The hiring of John Lynch as the new San Francisco 49ers general manager seemed to come out of nowhere to the outside world. Now we know that is exactly how Lynch wanted his hiring to go down.
In fact, according to a report from KNBR in San Fransisco, Lynch used his want to keep his hiring process secret as a test of his now employer’s culture of leaking.
You see, things were a little messy (and that might be putting it mildly) with the firing of Chip Kelly near the end of the season. Leaks coming from out of the organization gave away what was happening before the season finale even was underway.
Chip Kelly called 49ers owner Jed York last night after reports broke of his impending firing. It was not a warm and fuzzy conversation.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 1, 2017
One could easily see why any incoming general manager would be worried about a culture that would let something as big as that happen without the person directly impacted knowing about it first.
Lynch wasn’t one of the names publicly revealed by the 49ers as a potential hire, and that’s exactly what he wanetd.
“One of the great and liberating things for me, and I think why this thing came to fruition, I made a big deal that this stay quiet,” Lynch said Wednesday morning on KNBR 680. “First of all, you know what I was doing? Part of the rumors are things fly out of that building. And I wanted to see if I could trust this person. And so that was part of my thinking.”
Clearly it worked, because everyone was shocked to hear that Jed York had made Lynch, who has been a broadcaster with Fox following his retirement from the NFL, the new general manager.
With that test passed, Lynch took control of the process and became the man the 49ers needed more than the man they thought they wanted.
It also means the people in that office know who is boss these days. There is no longer a need to have the owner using the media as his mouthpiece. Lynch is a strong personality and he won’t put up with the things that have gone down in the past few years in the Bay Area.
Now that he’s started to turn around the internal culture in the front office, we’ll see if he can build the staff that will allow him to build a championship team on the field.
Ultimately that will be how he is judged, and he’s got one heck of a job in front of him in that regard.