Jed York and the Warfare for Class
Earlier today Jed York held his yearly "Morbidity and Mortality" conference; His what-hopefully-will-not-be yearly press conference in which he explains his recent coaching firings and makes his case for trying to better the team.
Jed walked out to a packed media room and looked anxious. He knew he was going to be grilled about the firing of General Manager Trent Baalke and, more shockingly, Head Coach Chip Kelly. Nearly every analyst, radio host, and fan knew that Baalke would be gone after this season, but Kelly was certainly a surprise. After the loss Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks and the announcement of Kellys firing, the fan base has been understandably frantic. Not as much as when Jim Harbaugh was fired, but moreso than when Jim Tomsula was.
Jed couldn't have started the conference any better. The first words out of his mouth were words fans have wanted to hear for quite some time.
"I'd like to apologize to the fans..."
With those words the press conference simultaneously felt new and nostalgic all at once. The rush of hearing and feeling something new and a confidence we haven't heard mixed with the sting of nostalgia brought on by the same platitudes spoken in years past.
Jed had to go on defense early, having to endure questions that bordered on attacks from Tweedle-Ann and Tweedle-Lowell. Sadly this made him dance around nearly every question. The usual buzzwords came out. "Class" was said nearly 20 times. Winning culture was mentioned in at least 4 answers.
So what info did we get?
As one would expect, Eddie DeBartolo was brought up as a pseudo-mentor/advisor/confidante. How much he may listen to him or what advice Jed is given is up to interpretation. With Baalke fired though, Eddie may be Jed's only mentor source for right now. That could end up being one of the better revelations to come out.
Also as one would expect, Paraag Marathe will be sitting in on interviews with potential GM candidates and potentially HC candidates as well. Obviously this is a scary thought, as Paraag may be the one person at 4949 Centennial who knows less about football than Jed. But like Liam Neeson, Paraag has a very particular set of skills. Obviously he is brilliant with player contracts and maximizing the value of a player to a team and vice versa, but his attention to detail when doing research and analysis is unquestionable. The amount of knowledge he brings with Jed when entering an interview could potentially be invaluable. If rumors are to be believed, Jed and Paraag were smitten with Adam Gase, only to be swayed towards choosing Jim Tomsula by Baalke.
So where does this info leave us? Will we find the next Bill Walsh? Someone to create the "Best Coast Offense" and create an offensive toolbox of players to make it "lit, fam"? That all comes down to Jed York. Jed needs to take stock in not just finding the person who's best for business, but the person who's best for the organization. Jed will need to find a general manager who will challenge themself to get better, and to get out of their comfort zone. Jed will also need to find a Head Coach to work with his new General Manager to take the players he's been given, develop them into the best players they can be, and scheme them towards their strengths.
To put it in the most simplest of terms, Jed needs to win. Because when you win, no one questions the culture you've created.