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The Shanaplan: Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have restored the 49ers’ good name

“Winning with Class” is back

When the Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch regime began, they had one very specific job: restore the luster of the 49ers franchise. After the farewell press conference for Jimmy Garoppolo and the recent success the team has had on the field, it’s safe to say they have accomplished that mission.

By the time Shanahan and Lynch were hired in 2017, the 49ers organization had become known for two things - losing and infighting. The football on the field wasn’t good (15-33 in their previous three seasons), and the decision-makers above the field in the front office were even worse.

Owners were tweeting out apologies after losses. Three different people coached the team in three years. National insiders could get dirty laundry from the highest levels of the organization seemingly whenever they wanted. Even the grass in the stadium wasn’t right. In short, it was a place few liked playing, and even fewer wanted to coach.

In came Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch in 2017. The leaks stopped. The fighting between coaches and general managers stopped. The grass on the field finally got figured out. And eventually, after the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo at the end of 2017, the football got figured out, too. So many of the things that people pointed and laughed at for years with the 49ers disappeared.

As Akash Anavarathan said in today’s Shanaplan podcast, that trend has continued during the end of the Jimmy Garoppolo chapter with his final press conference, which was separate from all the others players this week.

“I think that’s kind of a class organization move. They’re giving him the floor, giving him the moment to have that farewell press conference. I think that was a good move on Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch’s part. At the same time you’re also trying to show potential free agents, potential players you’re trying to attract, that, ‘Here’s how we treat our players.’ Even though we’re probably going to trade this guy in a few weeks, we still love him like family and we’re going to give him that.”

Free agency will begin next month, and the 49ers should be on a lot of players’ shortlists. While places like Kansas City, Dallas, and Los Angeles will also be attractive to anyone on the market, there’s no denying that San Francisco absolutely belongs in their company, and that’s a credit to both John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.

Winning with class has always been an important part of the 49ers' culture, going back to the 1980s under Eddie DeBartolo and Carmen Policy. As a fan, it’s certainly nice to see that culture restored for the foreseeable future.

Other topics in today’s episode

  • Is the season a success or a failure? (3:26)
  • Even with a rookie quarterback, are playoffs the standard going forward? (6:13)
  • Shanahan sticks by his decision to punt on 4th and 2 (8:10)
  • Jaquiski Tartt hasn’t been getting the hate for his dropped INT, which is good (14:40)
  • The ripple effects of DeMeco Ryans staying in SF (17:11)
  • John Lynch addresses the rumors he’s returning to TV (24:21)
  • Did Jimmy G. really need a send-off like this? (29:20)
  • How the 49ers are viewed around the NFL by other teams and players (36:55)
  • Where will Jimmy G. end up? (40:05)
  • The pressure is on Shanahan and Lynch moving forward (46:08)