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Fred Warner Explains Why He's Falling Short of Expectations

Warner seems like a genuine, normal person who was affected by a big pay day
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Last week, Hall of Famer and 49ers general manager John Lynch called out Fred Warner.

Lynch said Warner wasn't living up to expectations, which was a shocking thing to say about the 49ers' defensive leader. Warner reponded with his best performance of the season during the 31-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

On Wednesday, a reporter asked Warner to evaluate his own performance this season. Surprisingly, Warner echoed Lynch's assessment.

WARNER: "The short answer is I could get bettter. Are you getting better or are you getting worse? Last year, I was playing at a high level -- All Pro, Pro Bowl. Am I doing that right this second? I wouldn't say so. I'd say we have eight games left that I can prove that, that I can be a better player for this team, for myself. I'm looking forward to putting my head down and grinding."

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Q: Why aren't you playing up to your standard?

WARNER: "I don't have a direct answer for you. It's one of the most frustrating things in the world, because you think you're putting in more work, you're being more detailed in what you do, and for some reason the results just don't show up for you. That's just what it has been. I'm putting that work out there, I'm doing what I think I need to be doing, so I know it's going to come together. I'll continue to play my style and put good things on tape. I just have to dial in on the details and go harder."

Q: Have you felt pressure to justify your huge contract extension?

WARNER: "Early on I feel like I probably did. I probably did too much. It's funny, because before you get the contract, I never worried about the money. Obviously the goal is to take care of your family, but that was not any part of my thought process. So going into this year, it was kind of a little piece of it in the back of my mind. I've got to show up. I've got to show up. I've got to do more. That probably hindered me a little bit, but I'm past it and looking to get better as a player.

Grant's Take: Warner seems like a genuine, normal person who was affected by a big pay day. That's easy to understand. It's impressive how introspective and and honest he is with himself. He seems like the kind of person who will move past this moment and continue to have a great career.