John Lynch has been on the job as 49ers general manager for less than six months, but he’s already come a long way in changing the perception of the franchise in the public eye. The team had a strong draft, acted sensibly in free agency, and most all reports coming out of Santa Clara are positive.
When Niners legend Steve Young joined Murph & Mac on KNBR from South Lake Tahoe on Friday morning, he said that change in culture can be credited largely to Lynch and his personality. Players, Young said, will see that too and respect Lynch for his honesty.
“I really admire John as a human being, as a leader, as somebody who’s going to be very open and transparent,” Young said. “Players, anyone who sees him, I’m sure the guys that get cut, they’ll say, ‘Well, I got cut. I didn’t make the team, but they respected me.’ And you think that’s obvious, everybody does that, everybody treats people well, everybody does the right thing. No, not everybody does.”
It’s been a couple years since fans or players considered the 49ers to be a trustworthy and transparent operation, but with Lynch at the helm and Kyle Shanahan leading the players on the field, Young said he is confident things can turn around. The Hall of Fame quarterback said he’s heard from both Lynch and Shanahan since they began their tenures in San Francisco.
Young said that now it will be key to find or establish leaders in the clubhouse in order to maintain on-field success.
“The truth is, we’ve got a culture now that’s going to feed excellence,” Young said. “Now, you’ve got to have great players, but at some point they’ve got to put that locker room back together where they have those five to seven to nine to 10 great leaders in the locker room, and then it doesn’t matter what play you run, it doesn’t matter what defense you call, you’re going to play well.”
The full interview with Young is available below. Young and the guys also talk Pablo Sandoval and Colin Kaepernick, but to hear Young’s comments on John Lynch, skip to the 5:30 mark.