Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


John Lynch Is Ready for His Biggest Test

Apr 26, 2017 at 7:03 AM


When the 49ers announced John Lynch as general manager in February, it offered more questions for fans than answers.

This isn't a surprise since the same can be said of any new general manager, but Lynch was different. He had no background as a talent evaluator and no real front office experience on his resume. Yet the keys to the kingdom were his, leaving us to wonder if he would be up to the task of breathing new life into the 49ers.

Speaking to the media from the draft room where he'll make the first draft selection of his 49er tenure, Lynch shared his feelings about the upcoming milestone, "I can tell you that just last night I finally got to the point, I always knew as a player like, 'OK. I'm ready.' That moment was yesterday for me where I said, 'OK. I'm ready. I'm ready to go on this thing.' That's a good feeling."

We're all still wondering, but there's his answer.

Before free agency, the media was justifiably brutal about what Lynch was up against. No free agents would want to come to a toxic organization like San Francisco. Yet Lynch got them in the building and sold them on the future. Kyle Shanahan was a huge part of that, but the facilitator was Lynch. It not only improved the roster, it also validated fans who wanted someone willing to rebuild rather than reload, and every time a player put pen to paper on a contract Lynch took to Twitter to remind us that he's building something for all of us, #BrickByBrick.

The sort of success Lynch has had in his life naturally breeds self-assurance, and his brief time in Santa Clara has been free of any missteps that might discourage us. This is a man who has redefined all notions of what to expect from the 49ers front office in just a few months – he's open with fans and media without revealing his hand, he's built a talented team of scouts around him, even his press conference Monday was a break from what we've come to expect.

Yet with all this, it wasn't until Sunday that he felt prepared for the NFL Draft. Lynch has reassured fans with his confidence and it's been a welcome change, but he's also humble enough to know the truth of his new front office position. No one truly needs charisma from any general manager. Mostly, they need their general manager to deliver results for seven rounds every spring. It's the yardstick all general managers are measured by, especially those digging a franchise out of the gutter.

The entire offseason has been a prelude to Thursday night. It's the biggest stage the novice general manager has walked since coming to Santa Clara. The draft is more important than any hashtag, more critical for the future than any free agent, and – most of all – more damning if the picks don't lead to success on the field.

The Faithful know that last point by heart thanks to recent seasons – as does former general manager Trent Baalke.

Baalke wasn't charming, he wasn't open, and I doubt anyone cared about it until the 49ers were already fielding a terrible squad. No one lost sleep because Trent didn't care about hashtags and no one thinks that led to his failure. What continues to haunt the minds of fans isn't the gruff exterior of the former talent evaluator, it's the years of missed opportunities taking the field every Sunday in another team's uniform.

Perhaps that's what makes the draft so difficult: we all know who was on the board when Baalke picked a bust, and the clarity of hindsight offers little empathy. We watched entire draft classes go to waste as other teams found the players who led them to Lombardi trophies. Baalke's method of subtraction-by-addition took its toll, and while his feud with Harbaugh stings the most for fans, his drafting is what cost him his job.

That's the weight Lynch carries on his shoulders this week. It's his second draft day as a rookie, but the first where the power is in his hands. Free agency let Lynch dip his toes in the uncertain waters of fan expectations, but the draft will force him to dive in and swim.

It will be years before we really know whether Lynch is ready for his moment this Thursday. The picks will be made and met with enthusiasm or frustration. Trades may happen, adding to the alternate draft possibilities that we'll commit to memory as we wait to pass final judgement on the first selections made by the new general manager. While time waits to tell us the ends to these stories, right now John Lynch says he's ready.

And I'm ready to take him at his word.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



For third-straight year, Jimmy Garoppolo named as 49ers player who will have biggest impact on season

By David Bonilla
Jul 23, 2020

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may have endured a lot of criticism this offseason — you know, if he listened to the outside noise. He doesn't. Garoppolo seems focused on doing what he needs to do to be ready for the 2020 season rather than dwell on February's Super Bowl collapse. "You haven't seen any crazy media lash-outs from him, or him be down on himself, or anything like that," fullback Kyle Juszczyk said in May. "It's just Jim. He comes to work every day, works his butt off, has the same demeanor every day. The outside noise, it truly doesn't seem to affect him." That's good because there is a lot of pressure on Garoppolo. He'll be

Read the Full Article


Kyle Juszczyk once again ranked NFL's biggest outlier contract in 2020

By David Bonilla
Jul 27, 2020

Kyle Juszczyk is entering the final year of his four-year, $21 million deal. That is a lot of money for a fullback. Of course, few play-callers value the position as much as San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Bill Barnwell of ESPN once again ranked the NFL's biggest outlier contracts in 2020, and for the fourth year in a row, Juszczyk's deal comes in at No. 1. The deal is a whopping 132 percent above the position average. That's a significant gap. "The gap between him and the rest of the pack has fallen after the (Derek) Watt and (C.J.) Ham contracts were signed, but there's still a huge space

Read the Full Article


John Lynch calls reports of 49ers' interest in Jamal Adams 'totally inaccurate'

By David Bonilla
Jul 27, 2020

There were multiple reports that the San Francisco 49ers were among those contending to acquire former New York Jets safety Jamal Adams. The most recent came from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, who stated that both the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys were among the teams involved in trade discussions. General manager John Lynch calls those reports inaccurate. "Totally inaccurate," Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area. "We did not ever make a call about the player." The Jets ended up shipping the All-Pro safety to the

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by Michael Fitch

All Articles by Michael Fitch

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone