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Randy Cross thinks 49ers will need at least 5-6 years to replace what they've lost

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Plenty of former members of the San Francisco 49ers weigh in about the state of the team from time-to-time. Steve Young and Trent Dilfer are on ESPN, with Young also having an in-season show on KNBR. Jerry Rice and Joe Montana make appearances. And former offensive lineman Randy Cross shows up on various radio appearances from time-to-time. That's just a small portion of the many ex-players that have an opinion.

Cross recently appeared on Siriux/XM NFL radio and discussed the state of the 49ers under Jed York. I've embedded the audio down below, but for those who can't hear it, I've also transcribed it.

Well, I think when his dad was running the team, Dr. John York, he just couldn't do things right, and got stuck in a cycle of doing things wrong. And I think it just demanded a change, and I think that's what got Jed involved. I'm not sure, I'm gonna be honest with you, I'm not sure if they can recover from that decision to get rid of Harbaugh, which brought on the wave of talent going away, some guys just walking away. Others choosing to go somewhere else in free agency.

The drain out of the building is something, from a talent standpoint, from a mentality standpoint, from a football knowledge standpoint, that's gonna take them, best case scenario, at least five or six years to replace. Line of scrimmage, quarterback, head coach, everything about it. I wish him the best of luck. I think the league's a lot better when, especially the California teams and the Bay Area teams are relevant. But, I look at that place right now as being in pretty dire straights when it comes to what's going to happen. For right now, they just gotta learn how to get out of their own damn way. And great example is that thing with the girl scouts. During the Super Bowl, Super Bowl week, really? That does not scream to me that we know what we're doing.

Cross and other players certainly have more knowledge about the game than a lot of people, but I do always wonder how many think of the good ol' days, and end up stuck on that to some degree. This is not meant to defend Jed York, but rather just to try and figure out more context for their opinions. If the team does in fact turn it around under Chip Kelly, I'd be curious what Cross might have to say at that point. That's not to say he's wrong now about the Harbaugh loss, but it's just something I think about from time-to-time.