After an unexpected move that left the Red and Gold faithful in a frenzy, the San Francisco 49ers held a conference call with new general manager John Lynch Monday afternoon.
Lynch spoke to Bay Area media for about 25 minutes Monday, mentioning he never would have never thought he’d become an NFL general manager, but things change sometimes. He also thanked 49ers CEO Jed York, who had enough confidence in him to take on this role. Lynch seemed energized to get things going.
The 45-year-old has no experience working in an NFL front office, so he shared his story of how this all started:
“Our crew broadcasted the Seattle-Atlanta playoff game and somewhere in that week after, [Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] and I caught up as we often do after a game that I broadcast of his and just told him how impressed I was and at that time I know that he was interviewing for a lot of jobs and we just started a conversation and at some point I indicated to him that, ‘Hey, you know Kyle three or four years ago I had conversations with the Denver Broncos about getting into management. In the recent months I’ve had a couple situations that arose with perspective owners and I’ve sat down with them and kind of shared my philosophies.’ I think I’ve always managed to, [Pittsburgh Steelers head coach] Mike Tomlin, who coached me, used to say be where you’re at. So, my focus was being the best broadcaster I could be, but there was a side of me that said, ‘You know, some day.’ [Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager] John Elway is one of my good friends and I watched him. I was living in Denver when he went through that process. He was kind enough to invite me into the building for offseason meetings and such. That’s kind of been out there and I always said, I even said to my bosses at Fox if the right situation arose that it would be something that I would have to consider.”
When asked what area he wanted to focus on first to steer the 49ers into the right direction, Lynch said:
“I can’t wait to get the film in front of me quick enough just to evaluate the roster.”
The fact Lynch didn’t provide a detailed answer is concerning. If the 49ers want to revert back to the good old days when they won championships, Lynch will have to work with the upcoming head coach along with other members of the front office and personnel departments to come up with solutions to help the hapless team.
The 49ers have also been struggling to find a cultural identity they can identify with. The San Francisco Bay Area is very diverse, and the 49ers’ front office has to make promises that they can keep. Lynch said that he was going to stray away from making too many promises for now, but the team has to do things right:
“The one promise I can make is of any team I’m going to be associated with, you’re going to have competitive players that want to compete, that live and breathe football, that are going to play hard. If they don’t play hard, we’re going to find players that will play hard.”
Lynch went from an NFL on Fox color commentator and former football strong safety to the 49ers’ 11th general manager in franchise history. It’s obvious Lynch knows football in a broad sense, but vague responses during Monday’s conference call fell short of inspiring confidence.