Cris Carter compares 49ers' hiring of Lynch to Detroit's failure with Millen

Cris Carter compares 49ers' hiring of Lynch to Detroit's failure with Millen

HOUSTON -- Cris Carter, a former NFL on FOX colleague of new 49ers general manager John Lynch, has seen this whole scene play out in the past.

And it does not have a great ending, he said.

The 49ers on Sunday night made the surprising hire of Lynch as general manager after he spent 15 seasons in the NFL as a nine-time Pro Bowl safety and the past eight years in the broadcast booth.

Count Carter among the skeptics that such a move can be successful.

“Matt Millen was seven seasons in Detroit, all right?” Carter told CSNBayArea.com on Tuesday. “That’s the model we’re going off of. Matt Millen was doing TV, was great on TV, was the No. 1 announcer besides John Madden. And he decides to take over the Detroit Lions.

“He spent seven seasons there. They never had a winning season. And they also went 0-16. So that is the John Lynch model. OK? So you can try to make up all kind of stuff. They’ve looked at film. This is unprecedented.”

The Lions went 31-81 in Millen’s seven seasons as general manager until he was fired after the 2007 season. Left with Millen’s abysmal roster, the Lions went 0-16 in 2008.

Carter said Lynch’s ability to work together with presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan is the least of the organization’s concerns. Lynch wasted no time in making a move to add a top lieutenant -- former New England and Denver scout Adam Peters, who was named vice president of player personnel.

“John’s a worker,” Carter said. “John will mesh. John can get along with anyone who’s a worker. He’s going to lay the hammer down. He’s going to put a great support system around him. But, I mean, this has been done a couple times. And a couple times it’s failed.”

As a new member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February 2013, Carter recalled watching the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens. He reflected on how quickly the 49ers have fallen with a roster that turned to dust under the leadership of general manager Trent Baalke.

Baalke and coach Chip Kelly were fired after the 49ers went 2-14, including a franchise-worst 13-game losing streak.

“That team and that organization, from February 2013 – just four years ago -- they are a million miles away from that spot right there,” Carter said.

“So, you ask me, did they get back closer to that spot? I know they tell you in the media, ‘I don’t know’ is not an answer. But, man, in this situation, I don’t know."

John Lynch explains how Dee Ford can make 49ers defense dominant force

John Lynch explains how Dee Ford can make 49ers defense dominant force

PHOENIX — General manager John Lynch wants to make the 49ers' defense a dominant force in the NFL and he thinks the signing of Dee Ford can help him achieve that vision.

There are currently four first-round picks on the 49ers' defensive line; Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and now Ford.

Buckner had his best season in 2018, registering 12 sacks, 67 tackles, 44 of which were solo and 17 for a loss. He also recorded 20 quarterback hits. Lynch detailed how adding Ford will increase Buckner's productivity.  

“We felt we were just missing that edge piece,” Lynch said. “If we just had one guy there. It’s not like brain surgery. I think DeFo is a guy who has played at a high level but he’s had so many rushes that he hasn’t been able to finish because they aren’t getting it from the edge. 

“Now we have that. Dee is known, I think, for having the best first step in football coming off the edge. All of a sudden you have a tackle who doesn’t feel so good about hanging in here to help on DeForest because ‘If I do that Dee’s gone.’” 

Lynch doesn’t believe that the defensive line will be too crowded. The 49ers are very open to the idea of adding another first-round selection to the defensive line on April 25th. The defensive line room could potentially have Nick Bosa, Josh Allen or Quinnen Williams added to it on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. 

“I think there’s enough to go around,” Lynch said. “I think you want to be great at something. I think some people want to think that’s one guy. Well, for us, that’s always been collective.” 

There were games in 2018 when it seemed like a challenge to get every defensive lineman playing time.

Lynch explained the thought process behind the rotations. 

“We walked into a situation where there were some guys that had been drafted very high,” Lynch said. “I think two years in, we’re figuring out what everyone does best. What I would say is there is enough snaps to go around, but collectively we want to become a dominant force there, because we think that’s very important. It can really change the course of a game.”

[RELATED: 49ers considering all options with No. 2 overall pick]

Lynch has recently mentioned needing "closers" and "game changers" on the defense. He may not only have one of those in Ford, but he also may have just given the team their personality.

“You start to get excited about all those things,” Lynch said. “Those still have to come to fruition but I think we put the pieces in place. That’s the vision we have for that group.” 

NFL draft: 49ers considering all options, including trade of No. 2 pick

NFL draft: 49ers considering all options, including trade of No. 2 pick

PHOENIX – The 49ers have not necessarily narrowed down their list of potential targets for the No. 2 overall pick.

Although there is reason to believe former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa tops the team’s list, the 49ers are still formulating a plan to consider all options, including potential trades, that could become available prior to next month’s draft.

The 49ers have six draft picks, including the No. 2 overall selection.

“We’re looking at a ton of people right there and kind of figuring out, ‘OK, if we’re here, this is what we’re doing,’ ” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “If not, we got to be prepared to understand who are the guys we like that we think can make us a better football team.”

The NFL owners meeting is a time when coaches and general managers can get together over a cold, icy or neat beverage to discuss different trade scenarios.

On the surface, the 49ers’ decision at No. 2 looks simple: Come up with two names, in order. If the Arizona Cardinals take the first player on the list at No. 1 overall, select the second guy on the list.

Boom! There you go.

But 49ers CEO Jed York said it’s imperative for Lynch, coach Kyle Shanahan and executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe to have a more detailed plan in place.

“We’re very, very happy with players who will be there at two,” York said. “And we need to be prepared, if somebody offers a trade that is too good to pass up, we need to know what we’ll do if we move back and what would we not take.

“You have to have that planned out beforehand because if you’re trying to figure all that stuff out, it’s OK in the second or third round, but when you’re the second pick in the draft, you can’t do that on the fly. It’s way, way too hard, so you need to get a sense of it.”

Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen are scheduled to visit the 49ers next month. Each is worthy of serious consideration for a high draft pick.

“You really want to come out of it with a player who is really going to be able to change the fortunes of your franchise,” Lynch said. “This year is a draft that’s very deep and there are also very good players at the top, so I think we’re in good position.”

The 49ers finished last season with a 4-12 record to be assigned the No. 2 overall pick. They need at least one difference-making player to make an immediate impact.

“I don’t expect to be drafting in the top two again, and if that’s the case, you have to add really, really talented players,” York said. “Or you have to get a ton of capital in order to move back, so you can make up for maybe not getting that No. 2 guy in the draft, but you’re getting a lot in return if you’re going to give up that opportunity.”

[RELATED: Lynch says McKinnon fits 49ers' plan for upcoming season]

The first wave of free agency has ended, and the attention shifts toward the three-day draft, which kicks off on April 25. The conversations at the owners meeting are an important part of the draft process.

“Things aren’t fully in focus, yet, in terms of what everybody is going to do,” York said. “But this week helps you at least get a better sense of that and just keep working toward your plan so you’re ready when the whistle blows come draft day.”