Have you noticed a difference in 49ers coverage between local and national reporters?
Locally, a failing football franchise is being held accountable for dozens of wrong decisions the last three seasons. 49ers fans are beyond outraged about the product on and off the field and the local media is channeling that energy.
Nationally, Jed York and Paraag Marathe remain mostly untouched. ESPN and NFL Network insiders continue to rave about how the pair of executives have presented the 49ers job openings. Stunningly — or maybe not so much considering how often he gives them information — some national guys are portraying York as a sympathetic figure.
Marathe’s name in particular made the rounds in columns yesterday from Tim Kawakami and Bay Area Sports Guy. Both remain skeptical of his involvement of this GM/coach search and write York likes him around because he’s comfortable with him. Marathe has been associated with the many leaks around the building throughout the years, but continues to find himself in position of power.
The Yorks are very isolated from the normal NFL levels, which is why Jed almost always goes back to Marathe and why Jed communicates so often with national reporters.
This gap between local and national continued Wednesday on the Murph and Mac Show, when Ian Rapoport revealed he gets a call or text whenever the 49ers make a deal, and that Marathe is one of the more respected figures around NFL circles.
“It’s interesting, because I know the people I talk to, and I know sort of the tenor locally obviously there’s some distrust for Jed York and Paraag,” Rapoport said. “Nationally, it’s very different. Because I think a lot of people — whenever the 49ers do a deal, I get a text or a calls about it. Because they always do very interesting deals. I mean this (Colin) Kaepernick one this year, I thought was very, very smart, allowing him to opt out, taking away the guaranteed money. It was a win-win, and really smart. They do deals early.
“I’m not sure from a business sense if there’s any organization that’s run better. Paraag is really respected name in the NFL, which is why it’s so interesting to me that locally it’s so different. And I’m not quite sure sort of how that happened, I guess probably because the wins have not come. And everybody looks at the two faces. But I’ll just say as far as nationally, around the league, from the candidates I talked to — I try and talk to all of them — and from the other GM’s, I know Paraag is considered a very respected person.”
It’s become impossible for a national reporter to criticize the 49ers. A 7-25 record in two seasons is apparently nobody’s fault. Cycling through a fourth coach in four years is not enough to warrant any criticism.
Leaks are always a problem in losing sports organizations and it sounds they’ll continue to be a problem for the 49ers. To York and Marathe, the idea of controlling the information and spinning themselves positively nationally remains far too high on their priority list.
Which is why I asked York point blank on Monday if he recognizes leaks coming out of the building are a sign of a dysfunctional organization.
“You have a two-win team that people have been speculating that there were going to be decisions that were made for the last month,” York said. “I wish that it would have been cleaner, but I think it was evident that we were considering making changes.”
It’s quite evident, Jed, that texts will continue to flow in the direction of Rapoport and Adam Schefter and whoever else can help make the 49ers look better on a national level.
Some things will not change with this new regime.