Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Cracks in the Lynchahan Foundation?
A nothing burger.
To hear Eddie DeBartolo say it, he fired Bill Walsh a handful of times. In the midst of the most successful run of the 49ers franchise, it was John McVay’s job to stack a roster with championship-caliber players. Another responsibility he had that didn’t show up on his official list of duties was to make sure none of those firings lasted more then a few minutes.
Walsh was brought in as an offensive mastermind tasked with turning around a franchise mired in mediocrity. Eddie D was a young owner that wanted to bring a Lombardi trophy to San Francisco. Even though the team thrived under Walsh -- winning three Super Bowls and being anointed as the team of the ‘80s -- that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t sometimes tension between coach and owner. But the team succeeded in spite of it, and possibly because of it.
Last week Matt Miller from Bleacher Report cited an anonymous source saying there was growing tension between Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. He stated that Shanahan was unhappy with having to be involved in player evaluations and that he was beginning to lose trust in Lynch and Adam Peters as talent evaluators.
Shortly after the report came out, Shanahan sent Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area a text that simply said “complete [expletive].” Lynch later stated he would add “and utter” to Shanahan’s text. While Miller stands by his sources, journalists closer to the team, such as Maiocco, Chris Biderman, Matt Barrows, and Jennifer Lee Chan have said that they’ve seen nothing that would hint at tensions between the two top decision makers for the 49ers.
If there is some tension between the two, is it necessarily a bad thing? The entire offseason centers around the NFL draft, scouts and personnel people have logged countless miles, watched months of film, and written player evaluations that look more like short novels then simple memos. It’s a far reach to expect a scouting department to come to a consensus on a player, and if Lynch feels strongly about a player that he believes will help the team, but Shanahan believes in someone else there should be an argument.
Tensions should run high from time to time. Building a championship football team is hard, even though this rebuild was accelerated in their first season together with the addition of Jimmy Garoppolo, it doesn’t change the fact that the regime has won only 10 games in their first two seasons. As the saying goes “show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” I, for one, want these guys to get pissed from time to time, and sometimes at each other. Lynch has had his misses just like Shanahan has. But both of them should bang the table and fight for what they think is best for the franchise, if that adds a little tension to the room from time to time then so be it.
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