General Manager John Lynch Press Conference

General Manager John Lynch

Press Conference – March 2, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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Any updates on T Mike McGlinchey as far as his progress?

“Mike’s doing well. He had a significant surgery to repair that quad tendon, but just as Mike has always done, he attacks everything 100 percent and his rehab is going really well. We’re pleased with his progress. We’re going to give him the time he needs, so not only that he gets back, but he gets back and is pain free and can play like we believe he is capable of playing.”

How do you think QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s situation is? What’s going on with that shoulder and has that impacted anything at all in terms of a trade or how you look at him?

“Yeah, so his situation, he injured his shoulder in the Dallas playoff game. And I think, ironically, protecting his thumb, trying not to land on his thumb. So, he landed on his shoulder. It was one of those injuries where the recommendation from multiple doctors was let’s try rehab first and see if the pain and some of the other symptoms go away. And that was the hope obviously, but that wasn’t the case as time went on. And I think in the last couple days, he had another visit where the decision was made to go ahead and have that surgery. Anytime you have surgery, it’s not a minor deal. Anytime it’s the throwing shoulder, I understand the significance, but it is described as a minor surgery and Jimmy is going to be fine. As for the trade, Jimmy’s a part of us right now. A lot of people need or want quarterbacks right now and he’s obviously a guy they’d look at. So, yes, we have listened, but he’s a part of us and he’s going to work diligently to get back from this surgery. It’s just preliminary, I haven’t even talked to Jimmy yet. But it sounds like that’s the decision right now to go ahead and have that. And you guys know the same thing I know, which is that he can return to throwing late June, early July and the prognosis is really good. So that’s all good stuff.”

Are you confident you’ll be able to get an extension done with both DL Nick Bosa and WR Deebo Samuel this offseason?

“Well, it’ll certainly be a challenge as good of players as those guys are. But I do know this, those guys are, in my mind, no absolutes, but those guys are going to be 49ers. They’re foundational to what we do on the field. Their play is special, and off the field, in their own way, they’ve each become really big-time leaders for our team. They make their teammates better and we realize all that value and two special players are good issue to have. And we do have good communication and good relationships with both their representatives as well as both the players. I think what I’ve learned in my going-on six years in this business is when both sides have the motivation, deals can get done. So the timing, I have no idea, but we’ll go to work here and have been working to try to do something.”

When you look at a guy like Deebo, what makes him such a special player?

“Yeah, well, completely different players, but I remember when I was playing in Tampa, [Former NFL FB] Mike Alstott, no one wanted to sit on the bench because when you’re on defense you wanted to go see what he was going to do. I think Deebo’s kind of that same way. His play and I always say, [Former NFL Head Coach] Herm Edwards used to tell me, ‘You can be special when you have that skill and then you have that elite will.’ And I think when you watch Deebo play, that’s what I see. And it’s inspiring. It lifts everyone. And yeah, we get the same thing in our meetings, who’s the player you try to play like and we even have defensive players saying Deebo, and I think that speaks volumes for who he is and the guy loves to play. He loves to win and loves to compete. And it’s been special to watch the young man develop.”

Going back to last year’s draft, what happened with RB Trey Sermon and what do you guys think about RB Elijah Mitchell moving forward?

“Yeah, Elijah came in and had an unbelievable year and we call him Draino because he always finds the right gap. It’s kind of like putting the Draino down the drain and it just finds it. That’s what we call him because of his natural run instincts. He showed a ton of toughness because he battled some. They weren’t significant, I guess they’re always significant injuries, but things that he could play through and he did. He kept showing up and the kid is going to be a really good football player. We believe the same for Trey. Trey, I think, had to make an adjustment to how you run in the NFL. And I think that’s natural for rookies and got in a situation where Elijah was playing a lot as the season evolved, Deebo became a big part of what we were doing. We also had [RB] Jeff Wilson [Jr.] once he got healthy and [RB] Raheem [Mostert] at the start, so it was a crowded room. But Trey is someone we’re really excited about, as we are with Elijah and we like our depth in that room and it’s not bad to be able to turn to Deebo when you need a play or two, so.”

Why didn’t head coach Kyle Shanahan and the coaching staff attend the combine this year?

“I think we look at each situation as a unique one and this isn’t something that we have a hard stance that coaches should never go. But, looking at [Miami Dolphins head coach] Mike McDaniel over there, and we’re happy for guys like that who got opportunities, but with that comes some turnover in our coaching staff. So we’re traditionally really focused on evaluation at this time and that solely, we also are doing some scheme work with our staff as we’ve got a lot of new people together. So Kyle and I talked and we felt like his time and his staff’s time were best spent there. The great thing about what we’ve learned over the last couple years is when we’re interviewing players, those respective coaches and coordinators and Kyle will get on the zooms. And so even though they aren’t here, they are here and we talk every night and we talk every morning, so communication is good. We just felt like that was best for our organization this week. And they’re having a real productive week, getting that scheme work done, getting used to each other as a staff and also taking part in the evaluation process.”

There was a report that you were being recruited to return to TV. What went into the decision to stay with the team?

“Well, I came to this business because of the opportunity to compete. I think we have a very good team and I think we’ve got an opportunity to get better and I’m into that. It’s flattering when people come, especially people whom you respect so much, old friends and whatnot, and show interest. And you listen, but ultimately, I made a decision, my family made a decision that this is where my heart is at right now. And that’s what I’ve always had guide me. So, I’m happy to be here and that’s that. It is a lot of money though. I can’t believe they’re paying that much for people that talk football. It’s unbelievable.”

What the biggest deterrent when it comes to evaluating a quarterback?

“That position is so critical. Everything goes into it, their talent just as every position, but everything’s magnified at that position. Lots of times you have to make projections from college to the NFL because the game is played a little bit differently. Levels of competition, there’s so many things that go into it. Just like every position. But as I said, the importance of that position just makes your decision so critical. So I just think it takes a lot of hard work and it takes some good fortune to hit on the right guys, but when you do it, it can do wonders for your team.”

What is the value of the combine?

“I think the opportunity. I love the interviews. That’s probably what I get the most out of. I love having the whole league here so when you’re trying to get league business done, it’s a really good opportunity to be able to communicate face-to-face. You’re on various committees and with the competition committee yesterday, you’re meeting with agents talking about free agents. Everything’s just right here. It’s a tough week. The hours are long, but you can be extremely productive and you can get a lot done, but most of all, we’re here as part of the evaluation process for these prospects. And as I say, the workouts are great and things catch your eyes in those workouts, but I can go home and watch those workouts on tape. But the interviews I think is where I get the most. You’re right next to the guy, looking a guy in the eye and feeling their energy or feeling their passion or not feeling that. And so that’s really what the combine is all about for me.”

When you were sitting down last year, trying to decide whether you would pursue a quarterback in draft, was there any discussion about this draft class, 2022? Were you able to sort of look forward?

“Yeah, we always task our college staff with forecasting. What are we looking at next year? Even the year beyond. And as you get a couple years out, it’s a little tougher, there’s so many things that go into that. But yes, I think you’re not doing your job if you’re not doing that, so I’ll leave it at that, but yes.”

Can you talk about the situation at quarterback this past year?

“It’s a critical position to have depth at, not only one guy, but you play a long season, it’s a marathon and your hope is that your starter stays healthy the entire year, but it behooves every team in this league to have quality depth at that position, because it’s such a critical piece to winning.”

Is there any concern with Jimmy’s situation being up in the air?

“I don’t think so. There’s always plan A, plan B, plan C and we plan for all of that accordingly. Jimmy, he’s a big part of what we’ve done and like I said, he’s still a part of us. And until that changes, we feel blessed that he is. And so right now when we’re talking about his shoulder, I’m worried about that for the Niners and for Jimmy. As far as anything else, like I said, we have had some discussions with teams and we’ll continue to, but as of right now, he’s a part of us.”

Mike McDaniel was here earlier in the press conference, what makes you confident that he will succeed as a head coach?

“Yeah, I think Mike’s got some special qualities. First of all, he’s uniquely intelligent. He really is. Uniquely creative. He’s as hard of a worker as I’ve seen. I’m an early riser, but I can’t hang with Mike and I respect it. I don’t come to the office at 3:30, but Mike will. And Mike does. He’s a tireless worker. I think he’s been exposed to some tremendous people. He’s worked under [former NFL head coach] Mike Shanahan, [former NFL head coach] Gary Kubiak, Kyle Shanahan, all those wonder kids that were in Washington. He has been around them all. He’s got a great way with people. His challenge, like most coaches is he hadn’t been out front and so now he’s going to be out front, but I’m excited to watch him take that next jump. I’m good friends with [Miami Dolphins general manager] Chris Grier. I think they’ll mesh well together. I’m really excited. I also know there’s a lot of value behind bringing [Miami Dolphins wide receivers coach] Wes Welker and [Miami Dolphins assistant head coach and tight ends coach] Jon Embree in and some of the people that he’s brought with him from our place that I think will really help him. And it looks like they’ve put together a heck of a staff and I’m excited for Mike. I really am. I think highly of him as a person, as a friend. I have known him since he was a ballboy on my teams with the Denver Broncos. I’m pulling for the guy. I think we all are because Mike’s a special person, aside from being a special football coach.”

How has Jimmy handled this situation?

“As well as humanly possible. He’s been tremendous. There’s the old saying, I don’t think it’s a saying, I think it’s a reality that competition brings out the best of us all. And it certainly brought out the best of Jimmy. This is a business too and someone’s trying to take your job, but in the midst of that and him understanding full well the implications of everything we put into drafting [QB] Trey [Lance]. Jimmy was raised a certain way. He is a certain way and the class that he treated Trey with in terms of helping him and his development, I thought just says volumes about who he is, who that family is and I’ll forever be grateful for that because he didn’t have to do that. A lot of people don’t do that. He did and still competed his tail off and held on, so it was impressive. And I forgot the initial question, but I’m just kind of speaking to him because that is in my heart.”

What are your thoughts on the Wonderlic Test and the NFL getting rid of it?

“I wish they had done it in 1993 before I took it, but we still, long before I got to the Niners, they’ll give it to scouting assistants when they come in, just kind of a fun deal. But you have to be adaptable, you’ve got to be malleable to what’s going on, that the NFL made a decision to do that. It is difficult because more than anything you use that just you have historic data on that. And so is it always transferable to football? No. [NFL HOF DL] Warren Sapp used to say, we’re not sending rockets to the moon, we’re playing football here. So we need people with good football intelligence and so how can you measure that? I think for a long time, that’s what everyone’s trying to find, that secret sauce. The answer usually is in the tape, it’s usually in talking to coaches and players who’ve been around these kids. It’s not about a test, so I think we’ll be fine, but it is another tool that you have 15, 20 years worth of data that you can kind of compare. Is there any correlation? And that kind of goes out the door unless you choose to do it yourself. And I think every organization will make that decision on their own.”

How does a player’s character factor in?

“Yeah, but I really believe that that’s something that’s always been talked about, at least where I was at in Tampa, at Denver. There was just a standard and those were really good organizations that you conduct yourself a certain way, but absolutely. We certainly place an emphasis on that. I think it’s the golden rule, you treat people like you want to be treated and it’s so important that everyone feels welcome, that everyone feels treated in the right way. And so I’ve always had a good experience. I know that’s not always consistent, but I’ve always had a good experience in that. But absolutely in today’s world, it’s a must.”