As difficult as it might be for the Super Bowl champion to return to the top the next season, it might be even more challenging for the runner-up to do the same. That team has to deal with the heartbreaking loss during the entire offseason, and that can lead to a Super Bowl hangover.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine and was asked how the 49ers can protect themselves against any potential drop-off following such a crushing defeat.

"Just deal with it," Shanahan responded. "Anytime you have a tough loss, I think there's a grieving process you've got to go through. I think everyone goes through that individually. I mean, it is disappointing, especially how much you put on the line for that, but that's life.

"You can deal with it, no one died. It is disappointing. We do have to grieve, but I'm doing a lot better now than I was three weeks ago, and I plan on doing better three weeks from now than I am right now."

The 49ers were a surprise team after coming off a four-win season in 2018. It wasn't a shock that they would be much-improved, but few expected them to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIV and winning 11 more games than the previous year, including the team's two playoff victories.

San Francisco overcame a lot in the process, including dealing with several key injuries and a historically difficult stretch during the second half of the season.

The 49ers coach believes adversity will only make his team stronger.

"I think our team is made of the right stuff," Shanahan continued. "I think it's very important to our team, individually, to not just have a career in this league, but we've got guys who want to win, and it's very important too, and those are the guys that we are going to continue to bring in our building."

The 49ers, including Shanahan, have used these past few weeks to get over the defeat and move on. The coach just returned from his time off on Monday and is getting back into the swing of things.

"Last couple of weeks, I haven't talked to many people at all," Shanahan said. "I've been a little bit off the grid. I saw a couple of players. I was out in Cabo and saw a couple of players out there randomly. I got to play golf with a few of those guys, which was fun."