Eddie DeBartolo will be in the Bay Area next week for the induction of Carmen Policy into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. In advance of that, DeBartolo took some time to join Tim Kawakami for a chat on the latter’s podcast. I’ve embedded the audio below, and you can also find it here.
The first 15 minutes includes some fun stories and discussion about Carmen Policy and their relationship. It gets serious after that as they discuss Dwight Clark and his recent ALS diagnosis.
In the final six minutes, Kawakami asked him DeBartolo about the decision to hire John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, and what it might mean. DeBartolo hopes for a John McVay type of hiring. I think most 49ers fans would love it if the hiring of Lynch had that kind of result.
Here is a quick transcript of the three questions related to the current 49ers. The whole podcast is worth a listen, so scroll down to check it out.
On changing the culture:
I think Jed has it, he’s got it. I’ve known John [Lynch] going on 17 years now because obviously he was down here with the Bucs, and we got to know each other. My only problem is I haven’t had an opportunity yet to congratulation him, and I’ll do that as soon as I get a chance. As far Kyle Shanahan, the last thing I remember about Kyle was that he was shagging footballs for his dad and for the quarterbacks when he was out at camp with us. I’ve followed his career, I think he’s the type of person that mirrors his father. He’s very, very dedicated, and I think he’s got experience for his age. And I think with John there, John hopefully will be like John McVay was for all of us. And he certainly knows players, he knows football. And I think it was an excellent move. I’ve talked to Jed, and I’ve talked to my sister, and hopefully with the draft coming up, I know that the 49ers have a lot of money to spend. They’re way under the salary cap, and they have a lot of really, really good draft choices. So this should be the year where they start their great rebuilding program.
On how difficult he thinks it has been for Jed and Denise:
Oh, I think it’s been murder. Who wants to lose? I mean you’re talking to a guy that never knew, I couldn’t even spell, I still can’t spell lose. And hopefully I think they’re the same way. It’s been very, very difficult. I think he’s done all he can. There were some mistakes made. I’ll be the first to say that, and I’m sure that they would say the same thing. But you know what? You learn by your mistakes. And hopefully this move with these two men, and a change in the coaching staff, and some new people in the front office, gets them back to where they need to be, and where we all want to see them be, and that’s perennially competitive, and in the playoffs. And hopefully once you do that, you always have a chance of going to the big game.
On if firing Harbaugh was huge mistake:
Oh, I don’t know. If you can’t get along with somebody, I don’t know the inner-workings there, Tim. Do I like Jim Harbaugh? I do like him. I like him as a person. He’s got a personality somewhat similar to mine. And I don’t know how he and I would have got along. I’m sure that we would have had our little bouts. But I like him a lot. I think he’s a brilliant coach. I think, obviously Michigan is very lucky. But to each his own. That doesn’t Jed and Denise had to deal with him on a daily basis, but I’m a fan of Jim Harbaugh.