the head coach, as he is aware that before the 49ers can begin talking about the Super Bowl, there is plenty of work that lies ahead. Nineteen-plus games to be exact.
"I hear a lot of people right now, my teammates, they say they want to get back to that spot and win it," Ward said. "Obviously, that's what everybody in the NFL, every team, wants to do - get to the Super Bowl and win it.
"But my approach is more just to take it one day at a time, one game at a time. I've been in that position, so I've seen what it takes. But I can't look past this first game. I can't look past tomorrow in practice."
So, what's Ward's biggest takeaway? The defensive back believes there are lessons within the game. Once you can comprehend what went wrong, you can learn from it. Whether in a championship setting or the first week of the season, Ward believes the lessons provided back in February are instrumental in the team's success moving forward.
"It's all about the finish," Ward said. "I feel like we went out there and had a very great half, even up to the fourth quarter, last five minutes. It's just we didn't finish, and it seemed like they ended up wanting it more than us and that's why they won the game."