Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ex-Buc John Lynch named general manager of San Francisco 49ers

HOUSTON — The 49ers shocked the NFL on Sunday by hiring former Bucs and Broncos safety John Lynch as the team's general manager.

Lynch, 45, has no front-office experience, but his connection to former 49ers head coach Bill Walsh, whom he played for at Stanford, turned out to be a plus, as well as his ability to surround himself with a "great staff," 49ers CEO Jed York told the San Jose Mercury News.

The 49ers are expected to hire Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as their head coach after Atlanta faces New England on Sunday at Super Bowl LI in Houston and pair him with Lynch.

Lynch has agreed to a six-year contract, according to ESPN.

"Obviously, I'm rooting very hard for him to succeed,'' said Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, who with Lynch and Warren Sapp were the leaders of the Bucs defense from 1995-2003. "His leadership and work ethic is top notch. He transitioned well from the field to broadcasting and now I expect the same from the booth to the front office.''

Shanahan began his NFL career as the Bucs' offensive quality control assistant from 2004-05. But by then, Lynch had begun the second part of his career playing for Shanahan's father, Mike, and the Broncos.

Lynch is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the third straight year. The class of 2017 will be elected Saturday at Super Bowl LI in Houston. He was named to nine Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Broncos and Bucs Ring of Honor last season.

Shanahan "is good" with Lynch's hiring, according to a Bleacher report. Lynch reportedly called Shanahan last week to offer his services.

Lynch has not been bashful about sharing his feelings about the 49ers decline over the past couple years. Shanahan will be the fourth head coach in as many seasons for San Francisco.

Two years ago, Lynch said, "with all due respect to Jim Tomsula, they let go of Jim Harbaugh, a tremendous coach. I think it's a failure of the organization."

Tomsula was fired after a 5-11 season in 2015. Chip Kelly went 2-14 in his only season with the Niners, losing the last 13 games.

One of the hardest-hitting safeties in the history of the NFL, Lynch played for 11 seasons with the Bucs and was a key component on their rise to becoming Super Bowl XXXVII champions. He played for the Broncos from 2004-07. In 15 pro seasons, Lynch had 1,051 tackles and 29 career interceptions.

Since retirement, he has served as an NFL analyst for Fox.

COLTS GET GM: The Colts hired Chris Ballard as general manager, the first time he has been a team's top decision-maker.

Ballard was chosen a little more than a week after owner Jim Irsay fired Ryan Grigson and after six candidates interviewed for the job.

"Chris has a solid reputation throughout the National Football League as a heavyweight executive and our extensive discussions with him confirmed that reputation," Irsay said in a statement.

Ballard takes over a team that has missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons. Previously, he was the Chiefs' director of football operations.

He was hired by Kansas City in 2013 as director of player personnel. Ballard also spent 12 seasons with the Bears, primarily as an area scout.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

One of the dominant storylines heading into Monday Night Football between the first-place Buccaneers and the last-place Steelers will be the things we didn’t expect to see. It’s the team that usually melts down against the team that actua...
Updated: 2 hours ago
McFarland on FitzMagic: ‘Play the guy with the hot hand’

McFarland on FitzMagic: ‘Play the guy with the hot hand’

TAMPA — Why wait until Monday Night Football? We got former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland, the field analyst for the ESPN crew, to break down the Bucs-Steelers matchup. In his straight-forward, brutally honest style, McFarland dissects...
Updated: 8 hours ago
How Booger McFarland rose from a Tampa FM station to ‘Monday Night Football’

How Booger McFarland rose from a Tampa FM station to ‘Monday Night Football’

TAMPA — When Booger McFarland auditioned for the new Monday Night Football broadcast team, producer Jay Rothman was blown away."I closed my eyes and said, 'Holy (bleep), I feel like I'm listening to football's Charles Barkley,'' Rothman said.Si...
Published: 09/22/18
Bucs have to be ‘reasonable,’ about their plan to play defensive tackle Vita Vea

Bucs have to be ‘reasonable,’ about their plan to play defensive tackle Vita Vea

Defensive tackle Vita Vea made it through practice this week, his first since straining his left calf muscle July 29. But coach Dirk Koetter was pretty non-committal about how much, or if, Vea will play Monday night against the Steelers."When you've ...
Published: 09/22/18

How Tampa Bay is savoring its FitzMagic carpet ride

TAMPA — Bucs fan Dallas Collins has it all planned out.On Monday night, he and his family are going to whip up an Irish Boiled Dinner. You know, corned beef, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and onions.Then they're going to sit down and watch the Buc...
Published: 09/22/18
Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

TAMPA — When placekicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter at New Orleans and a point-after attempt last week against the Eagles, he left the door open for a possible comeback by the Saints and Eagles.The Bucs...
Published: 09/21/18
Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

TAMPA — Shortly after he learned he would be starting the first three games this season, Ryan Fitzpatrick saw the opportunity to do something few thought would be possible.No, not take Jameis Winston's job.The Bucs starting quarterback was susp...
Published: 09/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

It's our mailbag episode, with questions about how many games the Bucs can win this season, the reason for their offensive explosion and what we can expect from Vita Vea this week against the Steelers.Plus, what moves should the Rays make this offsea...
Published: 09/21/18
FitzMagic is everywhere, even in Cleveland

FitzMagic is everywhere, even in Cleveland

It feels like there's FitzMagic in the air everywhere these days, even in Cleveland.When Baker Mayfield came off the bench Thursday night to lead the Browns to a 21-17 win over the Jets — Cleveland's first victory in 635 days — he became ...
Published: 09/21/18
Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

TAMPA — For the first time in seven weeks, Vita Vea played football Thursday.At least it looked like the rookie defensive tackle was playing football when he walked to the Bucs' practice field wearing a helmet and full pads and took a three-poi...
Published: 09/20/18