Kyle Shanahan: 'I’m going to bet on John Lynch'

Kyle Shanahan: 'I’m going to bet on John Lynch'

HOUSTON – Presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not at all concerned about the team’s top football executive entering a situation with no previous personnel experience.

Shanahan, speaking Monday night at media night, said he is confident the Stanford-educated Lynch will figure out how to be a successful NFL general manager.

“I get that it’s new to him,” said Shanahan, the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator. “But if I’m going to bet on anybody, I’m going to bet on John Lynch. He’ll have to learn some stuff as he goes, just like we all do, but you’re going for the person. John Lynch has succeeded in everything, and that excites me about him.

“The people who know him know how special of a guy the 49ers got.”

Shanahan took part in the final interviews for the 49ers’ general manager position on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta with CEO Jed York and Paraag Marathe, the organiation’s chief strategy officer.

He met with Lynch and the two other known finalists, Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough and Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton.

“I believe any time you have a smart guy who’s very talented and has extremely high character and has no problem working extremely hard; I feel when you have a person like that who has all those qualities, and you give him the time, it’s a matter of time before he figures it all out," Shanahan said. "And John, as anybody who met him, he’s as impressive as a human being as there is. He’s succeeded in anything he’s done.”

Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl safety with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos during his 15-year career. He is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Class of 2017 will be announced on Saturday.

In addition to playing the final four years of his career with the Broncos under coach Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, Lynch has also continued his relationship with Kyle Shanahan as an NFL television analyst on FOX for the past eight years.

The dialogue about Lynch possibly joining Shanahan with the 49ers began after Lynch called the Falcons’ NFC divisional-round playoff game two weeks ago against the Seattle Seahawks.

“Somewhere in that week after, Kyle and I caught up as we often do after a game that I broadcast of his and just told him how impressed I was and at that time I know that he was interviewing for a lot of jobs and we just started a conversation,” Lynch said.

Lynch said he held conversations with the Denver Broncos about joining the organization in a management position in recent years, so he had always thought it was a career path he could take in the future. Broncos general manager John Elway is the model for a former star player becoming successful in NFL management, Lynch said.

“John Elway is one of my good friends and I watched him,” Lynch said. “I was living in Denver when he went through that process. He was kind enough to invite me into the building for offseason meetings and such. That’s kind of been out there and I always said, I even said to my bosses at FOX, if the right situation arose that it would be something that I would have to consider.

“Kyle and I were in a conversation. He seemed to get excited. At that point he turned it over to Jed and Paraag and the rest moved fairly quickly.”

Lynch was hired on Sunday. On Tuesday, he hired his top target to join him in player personnel. The 49ers hired former Broncos scout Adam Peters as vice president of player personnel, a source told CSNBayArea.com.

The 49ers are not allowed to officially hire Shanahan until after the Falcons wrap up the season Sunday against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51.

“John, I think, has been interested in it for a while, just talking to him,” Shanahan said. “John is a guy that I’ve developed a relationship with over the years. He’s a guy that lives and dies football. He’s a very smart guy, who I think, really wanted to get back into it, where he could compete on Sunday and there’s actually a winner and a loser at the end of the game.

"(We) just had some talks together and got him in. He did a great job this weekend, along with the two other guys, too. Obviously, they decided to go with John, so I’m excited.”

NFL Rumors: Sean McVay, Rams will talk contract extension in offseason


NFL Rumors: Sean McVay, Rams will talk contract extension in offseason

Sean McVay could be a thorn in the 49ers' side for years to come. 

The Los Angeles Rams and the wunderkind coach are reportedly set to discuss a contract extension this offseason, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday.

McVay has led the Rams' resurgence to the top of the NFC West, and the league's elite. Los Angeles has won two straight division titles, and is 24-8 in two seasons under the 33-year-old coach. 

[RELATED: Antonio Brown, Jerry Rice reportedly push idea of receiver's trade to 49ers]

The 49ers have their brain trust locked up for the next four seasons, but they haven't been able to solve the Rams. Save for a Week 17 win in Los Angeles last year while the Rams rested their starters, San Francisco hasn't had much success against its SoCal rivals. In three losses to the Rams in the last two years, the 49ers have been outscored by 47 points and posted a minus-eight turnover differential. 

As La Canfora noted, coaching salaries dramatically increased over the last year, beginning with Raiders coach Jon Gruden reportedly signing a 10-year, $100 million deal to return to Oakland. Pete Carroll's extension with the Seattle Seahawks was reportedly worth $11 million per year. The New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints -- Los Angeles' opponent on Sunday -- are the only teams with as many wins over the last two seasons, so McVay could be in line for a significant payday. 

2019 Senior Bowl: Several safeties could help secondary-needy 49ers


2019 Senior Bowl: Several safeties could help secondary-needy 49ers

One of the 49ers' priorities in the draft needs to be addressing the lack of depth in the secondary, especially at safety. They will have a chance to work with several candidates when they coach the South team at this year's Senior Bowl. 

The team lost three safeties -- Jaquiski Tartt, Jimmie Ward and Adrian Colbert -- to injured reserve in 2018. They rotated several other players in and out of the lineup as a result. 

A few younger players like Marcell Harris got the chance to get some valuable playing time as a result of the injuries, but the team should still add to their mix at safety. 

The good news is that the 2019 class is deep with quality safeties, and a few of the best will be on the South team in Mobile, Ala. There will be 10 total safeties in attendance, and here are four to keep an eye on.


Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State, 6-0, 215
Abram will probably be the most-hyped safety in Mobile upon his arrival. He has good size, and is very athletic. 

He registered 99 tackles in his final season at Mississippi State as a transfer from Georgia. 53 of his tackles were solo, and nine were for a loss. He also managed five pass breakups, two interceptions and three sacks. 

As a very physical player, Abram's strength lies in his run coverage. But, his aggressiveness can get the best of him. His quickness and speed to provide pass coverage is decent, but will need some fine tuning. 
Projection: Rounds 1-2 

[RELATED: Antonio Brown, Jerry Rice reportedly push idea of receiver's trade to 49ers]

Juan Thornhill, Virginia, 6-0, 210
Another sizable safety, Thornhill is a former defensive back and a great tackler. He added 15 pounds to his frame to become a safety, and didn’t lose his speed. The UVA product is also mobile, and has great hands. 

Thornhill is great against the run, and has played in the box as a linebacker. He's a smart player, with a lot versatility. 

In his final season in Charlottesville, Thornhill registered 98 tackles (62 solo). He had 4.5 tackles for a loss, six interceptions and seven pass breakups.
Projection: Rounds 2-3 

[RELATED: No shortage of athletic guards who fit 49ers scheme at 2019 Senior Bowl]

Jaquan Johnson, Miami, 5-11, 195
Johnson is known as a hard hitter, and a head-hunter. He’s not great in coverage, yet packs a punch for his size. He needs to sharpen up on the angles he takes to get to the ball.

He finished his senior season with 92 tackles (44 solo,1.5 for a loss). He also managed two interceptions. 
Projection: rounds 3-5


Nasir Adderley, Deleware, 6-0 200 
Adderley is the speedster of the group. He is another safety with experience at cornerback, and that helped him develop his coverage skills. Coming from a smaller school, Adderley will have more to prove at the Senior Bowl.

Adderley has more modest stats than the rest of his group, but game stats aren’t everything. He registered 48 total tackles (31 solo), but did have nine pass break ups and snagged three interceptions. He could provide value in a later round.
Projection: Later rounds