‘There was a blueprint’: GM John Lynch shares what drew him to the 49ers

Jul 16, 2021 at 10:56 AM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke with reporters this week as part of his Pro Football Hall of Fame media availability. The former NFL safety is part of the Class of 2021 and will be inducted next month in Canton, Ohio.

Lynch played 15 combined seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos before retiring in 2008. During that time, he registered 1,051 combined tackles, 26 interceptions, 13 sacks, and 16 forced fumbles, per ESPN. Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, four-time All-Pro, and Super Bowl champion.

Following Lynch's playing career, he spent time as a commentator for the NFL on FOX. Then in 2017, Lynch became the surprising choice for the 49ers' general manager vacancy. He had no previous executive experience.

Lynch spoke of joining the 49ers and what made the iconic Bay Area organization an ideal destination. Specifically, he was asked how former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, father of current 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, set a foundation for how Lynch handles the team-building process in San Francisco.

"I think a lot of what Mike believes in goes back to Bill Walsh on how you run an organization, doing things first class," Lynch explained. "So much of the foundation of how he ran it were things that he picked up coaching for the Niners. And so, inherently, I think that's kind of what drew me to the Niners, this idea of a place that had multiple championships, but there was a blueprint as to how you go about it.

"So, I do think there's a connection. Obviously, I'm [working] with his son. I think that's been talked about at great length. That's really not how Kyle and I connected, through his dad, but I'm sure it helped."

Lynch is entering his fifth season as the 49ers' general manager. While the team reached the Super Bowl during its 2019 campaign, injuries devastated the talented roster last season, and San Francisco earned just six total wins.

Lynch is obviously busy with his duties for the 49ers, hoping to help the team rebound. Still, the organization has been doing what it can to encourage its general manager to enjoy the entire experience of entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"Yes, I'm busy with my job, but the Niners have been great," Lynch shared. "This is something that I'm going to enjoy. I've worked long and hard for it. It's taken a while. I'll work right to the Thursday where I take off (for Canton), and I thought about skipping and going in just for Sunday, but Kyle was very helpful there. 'Man, you worked long and hard for this. You go enjoy the entire thing.' So, that's why you have a great team and people who will hold down the fort when I'm gone."

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