If the 49ers follow orders and snap out of their five-year tailspin, Sunday’s season opener at Tampa Bay is a necessary launching pad.
Otherwise, offseason optimism might fade fast. Memories will flash of coach Kyle Shanahan’s previous slow starts — 0-9 in 2017, 1-7 last season.
Or perhaps 49ers fans will recall past travails at Tampa in season openers. In 1986, Joe Montana injured his back and required surgery. In 1997, Jerry Rice blew out his left knee injury and Steve Young sustained a concussion.
These Buccaneers, however, are beatable, all due respect to Jameis Winston’s career-reviving rout of the 49ers in last November’s 27-9 meeting.