What 49ers GM John Lynch Learned During Brief Stint With Patriots

Lynch learned about how the Patriots approach player development


John Lynch’s shortest stop in his 15-year NFL career came with the Patriots in 2008, spending just an offseason there in 2008 before retiring prior to the start of the regular season.

But the former hard-hitting safety left New England with a lesson in hand that helps him in his current role as the San Francisco 49ers general manager.

When speaking during a panel discussion at the second annual Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum last week, Lynch detailed how he saw the Patriots approach player development with their ability to have streamline messaging throughout the organization, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

“There has to be buy-in across the organization. It doesn’t just stop at personnel and coaching,” Lynch said, according to Reiss. “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, who became San Francisco’s general manager in 2017, put what he learned to good use, constructing the 49ers into a Super Bowl contender and earning 2019 NFL PFWA Executive of the Year honors.

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