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Herm Edwards: 49ers need to hire a GM first


49ers CEO Jed York said he’s open to hiring a head coach before the GM. And his organizational search suggests that.

Anthony Lynn, Kyle Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, Sean McVay, Vance Joseph, Sean mcdermott and Tom Cable are widely reported candidates for the job.

“I think we need to be open and flexible to structure,” York said. “We need to make sure that the head coach and the general manager know each other, have a good understanding for each other.”

ESPN’s Herm Edwards disagrees with the flexible approach York is taking. He joined Ted Ramey on KNBR 1050 and explained why.

“They need to hire a GM. That’s the first thing you have to do is hire a GM,” Edwards said. “A guy that has a little bit of a football pedigree, that understands it, that understands where they are at as an organization, that can look at personnel and realize that the personnel, whoever the coach is, his system is going to have to be personnel friendly.

“And then from there, I would bring in a (coach) that’s a good teacher. He’s going to have to teach along with his systems. And I think that’s even more important in today’s world. You talk about hiring the head coach, but the head coach doesn’t coach all the players. You have to have great assistants, I think. Any good head coach, if you look at him, they’ve got great assistants. You need a great offensive line coach. You are going to need a great secondary coach. I think the way the game is being played, because there’s so much passing in the league. And you’ve got to have a guy that can develop a quarterback. Those are the things in my opinion, you can’t miss on.”

Through their ESPN connection, Edwards has become close with Louis Riddick, a name surfacing to the forefront of the 49ers’ GM search. Riddick played in the NFL, worked in Washington and Philadelphia’s front office, has shown a distinct understanding of the league with strong communication skills on television.

Edwards gave a ringing endorsement.

“I sit with him every Sunday watching games,” Edwards said. “We sit together. We’ll sit together Saturday. That’s not surprising. I don’t know if they’ve interviewed him yet, but they should. He’s very, very, very articulate. He’s got a good mind. He understands it. He knows what it takes to be a player in the league. He knows what coaches need to have to have success. He knows how to evaluate players. He touches all the bases for you. He’s well-aware, well-equipped to do the job. It’s just a matter of what type they’re looking for.”


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