Sakamoto: 49ers May Have Found “Lynch-Pin” In John Lynch Hire

The San Francisco 49ers went against the norm by hiring an unproven, inexperienced, and highly questionable General Manager in GM John Lynch. A nine-time Pro Bowl player and three-time first-team All-Pro, Lynch was the lynch-pin for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary during their Super Bowl contending years in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. The player known for his aggressive, physical, and passionate play on the field, Lynch will now try to double down on that success– tackling a new role, as the 49ers new General Manager. 

However, the question remains, can he get the job done? 

Many NFL pundits and columnists are banking on Lynch failing. Why? Because he has no proven track record to speak of in the role he currently holds.

Either did I.

I’m going to put this in perspective for all of you Forever Faithful, and take from it what you will. 

Five years ago, I started a website called I had no journalism background and gained little publicity working from the ground up. I wasn’t working for a publication, newspaper outlet, or media news group. I was simply and still am (JAG) just a guy, building up a website. 

Fast forward to today, and I’m a fully credentialed beat writer for the 49ers while having over 250,000 followers on facebook. How did that happen? 

I’m not gonna lie. Being named as the Bay Area’s Top Blogger by NBC Bay Area News definitely helped. But so did the great people I met along the way. You see, working your way up the ladder can be done in unique ways nowadays, especially with the internet being the beast that it is. 

If you put yourself out there. You will get noticed. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s okay. But they still come to your website. Why? Because at the end of the day, they still want to see what you’re up to. That’s the truth. 

Lynch, has proven to be one of the best safeties to ever lace ’em up. He was a fearless hitter who would have no problems going heads-up against his former teammate FB Mike Alstott

Today, he will be the man responsible for signing, releasing, and finding All-Pro talent via the draft. On the surface, you may say he’s unqualified. But I would be a hypocrite if I had the same ideology as the general masses. Why? Because no one really knows how he will fare until he actually makes some moves. So let’s give the guy a fair shake before we jump the gun. That sounds fair, right? 

Lynch was one of my favorite players growing up simply because he played with ‘passion.’ I have no doubt that Lynch will bring that same type of cultural identity to the San Francisco 49ers, as he made one promise. I asked him during our conference call on what type of cultural identity he hopes to instill in his new team and Lynch said:

My Question:

This team has been lacking a cultural identity they can identify with. What type of culture identity do you plan on implementing here in San Francisco?

“I think one thing I learned in my time in Denver, [Denver Broncos Owner] Pat Bowlen I think did terrifically as an owner and I think it’s one thing that really drew me to the San Francisco 49ers, I was around here when they were winning championships. In those places, I think a lot of people, I think everyone wants to win championships but in a lot of places, there’s lip service being paid to the commitment to doing that. I think when you’re in a place, like when I was in Denver, the San Francisco 49ers that won all those championships, the Pittsburgh Steelers, everything they do is to give you the best chance to do just that.

So, I think everybody that enters this building has to be single-minded in their mindset of that’s what we’re here to do. One thing I shared with Jed during the process, I also learned a great lesson from Tony Dungy early in my career, in our very first team meeting we ever had he spoke to that but he also said, ‘If that’s all we’ve done, we haven’t done enough,’ and he talked about the role we had in our community.

So, I think you can do both. I think they enhance each other. I think that’s going to be at the forefront of the culture.

And then I can tell you, I don’t want to make too many promises, the one promise I can make is of any team I’m going to be associated with, you’re going to have competitive players that want to compete, that live and breathe football, that are going to play hard. If they don’t play hard, we’re going to find players that will play hard. They’re going to do things right. We’re not going to be perfect both on and off the field, but we’re going to strive to be that and we’ll be tough and physical and I’m getting excited talking about it right now. That’s the kind of culture we’re going to try to bring.”

So what should Forever Faithful expect from the new 49ers General Manager? At worst, a live, breathe, eat football, type of guy who may just be the “Lynch-pin” in ending that Quest For Six. So before you say, what the f*ck was Jed York thinking, let’s see what Lynch can do before making assumptions, because he just may be what the doctor ordered. Can you be down with that or nah? 

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.