It probably took less than an hour for John Lynch to be asked the question inside 49ers headquarters. Maybe less than 10 minutes. News broke that assistant general manager Adam Peters was turning down interview requests for two open general manager positions and choosing to stay with the 49ers.
“Somebody just came up and said, ‘Hey, man, is there something I should know?'” John Lynch said, laughing during a phone interview Wednesday. I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘I’m getting all these calls that, you know, people infer that you’re leaving.’numberI’m good.'”
No, Lynch isn’t ready to go anywhere, just as Peters isn’t ready to go anywhere. First, the 49ers’ biggest football executives focus on this playoff run, which begins Saturday against Seahawks. And secondly, while Peters is probably the best option to eventually move to the ’49ers’ GM position if Lynch chooses to go to TV or elsewhere, that doesn’t happen now or potentially this offseason.
“I think Adam just came in and said, ‘Look, I respect these two places, but I’m so happy here,’” Lynch said. “I think that’s great. You know, Adam is from here (Cupertino) and he’s a big part of what we’ve done. It was big for me. At the same time, I’m a friend. I said, “Pete, maybe I should at least talk to these people.” But he was found guilty here. And his family is happy. So I love that, and I think, yeah, we have a place where people want to be.
“We’re focused on this week, but I think there’s a good feeling that we’re going to be a good team and organization for a long time to come and people want to be a part of that.”
Lynch, of course, was hounded hard by Amazon Prime this latest season, and it’s likely he’ll always be getting big money from the networks. He admitted in November that he was close to taking the Amazon jobWorth $15 million a year, but he decided he couldn’t leave the 49ers on “unfinished business.” So if the 49ers win the Super Bowl in February, Lynch is likely to seriously listen to a great show. But until then, it looks like he’s ready to stick around.
There’s a great deal of stability that permeates this franchise, even after a somewhat turbulent season in which the 49ers had to play three quarterbacks and may have ended up with the best fit of them all – rookie rookie Brooke Purdy Heading into the playoffs and beyond. Lynch and Kyle Shanahan also made the big trade in the middle of the season Christian McCaffrey, which seemed to be here forever basically from the moment it came out. They have the #1 defense in the league, full of stars.
The 49ers could win the Super Bowl this season. Maybe they don’t. But six seasons into the Shanahan/Lynch era, they never seemed ideally primed to push this farther and higher. and together. Why wouldn’t Peters want to hang around during the 49ers’ potential boom?
This was as good a starting point as any for my scheduled check-in with Lynch on Wednesday, right after the 49ers had practiced in the wind, rain and whatever else was thrown out outside Levi’s Stadium – just as expected on Saturday afternoon.
Here are some other highlights from our conversation…
How did the practice go in all this rain?
It was good because it looks like we’ll be playing in it on Saturday.
Do you think your team is well suited to this kind of weather in a do-or-die game?
I think we’re ready to be a good rain team. We are somewhat complete. We do a lot of different things well. We stop running, we manage the ball well. Usually these are things (important in the weather). Brock (didn’t play in inclement weather) obviously grew up in Arizona, but at Iowa he’s dealt with a lot of bad weather. So I think he’s equipped to do that.
You’ve been through three QBs and all of that this season, but it looks like you and Kyle have stuck to pretty much the same roster-building principles. What do you think this season tells us about your operation?
The thing I think I’m probably proud of, because we’ve spent some money since we’ve been here – part of the reason it’s such a good business (was) because they didn’t (spend a lot of money) before we got here (in February 2017), so you You want to hear these things, and they’re committed to doing it. We were somewhat aggressive. But at some point, you have to strike a balance. I think the last (off-season) was one of those years for us.
That said, we’re still coming out and probably knew we had one important move, and for us, it was two things: re-signing Deebo (Samuel) and then Carvarius Ward In terms of free agency. really happy. We were all ready to find a first class corner. Then beeping at that Charvarius was the guy. It was great for us. I really like everything from his mentality to his abilities.
We’ve been focused on special teams, but one thing Kyle and I have always agreed on is that we don’t want just a guy (he only plays on special teams). (Bill) Belichick will do that, and I’ve served him well, but we don’t want guys who are just special teams players. We want players who can contribute both to offense and defence. And I think we saw that from Ray Ray for sure; Oren plays fullback on limited shots, but plays well when he does. Ray Ray’s ability to come back… I feel like he’s just getting started. He’s about to pop one. And I think George Odom was in control. I think he should be an All-Pro with the way he’s been playing, especially lately. I am really proud of our staff for these moves.
Of course, a lot of focus is on Purdy, the rookie QB playing at this level. But he was a seventh-round pick, and the last pick of the entire draft. How close are you to not picking him up?
We kind of came up with a stated goal of, hey, somewhere late in the draft, let’s take a quarterback that we really believe in. As we do with later parts of the draft, the month prior to I told this story, Steve Slowik, who’s now a professional scout and brother of Bobby Slowik, our pass game coordinator, was the district scout. So his reports were more about the person than the player. He’s talking to (Iowa State coach) Matt Campbell. And Matt Campbell was, “This guy changed the program. Just listen to me, you’re going to get a special player.”
We had some high marks on it. His senior year is likely to be higher than his junior year. But the process that we usually do, in the latter half of the draft, we’re going to hand over a bucket of players (for hiring coaches). (QB coach Brian) Griese and (assistant QB coach) Klay Kubiak, we had a bucket of about eight guys, and they really, early on in the process, became fans of Brock. … They went really deep, Zoom meetings and all that, they got more and more damning on Brock. Once we sort of crossed off our checklist of everything we thought we needed was, “Okay, we need a couple more corners…” Once we did that and Brock was still there, we wanted him as a free agent. We didn’t know if it was going to last. Once we got down to that last selection and checked off all the other boxes, it was, “Let’s go ahead and take our quarterback. We love this kid. We’re into it, let’s not leave it to chance.”
And I never asked Brock, I kept telling myself I would, but I don’t want to mess with his head now: “Would you have come as a free agent?” I hope he does. (Laughs).
I think the thing that probably surprised all of us, is that he’s a better athlete than any of us expected. I saw him run a little bit in Iowa, but you never know how that will translate. But he has some sports for him. Last week, he ran away early in the game and got the advantage at defensive linemen, ending up getting 12-13 yards. I mean, these are big deals when you move the chains. He’s done it over and over again.
Things can always and often change this season in this position, but Purdy’s performance now looks like it does Jimmy GaroppoloFirst big hit of 2017, and Garoppolo was instantly your starting QB into 2018. Is Purdy the starting quarterback next season?
I know it’s my job, but I was really focused on, like, let’s not go over there. Let’s ride this thing. I’m going to need Kyle to share. I have my own ideas. But I really tried to focus on that, let’s keep taking this as it is. We will find a solution.
We left a really good situation with a guy we moved a lot for (2021 first round pick) Trey (Lance). We still love his skills. And Brooke was more than we could have asked for. We loved him so much, but I would tell people, “Yeah, we waited until the last pick in the draft.” (Laughs).
The only thing I will say, sports, putting it into a game, surprised us. But from day one, he’s been performing at a high level here. OTAs, all of it. Everyone looks at each other, “Wow, that guy’s got some guts.” He threw in small windows, and was effective. It performed from the start, but you never know until you throw it out there. The same can be said now we will play playoff football. How will he respond? But he’s checked every box so far, so I don’t expect to see anything different.
Plus there’s a seventh-round contract, plus Lance’s rookie contract where two QBs will definitely help determine your paycheck next season.
And the way we’re set up, we’ve got a lot of high-paid guys (in other jobs). How do you do that? You don’t pay your quarterback what some people pay your quarterback. There was definitely some strategy when we were thinking about switching to Trey and all that. This is how we can keep this team together. This is one possible way. Who knows where we’ll go? I think we’re doing well, though.
Here’s why the 49ers have a championship profile
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