49ers brass denies reports of strife as training camp opens

FILE – In this Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, file photo, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif., In this age of relative parity in the NFL it is almost unfathomable that two teams would be 0-8 at their halfway mark. Yet there they are, the 49ers and Browns. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SANTA CLARA — Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch swear they really like each other.

“Questioning our relationship is the stupidest thing ever,” Shanahan explained to reporters Friday morning, the day the 49ers reported to training camp.

Reporting day is the most positive and optimistic day of the football season. Players and coaches typically gush about how excited they are to return to football and how confident they are heading into the season. Why shouldn’t they feel confident? They haven’t lost yet.

Despite all of that general positivity, the 49ers’ head coach and general manager had to respond to reports of friction between them, as well as strife between the front office and the scouting department.

According to Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne, members of the 49ers’ scouting department feel discouraged because Lynch doesn’t value their input on players during the draft or free agency. Instead, Lynch listens to coaches, who don’t know the players as well as scouts do.

Lynch didn’t deny Bleacher Report’s assertion, nor did he apologize for his methods.

“I think we have a really good process going,” he said. “The way we chose to do this may be different from some others. It’s the way we think is best, ultimately. We pride ourselves on listening to everyone, and everyone’s voices being heard. Ultimately, two people have been charged with making decisions to give this team the best opportunity to win, and that’s Kyle and me. That’s the way it is.”

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This article has 80 Comments

  1. Did these reporters once work for CNN?
    First day the team gets together and somehow this becomes the storyline – Sheesh ..

    Do you think the current players care about such a report?
    Also, If employees complain about their jobs maybe they should move on.

    Like I said earlier, the scouts job is to bring all the information (regarding potential players) to the table, period.
    The big boys will make the decisions from there. Scouts should feel relieved that they aren’t responsible to make these decisions.
    Too much sensitivity around here of late.

    1. The attributed media source is Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report. A quick search of the socialist media instrument called The Internet_shows the following…

      Tyler Dunne
      Buffalo, NY
      NFL Features Writer — Bleacher Report
      Metro New York, Sports, U.S. Regional

      As seen in: Bleacher Report, Los Angeles Times, CBNT-TV (St. John’s, NL), The Mercury News, Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning News, Boston Herald, The Sacramento Bee, Wisconsin State Journal, Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Morning Call, Wichita Eagle, Buffalo News, Fresno Bee, The Modesto Bee, RealClearLife, Athletic Business.

      And this…


      I don’t see CNN listed, but you gotta believe Tyler D. is nothing but a fabrication of a leftist troll farm.

  2. Never seen or heard of a large organization where someone wasn’t disgruntled about something. Head coach and GM run the show, not scouts. They will live or die (corporately) by their decisions. They have 6 year contracts. Wait until that time is up before bit**ing publically about their decisions. Might save you from being embarrassed.

    1. Agree. Large organizations which pride themselves in being ultra competitive will have unhappy folks here and there. Just walk into a high volume auto dealership (Toyota, Ford, other) in a competitive locale and observe–on the surface the general manager, sales manager, and other top execs appear happy. Get members of the sales force to talk and you’ll hear endless stories of ruthless skulduggery.

  3. Didn’t Jon Gruden fire all his scouts? Sent them home right before the draft because he didn’t trust them. Now that’s pretty disrespectful

  4. Hmmm, a former scout who no longer works for the 49ers? Sounds like Baalke wants to stir up trouble.
    Yes, I could see why the scouts do not recommend red flagged players and ACL players, then feel frustrated when Paraag and his ANALytics force JL and KS to select risky players, because they are such ‘Good Value’.
    Some scouts are jealous of JL? Think they would make better GMs than JL? The last scout who became the Niner GM was an utter failure (Baalke).

    1. “Paraag and his ANALytics force JL and KS to select risky players, because they are such ‘Good Value’.”

      Actually, the analytics would suggest you the opposite. If they went by analytics they likely wouldn’t have drafted players such as Street, Deebo, Taylor, Caradine & Latimore among others.

      Additionally, these players were almost all over drafted… no matter how you do the math you don’t get great value by overpaying for something. Paying full price for a broken down car doesn’t make sense, so why would paying above market price?

      These picks were all far more likely the result of someone falling in love with a player than being data driven.

      Additionally, analytics would suggest given strikeout rate in the draft teams would all be better off trading back and getting as many picks as possible. Hmm I wonder who touts this constantly? Could it be that one Seb loves him some ANALytitics?

      1. Sorry Shoup. ANALytics looked at the player potential, and downplayed the risks.
        Baalke was all in on the ANALytics, and look at all those ACL Players. They still picked red flagged players and Street as an ACL player. The only constant in the equation is Paraag. He is the one insisting on taking those big risks because of the potential reward.
        I certainly want them to avoid the red flagged players, despite their potential.
        I am advocating that they sign and draft only fully healthy players. That way, a quarter of the team can practice in the OTAs and Mini camp, and 4 players would not be put on the PUP list.
        Remember how they emphatically stated that Ward would be a full participant in TC? PUP list.
        Bill Walsh hated ANALytics. He liked to go with his gut feelings. His 1986 draft did not rely on ANALytics. It was the blueprint for how I am advocating the trade back strategy. Looks like the Seahawks have rebuilt their team, with trading back to obtain 20 picks these past 2 drafts, and Pete Carroll is a disciple of BW.

        1. Walsh’s gut–as good as it was–also brought us….

          John Harty — 1981 (round 2)
          Blanchard Montgomery — 1983 (round 3)
          Todd Shell — 1984 (round 1)
          Ricky Moore — 1985 (round 3)
          Terrence Flagler — 1987 (round 1)
          Jeff Bregel — 1987 (round 2)

          Wonder how Walsh related with his scouts…

            1. Trading back just gets you more picks,–quantity assured, but not quality. You better know what your doing when you do this. Cheatin Pete got himself some quantity, so he can field a team. Are they going to replace the all-pros he’s been losing in the last few yrs? Doubtful.

              On an even cheerier note, Bosa evidently beat Staley soundly to the QB in today’s practice……and there aint nothin Subs can do about it!

              1. While I am rooting for the Niners to win, I will grudgingly give the Seahawks credit for making it back to the playoff, after everyone was predicting the Seahawks were in a rebuild mode.
                Yes, they still have holes, because the Niners defeated them last season with Mullens as the QB, but locking up 20 players under rookie contracts are a good way to rebuild for the future.
                It was as if they took my 10 point plan on the draft, and followed it to the letter. Too bad the Niners did not do that. Drafting red flagged players and ACL players is not a good recipe for success.
                Bosa beat Staley soundly? Quit sounding like a Niner hater. I like Staley.

        2. Bill Walsh hated ANALytics. He liked to go with his gut feelings.

          Analytics do not downplay risk… if they did insurance companies everywhere would be out of business. I’m not sure you understand what analytics are?

          At the time Walsh was one of the few coaches to use analytics. He used it in determining draft pick trade values, he used it determining how often to practice and in how he ran his practices to avoid injuries, and he used it in determining team tendencies… these were not gut feeling decisions but decisions made using empirical data.

      1. Ore, JL and KS joked about getting back to wrest the phone away from Paraag. Almost immediately after, there was a leak about JL and KS friction.
        Now there is a leak about the Scouts feeling ignored. Unlike what KS said, it was not a former disgruntled scout. He was talking about the draft, so he is a current scout., unless he was let go after the draft.
        I just know who the main leaker was, and is.
        Do you know who is leaking? I will give you kudos if you know what you are talking about.
        I am not the one who is denying that there is strife. Instead of focusing on the TC opening, the FO is having to deal with these leaks and smears.

        1. Yes indeed. Marathe is Evil Incarnate. Did you realize he is responsible for climate change, communicable diseases, and the grasshoppers invading Las Vegas? He’s hiding in a South Bay windmill, but Seb is saddling up and ready to tilt at him until the cows come home. Wear your Go-Pro Seb so we can enjoy. 🤪

          1. Yup, and until he is sent to Sacto like Jed promised, the Niners will continue to struggle.
            Guess you like all the leaks and smears.

            1. Sleb: “Yup, and until he is sent to Sacto like Jed promised, the Niners will continue to struggle.”
              “Guess you like all the leaks and smears.”
              * LOL: Same old Sleb….All hat, no cattle!

        2. From what I hear on KNBR, The Atheletic and 97.whatever, the source for this is a scout who no longer works for the Niners. Not sure, but think he was let go. I listened to an interview with Tyler and his assertations were no where near as strong as they are made out to be. Same guy was the source on the Lynch-Shanahan gossip. But for the people who want to take this an run–go for it.

  5. Why would Lynch apologize to that ? And even more, why would he do that at a press conference ?

    It’s an internal problem that should be solved internally and not on the public place

  6. I’m not sure about the reports validity. However one thing I’m not sure of is they keep referring to a former disgruntled employee. However from my understanding to report these type of things two sources are needed. So now I have to ask did they skirt this by not being a “news” outlet? Or, was there a second source?

    1. Omg. This is so cute. 2 sources? That’s so old fashioned. I love it. In the modern world what happens is 1 news organization publishes an article with innuendo & outright lies which can easily be proven false and then their friends at other outlets regurgitate the lies and say “Buzzfeed is reporting” and then MSM run with the lies by saying “multiple outlets are reporting.” This is the disinformation model created by Ezra Klein and Ben Smith. Unfortunately, I think in sports it’s ok to directly quote a source on his opinion even without a corroborating source. Unless the scout had an example of an actual event, maybe something like a fistfight in predraft meetings, must the story be corroborated.

  7. Several months ago I asked Grant–via a post on this blog–to dig into the scouting matter. With all the flak over poor 9er decisions concerning talent acquisition in the Lynch/Shanahan era (primarily the draft and undrafted free agents), I was curious about: 1) the quality of 9er scouting, 2) the relationship health between the scouting department and the GM/HC, and 3) the process used to pass info from scouts to decision makers. I don’t believe Grant responded–which is his right as the blog lead. My apologies if Grant did respond in-depth _and I missed it.

    Would have been cool if Grant had been the one to expose any scouting issues. Bleacher Report by way of Tyler Dunne did it for him–sorta.

    Wonder how many other teams have disgruntled scouts on the payroll–displeased to the degree attributed to the 9ers–18, 22, 27?

  8. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the reports of friction between scouts and coaches is very real. Makes total sense that there is a natural amount of friction between these 2 groups in every NFL team. It may be more pronounced on the 49ers because of York’s exceptionally poor organizational management. Pairing a 1st time head coach with a GM who literally had zero experience was a bad idea. Shanahan is a great coach but he needs a strong personnel man to save him from his worst impulses. Sometimes a GM must listen to the scouts and overrule the coach. I don’t get the sense Lynch has that kinda juice as the GM.

    1. Houston,

      You are correct. Friction naturally occurs in high performing environments. However, Lynch, with his lack of experience and knowing that he has to keep Shanahan happy seems to defer to him more often than not (I have yet to hear of him overruling the coach). That is not a great mixture, especially in a coach who is so young and inexperienced.

      He gives the air of having this great experience “I have been in a lot of buildings…” but then, so have I and I haven’t an inkling of how personnel departments run or should be run. He may not either.

      1. One of those buildings is the one where Beathard is the second best QB in it. Kyle’s building observation skills are not near as good as he thinks they are IMHO.. Maybe someone is needed to make sure the lights are on.

    2. These kinds of rumors don’t come from nowhere. People don’t just make up a story like that for no reason.

      1. This should be expected when you choose to keep the vast majority of the scouting staff from the previous regime.

          1. Here’s the kicker though, they kept them because they didn’t have relationships with other scouts they could bring in. Yet they seem to be ignoring the scouts recommendations. This is because Shanahan only believes in Shanahan. Sometimes that is good (Walsh) but it can also be disastrous (Kelly).

            1. Have to pick a bone on your comment here, I think Walsh valued the input of his staff more than KS does.

  9. Please.

    Let’s get a day’s practice in the books so we can dissect what did and didn’t happen.

    1. We know Bosa beat Staley…………….and Suds is feeling a real pisser!! Nothins going the way he dictated……………..

        1. Nice wordplay, Seb ‘ol bean………….u are on record of putting a serious stink-eye on Bosa, as much as calling him a bust. His first practice, going up against a possible HOF–and he schooled him. This is far, far different from the dark cloud you painted………..

          No obfuscation, Sebs–or were going straight to the archives!

    2. CFB,
      All internal issues, are well, internal issues. The worst thing that happens is when these stories are disseminated to the general public.

      I mean, how is it that this and the Gould story get top bill around here on what should be by all intent and purposes the first day of the new football season.

      By the end of day I hope the conversation turns to football.

  10. Grant…

    When you have the opportunity, please evaluate how Gould and Wishnowsky are getting along. Rather important since Wishnowsky will be holding/spotting the ball for Robbie.

  11. Grant,

    The regular season opener is against Tampa Bay….not Cincinatti.

    Looking forward to your takes on Training camp!

    1. At Tampa Bay, an afternoon in early September. Gonna be hot and humid. Wonder if a hurricane will pass through (NOT _of the ‘taking the league by storm’ nature…).

      1. We’ve got the depth to keep our posse fresh, and months of preparation. This is the first of two must win games to start the season, and for the 49ers, the mental confidence and belief boost derived could yield dividends for the season….

      2. Was in Tampa September last year. Drove right by Raymond James Stadium on the way to watch the Rays play Oakland. Yes very humid. Bucs surprised the Eagles in what must be viewed as an upset the week after they surprised New Orleans at their house. They seem to like the humidity!

      3. “At Tampa Bay, an afternoon in early September. Gonna be hot and humid ”

        Great point. Sounds familiar .

  12. When you are as bad as this team is and keep whiffing on draft days, there is bound to be discord…dunno why this team drafts so many bozo’s (brass decisions) but they do seem really good at it. Seems Kyle has too much power over the team (no offensive coordinator, drafting his crushes etc) so somebody is bound to get his nose bent out of shape. Lets hope they can crawl out of the bottom because that’s where this team is the bottom.

  13. It sounds like a butt hurt employee needed to spew ITs discontent to anyone who would listen and the press as usual ate it up. Then you listen to the football players who are on the team and they will tell you this is where they want to be.

    Of course Cohn will use anything that he can to create controversy even when none exist. I would like to see an article on why the players love playing for the Niners with the debacle Shanny and Lynch leading them. I can read the headlines now:


    1. The whole single anonymous source thing is weak on the part of the source and the writer. Then off to the races with the rest of the media.
      The Shanny-Lynch hires were somewhat late, so retaining the scouts made perfect sense the first year.
      How many people in business or the military offer their best advice and then cry when the boss doesn’t just buy in 100%? Suppose there’s truth to some resentments among the scouts, the exit doors are not locked. It’s not slavery or indentured servitude. No non compete agreements.

      1. No creditability given and none taken, is the way I see it. What would really surprise me is if strife wasn’t present. smh

  14. I think this speculation comes as non news. If the scouts had whiffed as many times as KS and JL there would cerrtainly be mass firings by now. I would be shocked if there isn’t a lot of dissension between the scouts and whoever is pulling the trigger. And I would be more shocked if the information about the decision didn’t come from someone who was no longer on the payroll – nothing to lose by speaking up.

      1. We have 800 receivers on the roster and Matthews has nothing that separates him from the group. It’s a perfectly good suggestion to trade him to a team that has acutely become receiver needy rather then dump him for nothing later.

  15. Grant…

    Not too early to ask. Has Shanahan lost the locker room? If not (yet…), what’s the over/under this season…five?

      1. sebnynah says:
        July 27, 2019 at 10:10 am
        Your incessant snark is getting old. Baalke seems to have sicced you on the Niners.

        REPLY: Your incessant need to remind us the 49ers were 4-12 in 2018 every chance you get, hinting had Kaep been at the helm we would have been in the playoffs is also snarky…..Go Root for your Raiders, SEBRAIDAH !!!***

        1. Deebo Samuel is officially a San Francisco 49er as the 2019 second round draft pick put pen to paper on Thursday, signing a four-year contract that will play him a reported $7.7 million. According to NBC Bay Area, Samuel will make $1.4 million for the 2019 season, $1.75 million in 2020, $2.1 million in 2021, and $2.5 million in 2022. The 2018 All-SEC all-purpose standout at South Carolina was the 36th overall selection in April’s draft.

        2. TrollD, calling a die hard faithful Niner fan, a Raider fan, just proves how much you hate the Niners.
          You were the one rooting for the Raiders to beat the Niners.
          Refusing to admit the Niners went 4-12, just means they, and you, will never learn from your mistakes. Those who do not learn from history, will be doomed to repeat it. -GS.

            1. Sponge, I had season tix, and witnessed the Niner/Saints epic comeback, that may have been the genesis of the Glory Years. I was there for The Catch.
              I take a back seat to no other die hard faithful Niner fan.
              Accusing a die hard faithful Niner fan of being a Seahawk fan, is low class.

          1. Sleb:
            * “Those who do not learn from history, will be doomed to repeat it. ”
            * Mirror, mirror, on the wall — who is the ____________

  16. Shanahan and Lynch spent two seasons rebuilding the 49ers. ‘Now we’ve got to win’:

    The first season for the 49ers under coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch was about setting the culture and rebuilding the tattered roster.

    The second was defined by giving quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the keys to the franchise as one of the NFL’s highest paid players before he went down with a season ending knee injury last September.

    The mandate in Year 3 entering 2019 is simple. “Now we’ve got to win,” longtime left tackle Joe Staley said Friday.

    Staley, and others, believed San Francisco last season would have been in the running for its first playoff berth since 2013 had Garoppolo stayed healthy. His season-ending left ACL tear was the ultimate death knell for months of optimism created by his splashy arrival in 2017 when he was one of the league’s premier signal callers during his 5-0 stretch as the starter.


    1. Garoppolo cleared for full practice when 49ers start camp
      The Associated Press
      JOSH DUBOW (AP Pro Football Writer)
      The Associated PressJul 26, 2019, 3:37 PM

      SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been cleared for everything when training camp begins for the San Francisco 49ers.

      Garoppolo passed his final test Friday in his return from season-ending knee surgery when he took his physical. Garoppolo was limited to seven-on-seven drills during the offseason to avoid any possible contact to protect his left knee but he will be able to take part in full team drills when practice starts Saturday.

      The only limitation for Garoppolo right now is that he will be held out of at least the preseason opener with coach Kyle Shanahan saying he will decide later this summer whether to play Garoppolo at all in the exhibition season.


  17. We need a high-energy movie about the 9ers 2019 season. Quentin Tarantino to direct. Nicholas Cage as Shanahan. Mark Rufalo as Jed. Samuel L. Jackson and Al Pacino as crazed, vindictive scouts, Joe Pescii as Eddie D…

    1. I would like to see John Malkovich as Marathe and Kathy Bates as the Santa Clara Mayor suing the 49ers for their lawn watering records.

  18. Do they memwipe reporters each year or are they told to act like they’ve never watched a training camp before? Already hearing/seeing tweets and messages about the defensive line “destroying” the offense.

    Name a single training camp where this wasn’t the case in the beginning?

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