Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports



Former NFL safety and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist John Lynch has no front office experience. Yet on Sunday night, he found himself accepting a front office job at the highest level within the San Francisco 49ers organization. Lynch is the 49ers' new general manager and in a week's time, he will be joined by his new head coach, current Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

The Lynch hiring was a surprising one that sent shockwaves throughout the NFL. It was an unorthodox hire, which some – for obvious reasons – are comparing to the Detroit Lions' hiring of Matt Millen back in 2001. But where Millen failed, Lynch hopes to succeed and Peter King of TheMMQB believes he can. Of course, the former FOX analyst will have to surround himself with good people in order to do so.

It may seem strange that the 49ers made such an unorthodox hire. After all, it was just two years ago that fans were in shock of the hiring of a position coach in Jim Tomsula to become the new head coach of the franchise following in the footsteps of Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula did have minimal experience, though. He served as a head coach in NFL Europe and, for one game, as an interim head coach for the 49ers. Still, that experience was minimal.

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Lynch has even less experience. None actually. So what did 49ers CEO Jed York have to say about the unexpected hiring when the team had two experienced candidates in Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough, both of whom interviewed with Shanahan and the 49ers over the weekend?

"Nothing is guaranteed," York said late Sunday night via TheMMQB. "But so many opportunities are missed in the NFL because people don't want to do something different. We're okay with that, because I am confident in Kyle and John. John has watched John Elway, and how he's built a team in Denver. As easy as it is to say he hasn't built a team yet—I get that—I talk to Kyle, and he says John is the most prepared of all the TV [people] he meets in the production meetings before games. We understand we'll have to live with growing pains, but I'm willing to do that because I believe the upside with both of them is so great."

"I know Lynch," King wrote in his report. "He knows his limitations. He knows he needs a couple of great scouts to help him."

The 49ers and their fans hope that Lynch can learn quickly on the job and that the pairing with Shanahan will be a good one because a lot of work needs to be done on the San Francisco roster. There is no doubt that Lynch is respected around the league, even by Shanahan, who has spoken to him multiple times as the TV personality prepared for his game broadcasts on FOX. Shanahan always left impressed with Lynch's preparation for the interviews. Lynch will have to use that league-wide respect to help Shanahan rebuild the 49ers' once great roster. With both Lynch and Shanahan receiving six-year contracts with the 49ers, both will certainly have the time to do it.