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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan to Aaron Lynch: ‘We need to see it from you’

Jun 19, 2017 at 4:13 PM--

Pass-rushing linebacker Aaron Lynch has been one of the numerous topics of conversation this offseason for San Francisco 49ers beat writers. The edge defender reportedly showed up to the team's offseason program overweight. Last season, Lynch admittedly lost focus following a four-game suspension and even hit the 300-pound mark.

"I don't think my mind was in the right place," said Lynch in May.

Lynch's listed weight is 270 pounds and the linebacker stated that his ideal weight would be somewhere between 260 and 270 pounds. In May, he said that he was in the 280-pound range.

With a new 49ers coaching staff in place, Lynch's attitude appears to have changed this offseason.

"I'm working my [butt] off right now, getting down to the [weight] I need to get to, doing everything they want me to do," Lynch said. The 49ers coaching staff has reportedly been happy with his progress this offseason. However, that did not stop the team from experimenting with Arik Armstead at the Leo position – a spot reserved for a defense's top pass rusher. The 49ers also signed pass-rushing specialist Elvis Dumervil to a two-year deal earlier this month.

Having to battle for the spot that has been reserved for him in previous years may have motivated Lynch. Of course, a conversation with head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch may have had something to do with it as well.

Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area joined the Taylor Price Talk podcast last week and discussed Lynch, the conversation that he had with the 49ers' new head coach and general manager, and how the linebacker will have to fight to earn a role on the roster.

"A motivated Aaron Lynch can be one heck of a player," Maiocco said. "The problem is that 'Aaron Lynch' and 'motivation' usually don't go together in the same sentence unless the words 'is not' are also in that sentence."

Maiocco did point out that Lynch did look to be in "pretty good shape" toward the end of the 49ers' offseason program, which wrapped up on Thursday. The team will not officially reconvene until training camp kicks off at the end of July.

"Here's what I know," Maiocco said as he began to describe the meeting between the player, head coach, and general manager. "I know, early on, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan had a conversation with Aaron Lynch and they said, 'We need to see it from you. You need to be committed. You need to work hard. You need to do everything necessary to fight and scratch and win a spot on this team.'

"Initially, they were not at all impressed. That talk really didn't have much of an impact. I think maybe he kind of looks around now and [says], 'Holy cow.' He's working behind Arik Armstead at that Leo position. They bring in Elvis Dumervil. If Elvis Dumervil is a fraction of what he's been in his prime, he's pretty clearly a good option to be the nickel pass rusher. So where does that leave Aaron Lynch? Well, it leaves Aaron Lynch fighting and Aaron Lynch fighting for a spot is a good thing."

Defensive tackle Quinton Dial told Maiocco that there was a play during a minicamp practice where Lynch blew an assignment, allowing the running back who he was covering to score.

"That kind of stuff, even though it's a practice in June, it doesn't go unnoticed," Maiocco added. "It's acceptable in June. But if that same mistake is being made the first week of training camp and then it's made again the third week of training camp – and even if it's just in a practice and not in a game – that stuff carries an impact."

You can listen to the entire interview with Maiocco on the Taylor Price Talk podcast.


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