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John Lynch and the 49ers set a precedent about character

The new regime walks the walk and releases Tramaine Brock, the first player that has an incident with the law

Shortly after taking their place in Santa Clara, the new San Francisco 49ers regime spoke about wanting players with good character that love football. They followed through on that requirement by releasing Tramaine Brock after he was arrested under suspicion of domestic violence.

Both head coach Kyle Shanhan and general manager John Lynch have made several comments in the various press conferences since taking their positions and have mentioned the word character repeatedly.

Under previous HC/GM tenures, the 49ers have had an unfortunate streak with several players getting arrested during the offseason, Aldon Smith and Ray McDonald to name a few. The repercussions at the time were inconsistent. This time the reaction was swift and quick as it was when Bruce Miller was arrested on suspicion of assault. The press release for Brock was one sentence long as it was when the team announced the release of Miller.

“The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have released CB Tramaine Brock.”

Although Brock is innocent until proven guilty, the 49ers are clearly not going to take any chances and set an example of what can happen to a player if such an incident should come up. The 28 year old CB had one year remaining on his contract.

Here are a few examples from various media questions.

GM John Lynch

I think the important thing for Kyle and I to do first and foremost is to be very clear with the vision we have for this place, what it’s going to take to be successful. And then I think once you set a vision, you’ve got to also let them know that we’re not going to have a lot of rules but the rules we have, we’re going to adhere to. That’s not just to do that, that’s because I’ve been there before, Kyle’s been there before and discipline’s a big part of this thing and accountability’s a big part of this thing.

We’re going to have guys with great character, football character and we’re going to have guys that are interested in making their community a better place. That’s important to Kyle and I and it’s important to Jed. I could not ask for better partners in the process and the challenge that lies ahead in Jed and Kyle.

HC Kyle Shanahan

I always feel that when you have a good player, as long as he’s a great person and has great character, then you can never go wrong and those are the guys you’ve got to take care of. There’s a lot of good players, but it’s hard to find a good player and a great person. And when you’ve got both of those together, that’s what gives you a chance to win because there’s rough times in this league. There’s rough times in every year. As soon as you lose two games in a row in this league, it becomes Armageddon everywhere and that’s part of the business. You hear it any time you get out of the building. You hear it from your wives. They hear it from everyone else. You need strong people. It’s not just about talent. You need strong people with high character. Sometimes you can’t find out really who people are until you go through adversity and I’m looking through doing that with guys and finding out who are the guys who can handle it, who wants to fight their way out of it and you try to find the guys who when things get tough, the ones who point fingers, those are the ones that it’s tough to win with and you’ve got to find that out and that does take time. But, I’m planning on going through lots of good times and bad times with these guys and when you do that, that’s how you form a bond. Shared sacrifice that you go through with each other and like I’ve said probably a bunch of times, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it and we’re going to be ready to go through that grind.

You don't always make the right decisions, but I can promise you guys we're going to do everything we can to do that. We're going to hold people accountable. We're going to do it the right way.