Kyle Shanahan

Why Shanahan believes Lynch was perfect partner to rebuild 49ers

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Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have overseen one of the NFL's best teams since beginning their respective roles with the 49ers in 2017.

The duo assembled a powerhouse in the Bay Area, but the journey to get there took extreme patience and plenty of cohesion between the two.

On the latest episode of "49ers Game Plan," Shanahan shared that given the state of the team upon his arrival, he went into the job knowing it would take a particular person to fill the role that Lynch ultimately took.

"I knew what situation we were going into," Shanahan told Papa. "We were taking over the 32nd-ranked defense in the league and the 31st-ranked offense… we knew it was going to take some time, and when you do that, you gotta go through some stuff together, and I wanted the most genuine guy who was getting in it just for this, to build one team."

Shanahan then detailed how pairing with Lynch allowed them to patiently construct a roster that would be built through decisions that both had conviction for.

"I just thought I was kind of falling into a unique situation where I got the right person, with the right experience of how his career had been, who was getting into this for a different reason than other guys," Shanahan said. "I thought that would allow us to just truly make football decisions and stick with them. And go through what I thought we would have to go through for a couple years, and when you have that, and you have someone like that, especially a coach and a general manager, then it's so important the owner is the way."

Shanahan also explained how owner Jed York's patience allowed the regime to build the roster from the ground up without feeling rushed or pressured.

"What Jed [York] told us through the interview process, he made us believe in all of that," Shanahan added. "That we would have that time, that we could think that way, and he wouldn't pressure us when things went bad, and we started 0-9, he was never going to come down to me and say 'you need to fire this coordinator' or stuff like that. It allowed us to go through what we did for two years, and what I like to say is, build it the right way.

"That never means it's going to go perfect, we made mistakes just like everybody does. But I think when you do it that way and your intentions are right, if you get enough time, it's a matter of time before that stuff starts adding up. And John, to me, was the right person for that, and we're so much in the right organization to allow us to do that, which I haven't been around in my career either."

After getting over the hurdle of the first couple of seasons, Shanahan and Lynch have turned the 49ers into one of the most dominant teams in the league today. Since 2019, San Francisco's .652 winning percentage is tied for the fourth highest in the NFL, while their six playoff wins are second only to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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