San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke to reporters following Tuesday's practice. It was the first time Lynch has publicly spoken since the death of Bay Area icon Dwight Clark on Monday after his battle with ALS.

As a tribute to the legendary 49ers receiver, the team's staff and employees, including Lynch, all wore matching shirts with a silhouette of "The Catch" and Clark's No. 87 on them. They were the same shirts given out to fans during "Dwight Clark Day" at Levi's Stadium on October 22, 2017.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was the only one who wore a different shirt, but it was still a No. 87 jersey-style shirt.

"I think the one thing that's been impressed upon me since I've been here, I think just the love that this community and this fanbase had for Dwight," Lynch said. "You think of Ronnie (Lott), and you think of Jerry (Rice), but what I learned when I came here is that Dwight is right there."

Lynch remembers meeting with Clark after taking on the general manager job with the 49ers.

"I think, gosh, in my second week on the job, Jed (York) asked him to come up," Lynch said. "I had met Dwight a few times, but Jed asked him to come up, and I think there were some parallels, him coming from the player route into that role (EVP and director of football operations, general manager) that he served.

"And we just talked, and we visited, and talked about his challenge. I gave him my best. But really, he was more there for me and just talking about some pointers and whatnot. I will always value that.

"On one other occasion, I went down with Keena (Turner) to one of those lunches down in Capitola and laughed the entire time because he made us laugh. [It was] just a treat to get to know him."

What advice did Clark give Lynch when the two spent time together at the request of 49ers CEO Jed York?

"His advice was, 'Trust your instincts. You know football,'" Lynch said. "It was very similar to what John Elway told me, who came from a similar path. 'Don't make this more than it is. Hire good people around you.' And then, like you'd expect out of Dwight, 'Also, have some fun doing this. It should be fun. This is football. You had fun playing. Have some fun in this role. Don't take it too seriously.'

"That will always stick with me."

The current 49ers regime has done a fantastic job of embracing the franchise's history while trying to re-create what made those teams so special. In addition to honoring former 49ers greats, the team has invited them to speak to the current players as a reminder of what the organization is striving toward.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan asked former linebacker Keena Turner, who currently serves as the Vice President and Special Advisor to the General Manager, to speak to the entire team before Tuesday's practice about Clark's impact on the organization.

"Those [former players] earned that," Lynch said. "We have to earn it. When we ask these guys to be around, it's not to try to use them for anything other than a great example of what we strive to be. We really know that we have to go create that ourselves. But, gosh, when those guys come out here -- we showed a film today, and I think the guys really enjoyed that. I think they really enjoyed Keena talk about his teammate, and why he was so important to their turnaround and their becoming champions."

The 49ers hope to honor Clark in some way during the upcoming season.

"We're talking about a lot of things," Lynch said. "I know (49ers president) Al Guido is talking with the league about what we can do and I know there's always approval there, but I promise you we'll come up with a nice way to honor him. I think not only nice but fitting. He deserves it. He's earned it.

"I've talked about how beloved he is with this fanbase, and he earned that. So I think we'll do the right thing and be happy to do so."