clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jed York talks Jim Harbaugh, Levi's Stadium

New, comments

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York made an appearance on Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. They were kind enough to pass along video of the interview, as well as a transcript. I've embedded the video above, and grabbed a chunk of the transcript. York opens talking about the technology at Levi's Stadium, before getting into some discussion about Super Bowl 50. The transcript below picks up there.

He follows that by talking about Chris Borland and Jim Harbaugh, which I'm sure a few people might want to check out. It is interesting to hear him specify the offensive issues in talking about Jim Harbaugh's departure. There was speculation about Greg Roman being part of the issue between Jim Harbaugh and the front office. We'll probably never know everything with certainty, but here is potentially one more little part of the puzzle.

CORY JOHNSON: Returning back to our special guest host this hour, Yahoo! Chairman Maynard Webb joins us, and also back with us the 49ers CEO, Jed York, getting ready for Super Bowl 50. The Super Bowl 50 is going to be at the 9ers. Are the 9ers going to be in it, and what have you done to get both of them ready?

MAYNARD WEBB: I have a better question.

JOHNSON: Oh what is that?

WEBB: Mike (ph), can you guarantee as good a game as last year's game?

JED YORK: I would rather have a blowout where the 49ers participate in that, as opposed to a great game.

WEBB: I -- I'm okay with that.

JOHNSON: And one sided though maybe.

YORK: But for us, we are going to get ready one day at a time on the field. We have -- we have a long way to go to get to Super Bowl 50 for the 49ers. But for the Bay area and Levi Stadium, and we are going to be the most philanthropic Super Bowl that's ever taken place. A quarter of what we raise is already going back into the community. We are putting $2.5 million back into the community already. The Super Bowl 50 Fund just announced that last week. And we have just got everybody in the Bay area working together from Santa Clara, to San Jose to San Francisco.

JOHNSON: Right.

YORK: And I think when you offer the best of the Bay area, and I think it's going to be an unbelievable week.

JOHNSON: Well then so talk about best of the Bay area. Here you are trying to manage one of the most important businesses -- businesses flat out in a pro bowl of business leaders, whether it is Tim Cook or it's all the other people I cover that I won't be so nice to on the air, but I think the world of sometimes. You have got to be one of the best managers around here. And you're faced with surprises, the big news of today. You've got a 24-year-old linebacker after one breakout year, fantastic draft pick by you guys, announcing his retirement. What do you make of Chris Borland's retirement?

YORK: And we respect it, and I -- I love Chris. He's a great kid. And it's certainly a surprise to -- to us and I think to some of his teammates. But you have to respect the decision. If -- if he fears for his health and safety going forward, I don't ever want somebody to go out there and do something that they're not comfortable doing. And I would never try to talk somebody out of retirement. I know it wasn't an easy decision for him, but we -- we respect him and we wish him the best.

JOHNSON: When you go across the -- the defense of core of your defensive-oriented team, I mean you have got Patrick Willis retiring. You have got -- it's unclear what is happening with Justin Smith. You're got Chris Borland leaving. Well do we know what is happening with Justin Smith yet?

YORK: So Justin has been working out with the guys. I'm not sure if he's made up his mind yet. I know he's still in that decision-making process. We obviously would love to have Justin back, but he has got to -- he has got to be comfortable going out there and putting his body through it one more year. And if he is not, we are going to have to -- to step up and have somebody else make plays.

JOHNSON: And again I got to ask you about your coach. So you made -- you made a really tough decision about what was going on with your coach. You said it was mutual. He said it wasn't. I don't even want to get into that really, but when you make that kind of decision about moving forward as a leader, the fans, I'm just since we said the interview is happening I'm being inundated with questions, and emails and things. How could you let a guy like that go, even if everybody hated him? And Bill Belichick, we talked about earlier, great coach.

YORK: Yes.

JOHNSON: Not all a universally-loved guy. Bill Parcells was a great coach, a guy despised sometimes by his own teammates or his own players. What matters besides winning?

YORK: Well obviously things off the field matter, but we are trying to win a Super Bowl. Everything that we do we're trying to win a Super Bowl. We -- we haven't been able to do that. And I think what we're trying to do is build a team that focuses on our core strengths, like any other company that you are going to talk to. You want to focus on your core strengths. And I think we got away from (inaudible) something that we weren't, just get back to the basics and get back to letting our players go out and make plays. And I think that's going to give us an opportunity to get back....

JOHNSON: Was Jim Harbaugh not doing that?

YORK: You look at our offense last year. It wasn't I think where it should have been. I think we have better talent than what our results showed. And again, I am not the expert in terms of calling x's and o's, and writing plays and doing things like that, but I know that our players are equipped to go play the game and compete for championships. And we need to make sure that we're all in this thing together, and moving forward and giving ourselves a chance to -- to ultimately host and win the Super Bowl this year.

WEBB: Coming back to the Super Bowl, speaking of the Super Bowl, what is it that you would like Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area to do to help you make sure this is the best Super Bowl ever?

YORK: Well I mean obviously getting the 49ers there is going to be a great way to make this a great Super Bowl for the Bay area. But I think ultimately what you want is watching Mayor Lee work with Mayor Matthews, and Mayor Reed, and now Mayor Liccardo in San Jose, bringing everybody together and making sure that the Bay area puts on the best face. And we work together as a unit. When you work together as a unit I don't think there is a better place in the world than the Bay area.

JOHNSON: Well so that point....

YORK: So if we want it back we're going to get it back.

JOHNSON: Yes.

WEBB: And just to the point....

JOHNSON: Well like I said, I feel like sports -- I was a sports reporter for a long time, and I feel like sports is this is a metaphor, and that's why we all love it because it seems so clear, right? There's a score at the end of the day. When you get back in your car, and you drive up 280 and you come home from work, there might not have been a score. But that's why I love talking about sports as a metaphor for business. When you look at -- you're talking about the offense as a problem for the 49ers, but you hire a defensive coach. Do you -- when you -- do you look around Silicon Valley for -- to make that make sense, because the fans look at that and say, geez, if offense is a problem, why did you hire a defensive guy?

YORK: That's a good question, but I think the Coach Tomsula knows what we've been doing as the 49ers. He's seen this team transition from an average football team to a really good football team, trying to focus on what we have done well and making sure that you have somebody that knows the quarterback well that can run the offense, as Geep Chryst, building the right staff around him, making sure that we get back to running the football, make sure that we get back to doing things That Colin is good at. Let him use his athleticism.

JOHNSON: Right.

YORK: Don't try to change the offense week to week. Stick to what works. And I think again it's a great question on the surface of an offensive-minded guy being your head coach.

JOHNSON: Right.

YORK: You look at Bill Belichick. He is a defensive-minded guy. He has won four Super Bowls. You look at a lot of  the coaches that have had a great career. Most of them have been defensive-minded, and I think when you look at the -- at the long game, it's really about making sure that everything works together. It's not just offense. It's not just defense. It's not just special teams. It's making sure all three of those phases work together. And that's really what we want. We want an entire team of 53, not individual groups and units.

JOHNSON: Right. And one quick question before we go here, and like I say I feel you both weigh in this really quickly, is -- is a question of sort of leadership and making decisions. If the Super Bowl is the only answer, if ultimate success in business is the only answer, I don't know, best-performing stock and whatever, is -- is that the only way, the only goal that can work? And if your next coach doesn't win a Super Bowl is he gone if you don't -- if you don't have the best-performing stock in America? 

WEBB: And let me talk about business. You do have to produce results day in and day out. And you have got to get voted onto the team every year, every day. And you have to produce results. And you have to make sure you build a team that can produce results for tomorrow. There are no easy decisions. I mean maybe Bill Belichick is an easy decision if you are the owner of the New England Patriots, but in most cases there is only one Super Bowl winner a year, and everybody is trying to get there. So you have to put the best -- best team you can on the field.

JOHNSON: Also real quick?

YORK: And the Super Bowl is always our goal. And we're doing everything that we can to make sure that we get back to win a championship. There are a lot of things that we do outside of the game that we don't really keep a scorecard for it, but we are trying to make our community a better place. And I think Super Bowl 50 and other things that we're doing will -- will definitely make the Bay area a better place.

JOHNSON: Jed York, thank you very much. Maynard Webb is going to stick with us for the rest of the hour. We appreciate your time.

WEBB: Thanks, Cory.