I think it is safe to say we are going to see a back-and-forth between Jason La Canfora and Pro Football Talk for the remaining weeks of the 2016 NFL season. Or at least the rest of this week. La Canfora made a second straight appearance on KNBR on Tuesday to counter Pro Football Talk shooting down most of his report that Denise and John York would potentially get more involved in finding someone outside the organization to run football operations.
On Sunday, La Canfora had his initial report, which said Trent Baalke’s job was in jeopardy, Kelly’s future was uncertain, and the Yorks might take things from Jed York to find somebody to run football operations. On Monday, he appeared on KNBR and specifically said York would not be involved in football operations. He reiterated that Mike Shanahan was a name going around, but said it could be whomever in charge. A few hours later, Pro Football Talk reported a source told them that La Canfora’s report was not happening. They did not address the Baalke part of the report, but did say, “Jed York won’t be leaving the football operation, his parents ... won’t be replacing him, and the team won’t be hiring Mike Shanahan in any capacity.”
La Canfora was back on KNBR Tuesday morning, and he doubled down on much of his report. However, he backed off on the York portion of it. Here is a transcript of the first half of his interview, which focused on that part of his initial report. In his comments, he talks about how the details are not worked out, “but they’re contemplating changes.” It’s not as forceful as his Monday report in which he said Jed was out. So, maybe he got a call saying to back off that part. Or maybe he’s just interpreting things and re-interpreting things and just all over the place.
At this point, I think we can safely say to take any of these reports with a sizable chunk of salt. La Canfora and PFT have some history of bad blood, so I would not be surprised if their past beef impacts their reporting. Nothing quite as exciting as two sides digging in and getting stubborn about this nonsense.
Here’s the transcript of La Canfora’s comments.
Reaction to PFT:
Well, I think he’s, somebody there completely spun him in the way they wanted. It’s obscuring the fact, it’s Trumpian, and I guess he’s in on the take, but don’t look at the fact that, the report was that it’s very likely that the general manager is fired, they will bring someone in who will decide what happens with the coach, they’re discussing different management structures. Some believe, ultimately, the parents may have more of a say than Jed in who comes in and oversees football operations, and Mike Shanahan is someone they have talked to in the past who people are connecting to that job. Never said Mike Shanahan was getting hired there, said could be Mike Shanahan, could be a number of other people who come in there to run football operations. But really, what I was reporting was they’re looking for a new GM and that GM will be able to chart the course for football operations. And, is it possible that that person also has an EVP (Executive VP) title? The buck stops with them on football operations, and not Jed York or not someone else in the York family? Well, that remains to be seen, but they’re contemplating changes.
On if he means John and Denise when he says “they”:
John, Denise, Jed, I mean, is Paraag completely out 100 million percentage out of the equation and not in Jed’s ear to some degree? I mean, who knows. But yea, the family, the ownership family.
On if Jed would be open to moving out football side:
Well, I think it’s going to depend on how the process unfolds. There might be some people interested in that job if they have sort of, total authority. It’s been so sort of ugly and murky there for so many years, dating back to year three of Harbaugh, when things started going off the rails, that, the way these processes unfold, oftentimes is, you have certain people you want to talk to, and they may have varied interest in your job vs. all the other jobs that are out there. And maybe the way you originally think you might be able to get them isn’t the way you could actually land them. It’s not one-sided, especially when you’re a team like the 49ers that is in the position they’re in. That may devalue that job to a certain extent. If you’re going to try and get an A-list person in there, if you’re going to try to make the case for why they should come to you, and not the Indianapolis Colts potentially for Andrew Luck, or not the LA Rams with Jared Goff and the beautiful stadium they’re building, the glitz of LA, and whatever else might attract you to it. Well then, what’s the role and who exactly am I working for, and who can I bring with me. And what if I don’t want to work with those people, but I can bring these people in to do those same jobs, and they would report to me, but maybe they wouldn’t report directly to you. So it’s a negotiation. I think all that remains to be seen.
On his understanding :
As I reported, it’s going to depend on who comes in to run football operations, and what they’re willing to come in to the job to do, and if they’re willing to work with him or not. And if you have the person there that you think is the right person, but that’s not necessarily the coach for them, or that’s not necessarily the offense that they think will work. It could go in different directions based on who becomes the point person in football operations. But everything I’ve heard is it is not by any means a fait accompli that that coaching staff is back next year.
On Tom Gamble:
I mean he would be, I guess, the name inside, but everything I’ve heard, they would be talking to people outside that building, and it’ll be a legitimate search. But if at the end, it brings them back to Tom Gamble, then that’s gonna be a self-fulfilling prophecy, because Tom Gamble’s probably fine working with Chip Kelly, and maybe that would be the outcome, or a outocme that would result in Chip Kelly going into year two of his contract as their head coach. But I don’t know that it would be anyone beyond Gamble, in that building, who would be given consideration. As I understand it, the goal is to find somebody not currently in their employee to get this team headed in the right direction.