The San Francisco 49ers had a celebratory press conference on Friday, announcing Jimmy Garoppolo’s new five-year contract extension. The press conference featured Garoppolo, general manager John Lynch, and head coach Kyle Shanahan. Owner Jed York was present, but he was off to the side during the main part of the press conference.
After the formal press conference, the team had media scrums, and York got some questions. At one point, someone asking if this press conference was more enjoyable than some of his previous ones. Jed offered a self-deprecating answer.
When Jed York was asked if this was a more enjoyable presser than some of his others in February, he said: "It's weird because I rarely make mistakes." It was a good moment #49ers— Tracy Sandler (@49ersfangirl) February 9, 2018
It was a rough few years for York, dating back to the last year of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure in the Bay Area. After he departed, Jim Tomsula took over. Jed York’s press conference after Harbaugh departed, followed by Tomsula’s introductory press conference were both disasters. A year later, Chip Kelly had a perfectly fine press conference, but Jed still didn’t quite seem to get it.
A year ago, the 49ers were able to land Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. And since they were first introduced, things have settled down in a big way. John Lynch has effectively become the personality of the franchise, with Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo emerging as part of the face of the franchise.
The owner is able to do what he wants with the team, but Jed has made the wise decision to let his football guys do their thing. In reality, the past couple years Jed had stayed out of the limelight with regard to football decisions, but it was hard to separate him from then GM Trent Baalke. Bringing in a new general manager allowed for there to be some separation to a certain extent.
And York does recognize that this is not the end of the process, but a big step in the development of it (transcript via Tim Kawakami).
“Yeah, it’s good, but we can’t celebrate today. I mean, this isn’t the celebration day. It’s the beginning of a lot of hard work. And that’s what I’m excited about. I’m excited to get back to work and know that we have a chance to go where we want to go, but it’s only going to get there if we put in the work and all of these guys put in the work.”
At this point, I think most people are ready to move on from bashing Jed York for the decisions he has made in the past. It was a frustrating period, but his decision to bring in John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan and let it go from there has worked out well. Some fans like seeing their team’s owner up front. Others prefer he be in the background. For the time being, Jed York seems to have found the sweet spot, leaving us to just enjoy an improving football team.