John Lynch got his first taste of front office life with the Denver Broncos, the team with which he played four seasons. The Broncos general manager, John Elway, took a similar path as Lynch, who is now the San Francisco 49ers general manager. Elway is a player turned general manager and went on to build a Super Bowl-winning team.

Lynch is also a player turned general manager. Although, his path took a detour into the broadcast booth. Lynch is also working to build a Super Bowl-caliber team and feels the 49ers are close.

Over several offseasons, Elway invited his friend, Lynch, to come to Denver and scout players for him and his staff.

"I was able to do that, and it started to kind of get my interest in, perhaps if the right situation ever came about, doing the same thing," Lynch said on Saturday morning. "Ultimately, it did in San Fran."

Elway had a lot of confidence in Lynch and helped push him toward the job with the 49ers. Their friendship and mutual respect for one another resulted in Lynch being able to bring in the Broncos director of college scouting, Adam Peters, who became San Francisco's VP of player personnel. Denver could have blocked the move, but didn't.

Elway had no doubts that Lynch could thrive as a general manager.

"First of all, I think he's temperament is very good," Elway told reporters after Saturday's practice, "and his football knowledge is very good, and the way that he deals with people, works with people, and his ability to evaluate, and knowledge of football.

"I think he was a guy that was a great competitor, and I thought that being a GM for him would be a really good fit."

Elway realizes Lynch has gotten off to a rocky start. San Francisco has won just 10 games since he was hired in January of 2017. Of course, much of that can be attributed to the mounting injuries sustained during that time. Lynch doesn't like excuses, though. Nor do fans. Both are expecting better things in 2019.

Elway knows something about losing seasons. His team has also played sub-.500 football over the past two years and hasn't finished better than third in the AFC West since winning the Super Bowl during the 2015 season.

"And I apologized a couple of times to him," Elway joked. "[I said,] 'I hope you still like [being a GM] because I don't like it after two losing years.'"

Lynch does enjoy it. At least, it appears that way. But like Elway, he doesn't enjoy losing and hopes his squad is ready to turn a corner.

The two GMs have gotten to spend a lot of time together over the past few days. The 49ers are in Denver for a preseason game on Monday night, and the two teams practiced together on Friday and Saturday.

"John was a tremendous resource," Lynch said. "He's a good friend, and we've got a lot of parallels from where we went to school, two-sport players, and I used to try to walk pigeon-toed, so I'd be more like him, and all of those things. Now to call him a friend.

"I think the little bit of time in an offseason when he had me come in here was very integral in my motivation to do this and saying, 'Hey, this might be something that someday I'd like to do.'

"He's been a tremendous resource. I have great respect and admiration for him and everything he's done."