Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan once again makes a case for John Lynch to enter Hall of Fame

Jan 28, 2020 at 2:06 PM--

John Lynch could have a very good weekend coming up. He could learn on Saturday night that he will be among the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2020. Then on Sunday, he may be able to once again hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy, this time as the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has always been an advocate of Lynch being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He made a strong case for his GM and friend back in 2018.

"He was as physical a presence as there was in the league at the time," Shanahan said in 2018. "I don't know how many people are in two Ring of Honors in two different stadiums."

The Pro Football Hall of Fame passed on Lynch for its Class of 2019, but the former hard-hitting NFL safety is once again a finalist for the honor. Shanahan on Tuesday was once again asked to make a case for Lynch's induction.

"John's one of the guys I can remember growing up and watching as a fan," Shanahan said from the team's hotel in downtown Miami. "And I thought he was just unbelievable as a fan, which you don't always totally know as a fan because you don't get to see the right tape where you can see everything going on.

"But just watching him as a fan, the way he would fly around and hit, I would have always said [he deserves to be inducted], as a fan."

Once Shanahan joined the NFL coaching ranks as an offensive quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he had an opportunity to dive deep into some old team footage, which included Lynch.

Shanahan quickly realized that championship-caliber defense would not have been what it was without Lynch. The coach knew then that the former NFL safety was deserving of the Hall of Fame.

"And then I know what he did in Denver," Shanahan continued. "A lot of people thought his career was done because he had that huge neck injury. He went there, and I think he was there for four years. They went 13-3, got them to the AFC Championship Game.

"People acted like he was a Tampa 2 safety and things like that. Anybody watching that Denver defense that year, and they were running more all-out blitzes than anyone that I've seen in my entire career, by far. I mean, they were averaging about 10 to 15 a game.

"You wouldn't have thought that was John's No. 1 asset. He went there and did it as good as anyone. I think John could have done any scheme possible."

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