During the Super Bowl, you may have caught a scene (or, at the very least, heard about it) of San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch “not being on the same page” with head coach Kyle Shanahan. Towards the end of the first half after a crucial play, everyone and John Lynch were making the timeout signal with their hands.
As you all know, Kyle Shanahan didn’t exactly do that. Instead, he started letting time tick down, electing to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes speedy hands once more:
Also, I think Kyle missed an opportunity before half when he failed to use a time out. The OPI call was unfortunate, but leaving MULTIPLE time outs on the board was dubious.— John Ellis (@OnePantherPlace) February 3, 2020
John Lynch seems to agree.pic.twitter.com/SJUQGGL1Kg
Obviously, this may cue a narrative that Lynch and Shanahan are not on the same narrative or that friction that we were subjected to earlier this year is true.
Like many questions in the Lynch/Shanahan season-ending press conference, they were transparent as ever explaining the reason behind this. Here’s what Lynch said about the action:
“Yeah, I think it’s just as if I was a player looking at the sidelines saying timeout, timeout. I was thrilled for our guys. I get excited watching these games. Not much I can do up there, but I’ve got these guys’ backs. It’s not my role to do time management. I don’t focus a lot on it. I was proud of our guys getting a big stop. That was my initial reaction. [President of 49ers Enterprises and EVP of Football Operations] Paraag [Marathe] does study a lot of time management. I’m also asking him, ‘Should we get the timeout?’ That’s all it was. It was quickly erased when they almost pinned us at the half yard line. Kyle knows that. I watch the game with emotion because I care. That’s all that was.”
Two things to take from this: the first is Lynch has Shanahan’s back in an “I trust your judgment” way, and he’s just like any of us in that knee-jerk reaction. How many of you were getting animated, saying, “TIME THE [site-decorum] OUT!”
It can’t be stressed enough how good this partnership is. The two lost the Super Bowl, but they are moving on and not pointing fingers at each other. Remember what happened in Super Bowl 47? There was none of this from Trent Baalke. The real unraveling happened a year after the loss, but even moments after that gutting loss, it’s a good assumption the response would be something like “Well, that’s the coach’s decision.” Lynch is saying the same thing, but he’s also saying he trusts the decision, which is a big thing.
Plus, he was watching it like any of us. He’s staying out of the way and letting Kyle Shanahan run the football team. We all knew that was what was going on anyways, but you don’t hear him calling down to run plays or do anything else that you hear some franchises doing.
Another reason why these two are good for the organization.