Over the weekend, CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora had an interesting, albeit worrying report about the San Francisco 49ers. La Canfora reported that it would be a surprise if Trent Baalke was retained after the season. He then said if the team went outside for a general manager, it would leave Chip Kelly’s own future up in the air.
Where it gets worrying was this paragraph:
Several NFL owners believe Jed York's parents, Denise and John York, will be taking a more hands-on approach with the team as they determine how to reposition the franchise, and Mike Shanahan, who has been under consideration for coaching openings there in the past, could join the 49ers in a coaching and/or executive capacity. His name continues to be connected to potential openings there, and the Yorks have spoken to him in the past.
I actually think Shanahan running football operations with a GM handling day-to-day business, would not be the worst idea in the world. What concerns me is the idea that Mama and Papa York might want to take a more hands-on approach with the team. And former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Jeremy Newberry agrees. He had this to say after the 49ers loss to the Jets speaking specifically about the idea of John York being back in charge:
Well, how’d he do last time? Let’s start right there. He came in after Eddie DeBartolo and took a proud franchise and ran them into the dirt. Frankly, they were terrible when he was at the helm. And I was part of it, and I got to suffer through a lot of those years. The guy don’t know football. Plain and frankly, he don’t know football. He’s a decent businessman, running shopping centers and doing what he does, but that’s what he needs to stick to. He needs to get  a football person in there to run the football operations. He can run the business part of it. I hope his active role is figuring out sponsorship names for the stadium after Levi’s is done or something. That needs to be his more active role. Not running that football team.
The idea of a “hands-on approach” could mean a couple things. It could mean actually running things on a day-to-day, or it could mean just a hands-on approach for finding someone to actually run everything for them. They could screw up finding the right person to run football operations, but I can at least get behind the idea of them finding someone to run things and getting the hell out of the way. There are positives and negatives to Mike Shanahan running the football operations. But at least it might be someone with real football experience in charge of everything, and hopefully removes the Yorks from significant football decisions after that. Just handle the business side of things, and honestly, don’t even sit in on interviews for football decisions after a president (or VP) of football ops is installed.
Or, they figure out a way to screw it up and the team continues its drive toward becoming the permanent west coast Browns.