From a dark corner, Jed York, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch entered the San Francisco 49ers press room. As the cameras clicked and the stage creaked, the three men took their seat.
In a scene that's become all too familiar to 49ers fans across the globe, CEO Jed York opened the press conference to introduce Kyle Shanahan as the new head coach and John Lynch as the new general manager.
"There’s a lot of work in front of us. There’s certainly not a lot of time to celebrate on just making a hire," said York.
John Lynch, a potential Hall of Fame safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos, had a hard time not smiling through his opening statement.
"Today’s about the future of this team and Jed talked about it’s time to get to work," said Lynch. "The work’s already started and we’re having a lot of fun putting this thing together. "
It's been a long time since fans heard the word 'fun' uttered from the 49ers executive office.
Lynch was quick to mention Bill Walsh, Mike Shanahan and Dennis Green, along with what the 49ers once stood for.
Kyle Shanahan, the NFL's Assistant Coach of the Year, also provided his own history with the 49ers. He shared moving out to the Bay Area as a sixth grader and sleeping in his dad's room during training camp at Sierra College in Rocklin.
“Our connecting roommate was [former 49ers offensive line coach] Bob McKittrick, I was a ball boy for the O-Line the entire time there,” said Shanahan.
Both Lynch and Shannon signed six-year contracts with the 49ers, a rare type of deal for general managers and coaches in the NFL.
"I think in talking to Kyle, he was very direct with what he wants to do with the team and how he wants to build this thing and get it right," said York. "He knows that he’s going to have the leeway to do that and he’s going to have the time to do that and we need to make sure that we commit to building something that we’re going to all be proud of when it’s all said and done."
This was a strikingly different outlook for York, who just three years ago said, "It’s up to us to make sure we compete for and win Super Bowls. "That’s our only goal. We don’t raise division championship banners, we don’t raise NFC Championship banners. We raise Super Bowl banners."
With three 49ers quarterbacks starting the 2017 season on the free agent list, and Colin Kaepernick likely to also enter free agency, Shanahan fielded questions about the future of the position.
"Everyone wants the best quarterback in the league," said Shanahan. "Everyone wants the best left tackle in the league, the best receiver. That’s what you’re always trying to find and that’s what you’re always looking for as a personnel staff and that’s what you’re always hoping to get as a coach."
In a question posed to York from Eric Branch with the San Francisco Chronicle referenced Lynch's desire to keep his interview secret because “he (Lynch)had heard about a culture of leaking information from the 49ers and he wanted to see if you (York) and chief strategy officer & executive vice president, football operations Paraag Marathe could keep that information private."
Branch went on to ask York if the culture of leaks had made York "reevaluate anything."
"We talked about a lot of things openly and directly, but I don’t think we delved deeply into that," said York. "He brought up some of the media reports of that being an issue and obviously, nobody knew that we interviewed John. It didn’t come out and I think that speaks to the culture that we have in this building."
York then finished off his answer by fantasizing about a Super Bowl parade down Market Street.
During the latter half of the press conference, Lynch announced a new front office hire. Martin Mayhew, former general manager for the Detroit Lions, will join the 49ers front office as a senior personnel executive.
Although the 49ers enter the off-season a full month behind many other teams, Shanahan is jumping right in, crunch film and determine what needs his new team has before making any major player moves.
"Before we can look into anything, free agency, draft, anything, you have to know what the players on your team are," said Shanahan. "That doesn’t happen from just turning on a game. That happens from watching a lot of stuff. It takes a lot of time. It is a process. I am a little bit behind right now, but I have the time to do it and I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to get started on it."