Report: Kyle Shanahan beginning to fill out coaching staff

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What do you think of this staff so far? Does it have enough experience? And what will happen to Tom Rathman? Is he out?

This article has 185 Comments

  1. – Nice to see some continuity with assistant coaches KS has worked. What’s Rathman’s role?

    – Who will be the offensive line coach? Will he modify the run game and fold in some gap scheme to take advantage of Garnett, T. Brown or (the underused) Tiller?

    – I’m eager to know who the DC is. System (3-4 or 4-3 or extreme under fronts?) and coverages (single high safety?) will go a long way clarifying my draft crushes.

  2. Grant,

    Who cares what we think of Shanahan’s staff so far, and if they have enough experience. Us fans do not have a say so in who Lynch and Shanahan hire. Last time I checked the fans are not privy to who the front office or coaching hires.

    1. Exactly…the 49ers are a business…I don’t believe there is any need for “transparency” in their business practices…

      1. CFC- Would such positions be a promotion or a demotion?
        After all of these years, I don’t see Tom taking a step down.
        The guy’s given his adult life to the Niners. I never remember once thinking our backs were poorly coached.

  3. New running backs coach, what happens to Rathman? Available QBs are EJ Manuel, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sanchez, Brian Hoyer, Blain Gabbert, Matt Shaub, and Geno Smith, and none of them are really a franchise QB. So A QB coach is essential to bring along Ponder, who seems to be the best bet right now. Is it possible that Scngarello can work a miracle with any of these available QBs. It certainly isn’t worth a #2 pick.

    1. There is a possibility Glennon from the Bucs may be available. Perhaps he could fill in the gap of time from now till the franchise QB is identified.

    1. Maiocco, you don’t do much reading on sports or you would know that Rathman has
      already left the niners to seek another job in the NFL, he is not returning to the niners,
      he made that statement himself.

  4. Shanahan is beginning to assemble a quality, proven staff, as anticipated. He’s not sitting on his hands. The fact that he intends to do the offensive play-calling himself for the first year or two is no surprise except to the naive. He wants to directly install his version of the offense before handing those reigns over to an assistant. My enthusiasm for what’s happening is brimming over, I happily confess.

    1. Hmmm, after watching KS call the plays in the 4th quarter of the SB, maybe he should be the last guy in the world to be calling plays.

      Maybe he should be smart and delegate play calling authority to his OC so he can concentrate on game management. Then maybe he can attract a good OC instead of another Modkins.

      1. “Last guy in the world calling plays”

        Seb, did u happen to catch the other 18 games in the season he called… might change you’re thinking

      2. The guy calling the plays for the best offense in football shouldn’t be calling plays? He screwed up, it happens but it’s not a reason to quit what your best at.

      3. Hmmm after watching kaepernick sail 3 balls over the head of Crabtree in the Super Bowl maybe they should have cut him then.
        Were you thinking that at the time?

      4. KS is the best HC and OC that they can get. Your expectations are way too high after the last couple years of crap football. Let’s see what the man can do before you start bashing him.

        1. That is the problem. Niners wanted to make a big splash, and what did they get? 2 guys that have never done their job before.

          Pardon me if I am not jumping for joy. I am hoping for the best, but people better be pumping the brakes on the expectations for another SB win next season.

          1. “people better be pumping the brakes on the expectations for another SB win next season.”

            LMAO. Talk about jumping the shark.

            1. Well, they are declaring that everything is so rosy, they do not want to hear of any negativity, or realistic expectations, when it comes to KS.

              1. No, I have been clear all along that I would like to see Kaep improve. I have acknowledged his shortcomings last year, but saw his potential emerge last year now that he was healthy.

                What is disconcerting is his detractors ignoring his passing for 400 yards, and an equally impressive 300 yard passing and 100 yards rushing accomplishments. I certainly am not ignoring those games.

          2. Except for no one mentioned going to the superbowl. However someone did suggest the best oc in football shouldn’t be calling the plays next season. Smh

        2. Amen to that, and I do think that this will work, it will just take time, and there will be a lot of whiners out there complaining that it isn’t working, because they
          think there should be a quick turn around being he is a smart person and
          knows football. These whiners need to wake up and take notice that it is
          going to take most likely 3 yrs. to be a play off contender. In the shape the team is
          in right now, 3 yrs might be pushing it.

      5. What happened, Seb? Did you read something that stated KS is not interested in Sackorpick? Besides, as much blame falls on the shoulders of the HC…he was wearing a headset, and could have very well said “no, run the ball”..they were aggressive all season long…and followed suit in the big one…had the strategy worked, the “doubters” would have no fodder for comment

        1. Naw, I am confident that both Lynch and KS are very smart. KS has the rep for rehabilitating QBs, so Kaep may be very intriguing to them. I bet Ryan told KS that Kaep was the real deal, especially after he beat Ryan in that 2012 playoff.

          I am waiting for the PC. I bet they do not declare that they will cut Kaep, they will play their cards close to their vest. They still need to assemble their coaching staff before they can start their player assessments.

          They may decide that Kaep may not be the QB they want, but they better realize that if Kaep leaves, he may be playing against them twice a year.

          Yes, the HC could have over ruled KS, but he never did that before, so he was riding on that call, even though he may have lost the SB because of it.

          If the strategy had worked, I would have been the first to congratulate them. However, it did not work, so they need to accept blame. Just part of the job description.

  5. Does Rathman have the desire to be an OC someday or is he happy being the RB coach? If he wants to be an OC maybe they will move him to coach the O. Line or WR’s. If he doesn’t want to be an OC he will probably go to another team.
    I would love to see him coach the WR.

      1. I see you are a little naive. Winning the SB would have given KS a lot more leverage.

        KS could have strutted in, instead of limping in all butt hurt.

        1. Seb… I seriously doubt, Kyle is butt hurt. He might be disappointed because they lost, but butthurt, so he has to give over OC duties, that’s nuts. The man knows his system better than anyone Alive. Delegate my A**, there is no better option for option for OC than him.

        2. And why would he want to bring in a “best candidate”? They don’t know his system. Jesus man, the super bowl is over. This is the same guy that had his offense exploding for points. You don’t dismiss that because of 1 horrible quarter. Get over it.

            1. Complete body of work Seb. Best OC in the NFL at this current time.

              And I’d also go as far as to say……. with that young defense, without Kyle, the Falcons don’t even make the Super Bowl and likely are eliminated by the Seahawks.

              Kyle’s disappointed to be sure. His taking accountability shows humility, which only makes him better, and doesn’t necessarily mean he believes he’s the reason they lost.

              In fact, I’m sure his play calling was sound, if his players had simply executed. And I am fairly sure Kyle feels this way as well, no matter the humility he showed by taking some responsibility for the loss.

              By the way, running thee ball is no guarantee of success in that situation. Fumbles happen almost as often as INT’s. And like I’ve already said at least 5 time ……. Matt Ryan is responsible for understanding situational football and knowing when you absolutely cannot take a sack.

              If I am the OC, I’m going to assume my veteran, MVP, and 4-time Pro Bowl QB understands situational football and adjusts his internal clock accordingly. And if he holds the ball longer than he should, without throwing the ball away, and takes an unnecessary sack, it’s on him, 99.9%! Matt Ryan simply froze, like a deer in headlights, and that’s all on him, IMO.

              1. 49, dont get me wrong, I am very happy KS is the HC, but he does not walk on water, and I hope he will not be stubborn, and learn from his mistakes.

                Now that Baalke is gone, I hope they can sign decent FAs and hit a grand slam during the draft.

                The last game is ancient history to me, so I hope the Niners can turn things around, assemble a good coaching staff, and make astute assessments of the personnel. I hope that they can take this talent, and put players in their proper positions, and function efficiently and effectively.

          1. Gosh, the Falcons collapsed with a 25 point lead in the 4th quarter, and you do not think it did not hurt?

            It was also the way they lost. Being in field goal range. Maybe they should have kneeled down 3 times to make them burn their time outs, then kick a field goal to go up 2 scores. Instead, they let them sack the QB and a penalty walked them out of field goal range. So you want me to hail them as elite strategists? This one hurt more than the 17 point lead at home against the Niners in 2012.

            1. So what. So u just dismiss the rest of his 9 years of accomplishments as a play caller because of one horrible quarter. Get real man. Good thing your not the gm. U have e balkee tendencies

            2. Straight prisoner of the moment. Let’s have this great offensive coordinator not call his plays that he’s going to build in his system, because he had a bad quarter. Just dismiss all the accomplishments he’s put together because of a bad quarter. Let’s hire a OC to bring in their offense because of a bad quarter. Man Seb, I like reading you, but sometimes you are way out of your league.

              1. And I don’t say that last part as an absolute, because this is just a blog and everyone has their own opinion. Just like mine is there is no other person on this planet qualified to put in Kyle Shannahan’s offense, better than him. So he as his own OC makes perfect sense.

              2. Head coaches are a lot different than OCs and DCs. The job description of most OCs is that they should call the plays.

                Like Chip before him, a HC calling the plays just means the OC is superfluous. Just like Modkins.
                I hope KS can learn to designate authority, and concentrate on the defense, too. Chip ignored the defense, and it showed.

        3. Aah, Seb…..

          Your just bitter because Kap is now a “book” that lays under the bed…..forgotten, no longer relevant and covered in dust-the dustheap of history.

          1. Sounds like you want to burn that book, too.

            Kaep’s story is not done. There are many more chapters to be written.

            Write on.

  6. Well you can’t get experience if you don’t try….But they all worked with Kyle and his dad before… Familiarity is there
    ..So cooperation makes for a smooth operation..

  7. Who can tell? You can have a great staff but without the correct players you are just rearranging the deck chairs on The Titanic.

  8. With the existing retained staff there to help the transition and the draft, there should be a substantial improvement this year. The key this year is how he handles the draft. KS and lynch along with the new kids on the block should make draft day interesting this year. I would like to see them trade down and get more talent to fill some of the needs. All those drafted won’t make the team, but if they do their due diligence the team should come out with some quality players. No ACL repairs or other damaged goods. .

  9. Very nice hires I’m hoping they hire rex Ryan as dc we wouldn’t have to change from 3-4 and despite his shortcomings as a hc he is one of the best defensive minds in the game

  10. So far, it’s ShannyLynchious! We’ve got some good experience, and got rid of the bad experience. Tom Wrathman will be retained as an offensive assistant/quality control….

  11. I’m glad Turner is on the staff. Kyle would have been calling plays anyway, so him as OC doesn’t bother me. Even if it did cost me the major props.

  12. Not surprised to see Bobby Turner brought on board. He’s been a Shanahan guy for a very long time. If they keep Rathman I wonder if they move him to an assistant HC type role? Probably not, as it sounds like Shanahan prefers to work closely with guys he knows. Will be interesting to see what they do with Rathman.

  13. I’ve seen a report that O’Neil may be retained, but not as DC. I wonder what sort of role they have in mind? I know Shanahan has liked to have a defensive minded guy help out on offense, basically scouting opponent D and self scouting how to stop Shanahan’s O/ tendencies.

  14. Well, the offense here will remain what it was in Atlanta, with the hiring of Bobby Turner and Mike McDaniel. Seems pretty crowded now, if you were Tom Rathman would you want to stay?

  15. McShay mocking Watson to the 49ers with the 2nd pick. Like I said before, his stock is going to take off at the combine….

    1. The 9ers don’t need Watson, they need bodies that can play on the OL, the DL, LBers and the corners. A couple of WRs would also help. The #2 pick is worth what in the number of picks they can obtain to get the people they need to fill the multitudinous number of holes they currently have. Where is the depth in this years draft? Where do they find what they need? The draft and the future or Free Agency and the now? Maybe KS can turn Ponder or Gabbert into what Ryan was able to do. Look how Alex Smith turned out under a different coach.

  16. Last years 9ers=Titanic, Kaep & Gabberts were deck chairs. Ponder is yet anither deck chair. Zuntil this team has legit QB they will be marginal or sub marginal. What looks clear is that with roster so much in disarray at so many positions, they are probably not ready for a QB. Could be deck chair strategy at the QB position for at least a year while other needs are dealt with to stabiluze and set the table. Same thing McKenzie had to deal with….

  17. Reasons T.O. should be in the HoF
    2nd in receiving yards
    3 in TD’s
    8th in total receptions
    averaged 14.8 yards per reception
    5 time all-pro
    6 pro bowls
    3 times NFL TD leader
    Made the HoF all decade 2nd team, same team as Peyton Manning.

    Reasons Owens doesn’t deserve to be in the HoF
    Not all of his teammates or coaches liked him…

    Are you f’n kidding me?

        1. CFC love the photo man.
          Just got my regal beagle Tee.
          My wife use to like the show until she met me. She knows when the theme song is playing it’s going to be at least a two hour event. My favorite sitcom ever.

    1. CFC,

      You said it better than me. It is ridiculous and a clear indication that the HOF voting is a joke.


      I agree with CFC on Craig too. He was a very good player for the Niners and played a part in a great decade of championships, but his resume isn’t HOF worthy. Owens is and it’s personal feelings that are keeping him out.

      1. Roger Craig was the first player to rush for 1000 yards and Catch for 1000 yards, a feat that was only recently broken.
        He is an MVP, 4 time pro bowler and has 3 rings.

        That is good enough for me. I hope Roger Craig gets in before TO. TO accumulated stats, but never achieved greatness, on and off the field.

      2. Yeah… Rocket ..

        perhaps the stat-junkies would agree with you..
        and comparable numbers can be used to vindicate
        your viewpoint … however …

        this begs the question …

        ” .. should HOF inclusion be determined
        by stats alone .. ?

        I think … maybe .. another criteria should be
        considered .. as well … for example …

        What did said player’s contribution mean for the team ?

        The Niners rode Craig’s wheels on .. (how many)
        Super Bowl runs … and Roger was instrumental
        of many wins ..during the ‘lean” years
        as well …

        During the 80’s … Roger Craig was .. as important
        to the Niners successes during that era .. as ..
        Ronnie .. Jerry … and Joe …

        Now … one cannot compare one player to the other, of course..
        but the point is .. it took a ..combination .. of
        those four.. and the rest of the “stars” …

        th do what they did !

        And IMO … that criteria should be as important..
        than dry stats

        1. The stats are what start the conversation. Craig had one HoF season statistically his third year. He never came close to repeating his 1000/1000 season. He also only had 3 1000+ yard rushing seasons.

          A RB with 11 seasons played but only rushed for 1000 yards 3 times in his career is Hall of Fame worthy? I hope not.

  18. As long as its deck chairs for awhile, might as well invite Kaep back after releasing him. Very much doubt Kaep’s phone will be ringing with any better offers.

    1. Apparently they’re too indifferent and/or cheap to call a professional who could fix these recurrent issues.

  19. Seb clings to his dreams: The reaffirmation of the Agnew/Nixon, Tomsula/Oneil Tickets


    February 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Hmmm, after watching KS call the plays in the 4th quarter of the SB, maybe he should be the last guy in the world to be calling plays.


    February 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    “Last guy in the world calling plays”

    Seb, did u happen to catch the other 18 games in the season he called… might change you’re thinking

  20. John Lynch not as inexperienced an evaluator as people think

    February 8, 2017 at 11:31 AM • 7 comments

    As a child, John Lynch was never allowed to miss school. However, there was one rare exception. It was the day of the NFL Draft. Lynch’s father would allow his son to miss a day of school to watch the NFL Draft on ESPN with him. It was something special that the two shared.

    As a player, Lynch would drive his wife crazy watching both days of the draft in their entirety. According to Lynch, most players don’t watch the draft. Typically, if a veteran player sits down to watch the draft, he is very focused on just the team that he plays for and is checking to see if the organization is bringing in his replacement.

    For Lynch, watching the draft as a player was different. He would spend the two days plotting out the draft board. “[Being in a front office] was always of interest to me,” Lynch told Mike Florio on Tuesday for a Wednesday edition of PFT Live. “I did think about it while I was playing. Maybe someday that would be something.”

    – See more at:

    1. Kyle Shanahan reportedly decides not to fill key position on 49ers coaching staff

      The new 49ers coach is going against the grain with this decision
      by John Breech @johnbreech , 4h ago • 2 min read

      As for the offensive coordinator job, it’s not unheard of for a coach to fill the role, but it is rare. Of the 32 teams in the NFL, the 49ers are expected to be one of just three that won’t have an OC in 2017. The Browns and the Texans…

      1. 49ers John Lynch on QB crisis: ‘We’re looking at every scenario’

        SANTA CLARA — Solving the 49ers quarterback crisis will be what general manager John Lynch calls a “huge emphasis” in his newfound union with coach Kyle Shanahan.

        Trades, free agency mentioned as possible solutions, Source: SJM

    1. If Shanahan/Lynch feel that drafting Trubisky at #2 is the right thing to do, then I’m fine with it. However, they should definitely sign Matt Schaub as a bridge QB as he should have a good command of the 17 word play calls.

  21. * Leadership is the biggest issue here, and you can’t lead if you can’t communicate. Chip Kelly was a decent leader in the locker room, but he obviously had zero chemistry with Baalke or anybody else in the building.

    Baalke, of course, was a non-starter in the communication area. Tomsula? You know that one.

    Jed prefers the off-the-record texting sessions and Marathe is his own guy.

    All those 49ers major figures, disconnected from the public for years.

    And I do believe that if you are horrible at communicating to the public, you are usually also horrible at doing that inside your own building… and it showed the last two seasons.

    So I believe that Lynch and Shanahan want to be out front, want to be relatively transparent and want to connect with fans–usually through the media (I know, we’re evil, but we sorta are here to ask the questions that help explain who these guys are and what the team is doing).

    If they can do that–and they are already doing it–I think it’s a strong sign that they’ll be able to do it with their players.

    Source: T. Kawakami

        1. Thanks, Scooter. I didn’t read your second article, but based on this hire is it possible to take an educated guess regarding the 3-4 or 4-3.

          1. But I still think we can make an educated guess based on the names being considered for DC.

            Vic Fangio and Gus Bradley were both sought after by the 49ers, after they knew Shanahan would be the HC. Now we are hearing Saleh and Henderson. Each and every one of those guys come from a hybrid, under front system. So in all likelihood it will look something like the 49ers Fangio/ Bradley Seahawks type system, where the line between whether it is a 3-4 or 4-3 is blurred.

            1. I wonder if the niners threw in a 5th or 6th round pick (they have two in both of those rounds) if the bears would give us Fangio?
              It’s just a thought, as I see him as more valuable than the pick.
              He would provide a proven DC, with loads of experience, who could be the voice of reason on this young, inexperienced staff.

              1. Yea, I suggested offering them a 6th pick for Fangio but they could also just wait until next year and get him….

      1. Same. He’s a hard nosed old ball player, who carved out a very long career through hard work and discipline over talent. Good guy to teach Armstead and Buckner how to harness their talent by making sure they do the little things right, in my opinion.

  22. KS you need to do these things, beat the Rams and the Hawks twice a year. You also must beat the Cowboys and Packers every time you face them.

  23. There is a possibility Glennon from the Bucs may be available. Perhaps he could fill in the gap of time from now till the franchise QB is identified.

  24. I saw, in person, every home game Roger Craig and TO played at the ‘Stick and all three Super Bowls Roger played in with the Niners, and to even compare them in my opinion is a joke. Forget all the stats. They both have impressive stats. Roger Craig is far and away more deserving of being inducted into the HOF than TO. Not even a contest. Craig was not only a great player, he was a main piece of the heart and sole of those championship teams, a team leader, and an ambassador for the league. He was a great teammate and mentor to younger players. TO was TO. A great player at times. A loner who was obsessed with himself. Self promoting. Selfish. To me, all those factors should contribute to why players are voted into the HOF. Is that always the case? Obviously not. But, I think in this case it does. I think Roger will make it and TO won’t, and I’m more than fine with that.

    1. As I asked Grant already, just how many former owners and teammates have to come out in his defense before writers stop using the ‘bad teammate’ excuse for not letting him in the HoF.

  25. The pic of Lynch and Shanahan in front of lockers, with jersey, helmet,pads….seriously that is LAME.
    Is this how its going to be? Classic Jed, trying to win the press conference. Try focusing on getting a QB and building a team that can compete. KS is about to get a rude shock when he starts working with this roster in its current state…

  26. Urgh, its Trent Dilfer so I take what he says with a very large grain of salt. And it pains me to say his reasoning here is along the lines I have WRT to Garoppolo.

    Basically, if Garoppolo was available in the draft, where would he get picked? And I agree with Dilfer’s “poll” that he would be a top 5 pick. So if you need a QB, that’s pretty much what he should be worth to you. I wouldn’t “trade the farm” though, as Dilfer suggests.

    1. Yup, if they do not fix the defense, it does not matter who they get as QB.
      Niners should be smart and parlay that second pick for more bodies in the second round. Then they can get a MLB and DT who will help the run defense.

      1. I think the D will be about league average next year.
        They will have a better DC regardless of who they hire.
        They could easily sign an MLB (preferably 2) an olb, and possibly a safety… these could just be solid starters… who wont break the bank and still vastly improve the defense.

    2. Scooter …

      just .. maybe .. Dilbert is still getting
      his “insider” info …. from
      Cassie’s daddy …

      (that would explain the rocks in his head)

    3. His experience certainly earns him the nod over Trubisky so I have no doubt he’d be either the first or second QB taken this year just not sure where those two will end up going. He could be top 5 or top 15. I only nit pick because those 10 or so spots are a big difference trade value wise.

      I still think if you believe in JG then you trade the 2018 first for him. You’ve already picked your QBOtF so no need to worry about the 2018 class which is where you’d need to use that pick on a QB anyway.

  27. While waiting for the PC, I just wanted to surmise about another draft strategy. I no longer want to help out the Jets, so I think the Niners should target Cleveland, and trade back only once.

    The Niners should trade back with Cleveland, for their first and second this year, and their second next year. Cleveland would have to pick 8th in 2018 to make it all balance out, but with the first and second pick, the will have a good chance to improve.

    The Niners would trade the number 2 pick for the number 12, number 33, and their 2018 second round pick.

    Cleveland could now get the best defensive player, but also the best offensive player. They could select the best QB in the draft, something they could not do if they picked 12th, while still getting Garrett. There are 4 teams that could want a QB. Niners, Bears, Jets and Bills. Browns could select Garrett and Trubisky, or Watson if they think he is more pro ready.

    With their draft picks, The Niners could select Reuben Foster ILB at 12, Christian McCaffrey RB at 33, Haason Reddick OLB at 34, and Chris Wormley DT at 66.

    They should bundle players and picks to get a couple more early round picks to get Cooper Kupp WR, and Ryan Anderson, OLB.

    if they could get those 6 players in the first 3 rounds, i would call that draft a grand slam.

    1. The fatally mediocre quarterback play on the roster is the first thing that must be addressed, and remedied, along with the acquisition of a true #1 WR with the hybrid timing WCO in mind. Immediately thereafter, defense, defense, defense, along with another hard-hitting RB. We also will need a FG kicker and some special teams help.

      1. Free Agency could be a major factor this year for the 49ers in this equation. There are some quality players out there who would provide major position upgrades and we have the moolah to make a real play for them.

  28. Funny how a bunch of fan ant victories right away! When harbaugh was named coach, we had some major talented players rob gore, wr crabtree, te davis, good ol with younger Stanley, de Justin smith, lb Willis and other talented players, this roster has some solid pieces but stars? Maybe Buckner and arm stead but not much. This draft if there is a franchise player know matter the position we draft him, and get as many talented players, lynch and ms seem solid hope we can all be patient.

  29. Hey Grant, do we need to fly a banner around the PD to get this site fixed? Your technicians are as bad as the Niner defense was last year. Maybe they are tired, or they don’t understand computer integrity.

    1. Tell the IT guy to go into the server room, pull down his pants and start yelling at the computer and see if he get’s it to come around.

  30. sebnynah

    February 8, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Maybe he could coach up the TEs, so they can catch the ball.


    We get that your comment was a backhanded jab at the Kap detractors….That because of poor receiving Kap never had a chance…

    It’s old news, Seb. Time to get on board with regime change, or prove your not all talk, bloviating bluster about your loyalty to Kap and follow him out the door.

    The Shanahan train is moving on with, or without you. However, your years of Kap loyalty say there’s a 100-1 chance you’re leaving with your idol.

    Meanwhile, we get to rejoice in Shanahan’s latest clever coaching hire….The most intelligent move yet. That is, hiring himself as the OC.

    He knew that Jed has a history of going cheap with assistant coaches like Jim Hostler or the Disc Jockey, so Shanahan saved Jed some millions by not having to hire another OC, freeing the money up to spend heavy on whomever the next DC will be.

    Brillant move, Kyle. And it speaks volumes about the homework he’s done on the York Family.

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