Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New 49ers GM Lynch confident he can do job

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ever since watching John Elway step into an NFL front office in Denver and build a Super Bowl champion, former Bucs safety John Lynch was intrigued about leaving the broadcast booth for a management job.

That process sped up rapidly a few weeks ago when Lynch called Atlanta offensive coordinator and the presumptive next coach of the 49ers Kyle Shanahan after calling a Falcons playoff game.

Lynch told Shanahan he'd be interested in a front-office job and Shanahan quickly relayed that information to San Francisco CEO Jed York.

After several phone conversations with York and Niners chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe, the process sped up. Lynch met with York and Marathe for an in-person meeting last week and then flew to Atlanta to sit down with Shanahan as well.

It all led to the surprise Sunday night when San Francisco handed the general manager job to a person who has spent his entire career as a player and broadcaster.

"I know what I don't know," Lynch said in a conference call Monday. "I won't tell you I've had 20 years in front offices working my way up. What I do know, is I know football. I'd put my football acumen up with most in this league. I know people and I know how to lead."

Lynch has plenty of work to do after taking over a team that went just 2-14 this past season leading to the firing of general manager Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly and had a depleted roster that didn't include a player who got a single vote for the All-Pro team.

Lynch, who is spending this week at the Super Bowl in Houston finishing his work for Fox, said he has been on the phone almost constantly talking since getting the job talking to people about joining the organization.

Getting a new head coach will have to wait another week. Shanahan is the only remaining candidate, but can't sign a contract until after the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Lynch did not hold back on his praise for the son of his former coach in Denver, Mike Shanahan.

"I thought he was the catch of this head coaching cycle. I really did," Lynch said. "It's one of the best years I've seen a coordinator have."

The relationship between Lynch and his coach will be key to success for the Niners. Conflicts between former coach Jim Harbaugh and Baalke eventually led to Harbaugh's ouster following the 2014 season, speeding the descent for the franchise that went to three straight NFC title games and one Super Bowl from 2011-13.

After just seven wins the past two years under Jim Tomsula and Kelly, York set out to overhaul the operation with finding a coach and general manager who can work well together.

Lynch would not give specifics in how the control of the roster will be divided, but stressed that he wanted a "true partnership" with his coach.

"One common denominator in places where they have successful cultures and results, everyone is working in the same direction," Lynch said. "In places that are inconsistent or consistently poor franchises, you can see it."

Lynch said he knows it will take time to earn the trust of skeptics who doubt whether someone with no front-office experience is capable of being a general manager.

"John is a guy I've built a relationship with over the years," Shanahan said Monday. "He's a guy who lives and dies football. Very smart guy who really wanted to get back into it so he can compete on Sunday and there is actually a win or (loss) at the end of the game. We had some talks together. I'm excited about it."

Shanahan also met with two other candidates who are current NFL executives: Terry McDonough (Cardinals) and George Paton (Vikings).

"John is a guy I have a lot of respect for as man, as a person, and also from his football knowledge," Shanahan said.

The previous person to make the jump from the broadcast booth to the GM role without any experience was Matt Millen, who had a 31-84 record during his time in charge of Detroit from 2001-08.

But Lynch said he hasn't always taken the most traditional route in his career. He came to Stanford as a quarterback who also played minor-league baseball before coach Bill Walsh convinced him that safety was his best route to the NFL.

After struggling to get on the field early in his career, Lynch went on to have a stellar career that included three All-Pro selections and a Super Bowl title in Tampa Bay that has made him a Hall of Fame finalist this year.

"There are a lot of things in my life that haven't been conventional," he said. "I appreciate that Jed was willing to think outside the box."

York called Lynch a "world-class competitor" who has earned respect around the league for his work ethic and passion going back to his playing days.

"Having already helped lead a team to a Super Bowl title as a player, John is equipped with tremendous insight into what it takes to create a culture that breeds sustained success," York said in a statement.

"Having spent the last eight seasons as an analyst with Fox, he has honed his skills as a talented communicator while also developing valuable relationships around the league and a vast knowledge of the NFL that will be beneficial to our team."

Comments
Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Late-round NFL draft picks are often made on a wing and a prayer.The Bucs' fourth-round pick Saturday will be no different. The team announced Monday that as part of the NFL draft TV broadcast, the team's fourth-round pick will be delivered to an ann...
Published: 04/23/18
How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

TAMPA — The buzz surrounding this year's NFL draft is a class of talented quarterbacks deep enough to challenge the record six taken in the first round in 1983, a group that included future Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.Th...
Published: 04/22/18
Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Former NFL kicker Jay Feely, who was born in Odessa and starred at Tampa Jesuit, has apologized for a photo he intended as a joke, showing him holding a gun as he poses with his daughter and her prom date."Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a...
Published: 04/22/18
Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely able to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother, S...
Published: 04/21/18
Bucs not listening to outsiders, but expectations remain high for 2018

Bucs not listening to outsiders, but expectations remain high for 2018

TAMPA —Wait 'til this year seems to be the refrain at One Buc Place, even though the team was strangled by expectations in 2017. But a solid offseason that has already brought a rebuilt defensive line, new center and place-kicker has renewed th...
Published: 04/21/18
NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

TAMPA — The NFL draft is one big game of Liar's Poker. Deal me out.Even the guys with a seat at the table don't know when someone is bluffing.Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows that the team's No. 7 overall pick this year will be affected b...
Published: 04/20/18
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Published: 04/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

The NFL did the Bucs no favors with their 2018 schedule, Rick Stroud says, making them open at New Orleans, followed by home games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Plus, linebacker Kendall Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle, p...
Published: 04/20/18
Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions. The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

TAMPA – Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle he suffered in a car accident in Louisiana last week, putting his status for the start of the season in question.Beckwith was passenger in car driven by former L...
Published: 04/19/18