Here are five quick observations from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's and general manager John Lynch's Thursday press conference:
On quarterback Colin Kaepernick:
Lynch said that the quarterback reached out to him recently and that the group plans to meet in the near future. Kaepernick is the only quarterback the 49ers have signed for next season, although both the team and Kaepernick easily can get out of that deal. Shanahan said his decision on Kaepernick largely will be based on what he sees on film as he learns more about the roster he inherits. "Colin, like a lot of players, is someone I'll be watching a lot of tape on in the coming weeks," Shanahan said.
On their relative lack of experience:
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Shanahan never has been a head coach and Lynch never even has worked in a front office. But both must tackle free agency next month and the draft the month after that. To that end, Lynch announced the 49ers had hired ex-Lions general manager Martin Mayhew as a senior personnel executive. Mayhew spent nine years as an NFL cornerback and was Detroit's general manager for eight seasons. He spent 2016 as the New York Giants' Director of Football Operations. Mayhew joins Adam Peters and Tom Gamble in the 49ers' front office, which gives the team quite a bit of NFL experience heading into the coming months. Teams typically let go of scouts and personnel executives -- Gamble? -- following the draft.
On who has the ‘trigger’ on roster decisions:
Lynch said that Shanahan has control over San Francisco's 53-man roster (that is, who is on the squad once the regular season begins) and that Lynch controls the 90-man offseason roster as well as the draft and free agency. As an example, it's believed that the Seattle Seahawks' top decisions makers -- coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider -- have a similar arrangement. Lynch also said decisions are “subject to approval of the other guy.” “That’s the way we wanted it,” he said. “That’s the way we wanted it reflected, and that’s the reality of it. That’s the way when we started having these discussions, why it went so well.”
On their unusual six-year deals:
Six-year contracts, which both Shanahan and Lynch signed, are rare in the NFL. The 49ers parted ways with their last two coaches after just one year of multi-year contracts. It was clear that both Shanahan and Lynch signed on because they feel they are going to have leeway to rebuild the franchise. Said CEO Jed York: "We're not where we need to be. We're a two-win team right now."
On their partnership:
One of the most interesting things said Thursday came from Shanahan when asked about Lynch. Shanahan noted that Lynch had a nice, high-paying job as a FOX broadcaster and that he had a great life in San Diego. But that wasn't enough for him. "He missed someone winning or losing at the end of the game. He missed the fight," Shanahan said of Lynch, who played 16 seasons as a safety in the NFL. ". … That's how I think, too. .. We've got a one-track mind: We want to get this organization great again."