Dieter Kurtenbach: The 49ers' path to the Super Bowl is clear -- go left

Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News on

Published in Football

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — When in doubt, go left.

That’s been the 49ers’ unofficial offensive motto since Kyle Shanahan took over as the team’s head coach in 2017.

It’s never been so true as this season.

The 49ers are one of two teams in the NFL that runs more than it passes the ball, and they’re running to left end of the line more than any other team in the NFL this season, according to

And why wouldn’t you? That’s where Trent Williams — the NFL’s best left tackle — works.

“He might be the best player I’ve ever seen,” Christian McCaffrey — himself a front-runner for NFL Offensive Player of the Year — said of Williams this week. “There’s nothing he can’t do. He plays beyond the X’s and O’s. He does things other people can’t do, and he’s been doing it for a really long time. ”


“When he’s out there, he gives everyone a little extra confidence.”

“Go left” first became the Niners’ motto because Joe Staley was the team’s left tackle. Staley made the NFL’s All-Decade team and should, one day, have his bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But when Staley started battling injuries in 2019, leading to his retirement after that campaign, the 49ers needed a replacement.

Four seasons later, it’s inarguable that the 49ers’ upgraded at the all-important position.


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