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San Francisco 49ers general manager and former NFL safety John Lynch spent a brief amount of time in New England. He joined the Patriots in 2008, spending just one offseason with the organization. He retired prior to the start of the 2008 season.
Nevertheless, he managed to take in some lessons while he was there. One of the biggest takeaways from his time was player development. Lynch got a chance to see how Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots’ personnel evaluated players.
Lynch spoke at the Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum last week. He discussed some of the key takeaways he’s learned throughout the course of his career as an executive. He gave a nod to the Patriots, saying he was impressed with certain aspects of the organization in particular, as transcribed by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
“There has to be buy-in across the organization. It doesn’t just stop at personnel and coaching. It’s your trainers. Your strength coaches. Your engagement people. Your community people. It’s a real holistic approach if you really want it to be successful, because you can learn from each person.
“[Players] get pulled in a lot of different directions; everyone wants to give them advice on their careers. But if you’re not tethered, sometimes that can be a detriment … and the approach can become scattered.
“That’s the Patriots. Yeah, they had Tom Brady, and that made a difference. But there are little subtle things, and I got exposed to that. I never ended up playing for them that year because I retired, but I did see things like player development [being] at the core of their success. Everyone was speaking the same language and giving that player the same message.”
Lynch has been the general manager of the 49ers since 2017. He’s picked up some hardware in the process, as he was named the Pro Football Writers Association 2019 NFL Executive of the Year. The 49ers went 13-3 that season.
If nothing else, Lynch’s comments serve as a reminder of the Patriots influence on the rest of the NFL, especially when it comes to personnel management.