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Volume 27 No. 9
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49ers' Lynch, Shanahan Perfect Complements To Lead Franchise

The Lynch-Shanahan duo have brought the 49ers from rebuilding to the Super Bowl in just three years
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Lynch-Shanahan duo have brought the 49ers from rebuilding to the Super Bowl in just three years
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Lynch-Shanahan duo have brought the 49ers from rebuilding to the Super Bowl in just three years
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

49ers GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have "formed the perfect pair" three years into their tenure, and although they had never worked together before, they were "familiar with each other's accomplishments" prior to joining the team, according to Josh Dubow of the AP. Lynch "played his final four seasons" for Kyle's father, Mike Shanahan, with the Broncos, and then "spent years calling Kyle's games as an analyst on Fox." The two "complement each other well." Lynch has the "warmer personality and often plays the role of 'good cop,' while Shanahan is far more blunt and serves as the 'bad cop' when needed" (AP, 1/30). On Long Island, Bob Glauber writes Lynch is "turning his chance to be a front-office executive without a day's worth of previous experience into a potential Super Bowl championship." He "formed a unique bond" with Shanahan, who "got to know Lynch" when he was at Fox. When Shanahan "made it known that he was looking" for a GM to join him with the 49ers, Lynch "jumped at the chance." It has taken the two only three years to get to the Super Bowl, a "remarkable turnaround that should give all teams in similar rebuilding situations hope for the future." Lynch has done an "exceptional job of filling the team's needs, sometimes through the draft and free agency but also through a series of aggressive trades" (NEWSDAY, 1/31). Lynch said, "I typically don’t sign up for things that I don’t think, without the intention at least of becoming a champion. Fortunately, I found a great partner to work with in Kyle" (USA TODAY, 1/31).

MAKINGS OF A DYNASTY? SI.com's Michael Rosenberg wrote 49ers CEO Jed York "started getting things right" for the franchise when he realized former GM Trent Baalke "had to go." It was "time to start over." York "hired a brilliant coach" in Shanahan, and allowed him to have "input in hiring" a GM. Lynch at the time was "unproven, but he had two qualities that Baalke did not: He got along well with people, and he was comfortable being the public face of a team when it was struggling." Today, York's ownership tenure "looks a lot like the first few years" of Patriots Owner Robert Kraft's tenure (SI.com, 1/29).