Helen H. Richardson-The Denver Post

Helen H. Richardson-The Denver Post



Former NFL quarterback and current FOX sportscaster Troy Aikman met with the media in Houston on Tuesday and responded to some of the criticism from 'football people' around the league that have lambasted the unorthodox hiring of John Lynch as the new general manager of the San Francisco 49ers. Lynch, a former NFL safety and FOX analyst, has no front office experience. That lack of experience has spawned much discussion around the league about his potential for success.

The opinions have been divided among the media, with many who know Lynch praising the hire and many who do not know Lynch criticizing it. Names like FOX insider Jay Glazer, NFL Network analyst Brian Billick, and former 49ers tight end Brent Jones have all supported and shown excitement about the hiring of Lynch, while others like NFL Network's Charlie Casserly are critical of the move.

"There's this notion by a lot of people in football, you know, a lot of 'football people,' that are general managers, that they scoff at the idea that a former player could ever do their job," Aikman said. "And the reason that they do, they say, 'What do they know? What do they know about evaluating players? What do they know about managing a roster and all that?'

"Well, what we as former players know is we know what a championship locker room looks like. We know what team chemistry – what that means (and) the importance of that. John Elway, he knew what a championship team looked like because he played. He was in the middle of it. A lot of these so-called 'football guys,' they don't know. They undervalue certain things that may be more important than they give it credit for and John's gone on and had a lot of success in Denver doing it his way.

"I don't doubt for a minute that John Lynch will have success as well. Whether he'll win a Super Bowl within his first couple of years, who knows? But I do think he'll do a great job."

On Sunday, Lynch accepted the offer to become the 49ers' general manager. He reportedly impressed 49ers CEO Jed York with his leadership and communication skills, as well as his link to former coach Bill Walsh, who coached Lynch at Stanford 25 years ago.

"As we learned more and more about John, it became apparent that he was not only one of the best to ever play this game but also a Hall of Fame caliber man, one who people are compelled to follow," York said via a statement issued by the 49ers on Monday.