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Getting to know 49ers GM candidate Terry McDonough

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Our second leading candidate for General Manager. Time to take a look at where he comes from.

We continue our look at the San Francisco 49ers candidates for the GM position. On Wednesday, we looked at Minnesota Vikings assistant GM George Paton. Today we move on to Arizona CardinalsVice President of Player Personnel Terry McDonough. I can never find any ages for these general manager candidates but, as close as I can tell, Terry is in his early to mid fifties.

Interesting enough, Terry McDonough began his NFL career as an intern with the San Francisco 49ers in 1989 while he was a student at Massachusetts where he earned a degree in sports management.

From 1990 to 1992, he worked as the Player Personnel Director and west coast scout for the Barcelona Dragons.

He then worked as the southeast scout for the old Cleveland Browns under General Manager Ozzie Newsome from 1992 thru 1995. He stayed with the Browns through their move and their becoming the Baltimore Ravens.

McDonough moved to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1996 where he was eventually promoted to the Director of Player Personnel under General Manager Gene Smith in 2009. The Jaguars did not manage to have a single winning season during the time he was the Director of Player Personnel and Gene Smith was finally fired as a result in 2012 after the team fell to a lowly 2-14. McDonough was then terminated by the new General Manager Dave Caldwell on April 29, 2013, two days after the 2013 draft. McDonough had this to say when asked what went wrong:

“No excuses. We did the best we could. Unfortunately we didn’t win and that is what happens. I’ll still be a Jaguar fan. They’re going to be a young, fast football team with a lot of energy.”

About not hitting on a franchise quarterback:

“This is a quarterback-driven league and people that have franchise quarterbacks stay employed and people that don’t, typically don’t.”

About Blaine Gabbert whom he had helped draft after he had “struggled” his first two seasons:

“I hope so. I think this is going to be the defining year for him. This is the year he needs to show he can do it and I definitely believe he can.”cringe worthy!

McDonough then took a job with the Cardinals as their eastern regional scout in 2013 but they obviously had much larger plans for him. McDonough was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel by Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim on January 23, 2014 after Jason Licht left to become the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McDonough had this to say after being told Keim and Licht had often butted heads:

“There will be fights again.”

“My strength is, I am a team player but I am also very true to how I feel about evaluation, situations. You’re going to get Terry McDonough’s opinion. I tell you how I feel.”

…and Keim had this to say about McDonough at the time of his promotion?

“Terry is a highly regarded talent evaluator and I have the utmost confidence in his opinion. He was a key component to building a Super Bowl Roster in Baltimore drafting players like Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. His knowledge and experience will be a huge asset to our never-ending quest to improve the roster.”

Terry is the son of the late Will McDonough who was a long time sports reporter and columnist for the Boston Globe and also worked CBS and NBC Sports. McDonough’s brother Ryan is the General Manager for the Phoenix Suns, and his other brother Sean is ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play man.

One parting thought. Should we take a chance on the guy that is thought to have been the deciding factor on the Jaguars drafting Blaine Gabbert? Fortunately, we will most likely be able to blame Shanahan for whatever happens with the 49ers quarterback situation.