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Charlie Casserly very critical of John Lynch hiring

Jan 31, 2017 at 10:22 AM


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Those who actually know new general manager John Lynch have praised the hire by the San Francisco 49ers. 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. Those who do not know Lynch personally have been critical of the hire because of his lack of front office experience. Lynch was an NFL safety turned analyst for NFL games on FOX. You can add NFL Media's Charlie Casserly to Lynch's list of critics.

Casserly joined "Good Morning Football" on NFL Network on Tuesday to discuss the 49ers' hiring of Lynch. "First of all, I don't think there's any question San Francisco wants to win and they're desperate to win," Casserly said. "Number two, I don't know John Lynch, I've never interviewed John Lynch, so I can't have an opinion on John Lynch. But I'll say this, George Paton was staying at the end, the assistant general manager of Minnesota. He's extremely qualified, would have been an excellent choice. I would have taken George Paton in a minute. No question about him.

"The second thing is, how is this going to be successful? Lynch is going to have to figure out who his right-hand man is. Who's the guy that he's going to have to turn to, to give him advice on personnel decisions because he doesn't know the college draft and he really doesn't know the league? In television, you know the top of the league but you really don't know the bottom of the league and that's essential too. So, that person, whoever it is, he should be paid more than Lynch because that's going to be the most important guy in the organization over the next couple of years. Who's going to teach him to be a general manager? That's something that's important too.

"The other thing is that you're hiring a rookie head coach in Kyle Shanahan. I love Kyle Shanahan. I've known him for years. I think he's going to be a terrific head coach, but he's still a rookie. A veteran personnel guy who knows all the aspects of pro scouting, college scouting, the salary cap, how to build a team, the league rules – that's the kind of guy I would have wanted to match with Shanahan.

"One last thing – the draft. John Lynch doesn't know the first thing about the draft. He couldn't know about it. In the draft, it's history. You look at a player and then where would he fit into history? That's how you balance it. If you're just going to turn it over to the coaches – maybe yes, maybe no – it's worked in Atlanta because [head coach Dan] Quinn had a fantastic draft and he ran it this year, but it doesn't always work that way. So I wouldn't have done it. George Paton would have been the general manager of San Francisco if I was running it."

Casserly on Lynch: 'Certainly it's a surprise'

In Casserly's defense, his opinion on NFL Network was shared prior to the hiring of Denver Broncos director of college scouting Adam Peters to serve as the 49ers' vice president of player personnel. That was a big hire for the 49ers and Peters is a very respected talent evaluator.

The 49ers also plan to keep assistant general manager Tom Gamble through at least the draft, giving Gamble a chance to prove himself to Lynch. Gamble has been running the scouting department since the firing of former general manager Trent Baalke.

There has also been talk that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik would join the 49ers front office in some capacity.

Casserly was the general manager of the Washington Redskins from 1989 to 1999. He served as senior vice president and general manager for the Houston Texans from 2000 to 2006.
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