South Florida strength coach criticizes 49ers for picking Aaron Lynch


When the 49ers picked South Florida linebacker/defensive end Aaron Lynch in the fifth round last Saturday, coach Jim Harbaugh called Lynch a player in need of “direction” after a collegiate career that started at Notre Dame and ended with Lynch being characterized as a player who went through the motions of football without the requisite passion.

Lynch’s issues were further compounded by reports that one team ended a combine interview with Lynch early because they thought he was lying, which led to Harbaugh defending the pick after San Francisco made it. Harbaugh cited South Florida coach Willie Taggert, a friend of the 49ers coach and former player for Harbaugh’s father, with convincing him that Lynch was worth a shot, but not every member of the staff felt that way.

South Florida strength and conditioning coach Hans Straub went on Twitter to express his disappointment that the 49ers selected Lynch, who called himself an underachiever when he met the media after being picked by the 49ers.

“Thought an organization with 5 Super Bowl titles would have a stricter draft criteria. Clearly, integrity & character are not a priority,” Straub wrote in a post that’s since been deleted. reports that Straub has been placed on indefinite leave by the school as a result of the message.

The 49ers have dealt with several off-field issues involving members of their team recently, but many of those players ran afoul of the law in one way or another. Lynch hasn’t done that, raising red flags with his lack of effort on the field rather than his behavior off of it. He’s getting a chance to prove that he can thrive with the direction that Harbaugh thinks the Niners can offer and there’s a good chance he won’t be around long enough to cause any problems for the team if he doesn’t.

60 responses to “South Florida strength coach criticizes 49ers for picking Aaron Lynch

  1. I feel for Straub. He’d know if the guy is lazy or not, has good character, and integruty, and to express an opinion seems fair. Not saying anything would be tantamount to concealing the truth. I like him being forthright.

  2. Physically this kid is a beast & has All-Pro potential. He was a Freshman All-American at ND where he recorded 8 sacks in a part-time role. He couldn’t get on track at USF for whatever reason. He gives a lot of fans reason for doubting him in the NFL.

  3. You guys are missing the point,imho, if you were a high school kid would you want to play there knowing this coach would say stuff like that. Whether he’s right or wrong,u gotta know when to remain silent on social media when your job is involved

  4. Hmm a grown man calling out a 21 year old on social media for integrity and character. Looks like the shoe is on the other foot.

  5. If his opinion had been asked, I would feel differently.
    Seems more like character assassination rather than an honest opinion.

  6. Wow those are strong words and he deserves to be suspended. If I am the head coach I am thinking…what kid is going to want to come to South Florida when they could get badmouthed after getting drafted?

  7. I’m sure the camaraderie that will develop from a night on the town with Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith will do wonders for this young man.

  8. Would you rather have a player “in need of direction” that you have to try and motivate and coddle, has the skill but needs the motivation; or a “tweener” defensive player of the year in his conference, who fell to the 7th Round and looks like he has a chip on his shoulder and a point to prove?

    Both have upsides. Both have downsides. Be interesting to see how these two picks turn out.

  9. Hans Straub possibly failed Lynch. Hans wasn’t there to PUMP HIM UP!

    The Niners then drafted a girlie man.

  10. What did the coach have to gain by bad mouthing the kid? If the kid is as lazy as he thinks, the NFL will spit him out before they even make the cut to the final 53.

    Harbaugh should know better, his team is already filled with malcontents and common criminals, it hardly needs another recruit.

  11. Perhaps all he needed is a formal paycheck to generate the requisite pa$$ion? Maybe USF simply wasn’t paying him enough & Coach Franz was more critiquing his (lack of) negotiating skillz …?

  12. You can speak these days people, it’s just that you have to think about the consequences of your words. He might have affected recruiting to the school with unsolicited statements like that and betrayed the trust of potential recruits. He’s being held accountable for that as he should.

  13. I’d be concerned if I was a Niners’ coach. This Hans dude sees more of Lynch’s work ethic than probably any other coach on the team. He sees Lynch when Lynch thinks nobody important is watching. That says a lot right there.

  14. Navorrow Bowman and Ahmad Brooks both came to the 49ers with the same baggage. Now they are All-Pros and Pro Bowlers. Kids has a chance.

  15. I love it, it’s just going to motivate the kid more. Teams need some ruff riders, just turn out my Niners have more then the rest and I love every single one of them., #questforsix

  16. I remember when Lynch was heralded and FSU lamented him picking ND instead. Then, he strangely transferred to USF and was never heard from again after a good freshman year. Just a bizarre path he’s taken so far.

  17. Another person silenced for telling the truth. The politbureau has spoken. If the kid was a super character guy, great worker, and Hans wrote on twitter that he was a “great pick”, would Hans be punished? So you are only allow to criticize……….whom, exactly? Who says you are “allowed” to say what? Can anyone prove what he is stating is not the truth?

  18. This coach doesn’t follow SF closely… See current news clips on this team …

    Furthermore… Their draft was good.. But not great

    Selecting injured players that won’t produce immediately is a negative

  19. This articles must be false! After all…the 49ers would never draft a player with a questionable background….don’t you all remember Jim Harbaugh proclaiming that the 49ers “always want to strive to be above reproach in everything we do.”


  20. Lynch hasn’t made the team yet, has he? He’s only a draftee, albeit one with possible character issues. The strength coach is evidently so sure that Aaron, will do poorly in the NFL, that he’s being heard now, rather than endure finger pointing later.

    Its great to pull for those that your team drafts, but at least wait for rookie camp to conclude before you start bragging about them. Less wear and tear on the ego, if a player flops.

  21. It’s not about his right to voice his opinion – he has every right to do so. Conversely, the university has every right to punish an employee for something said on social media that reflects poorly on the school or here, where it could harm the school’s efforts in some form or fashion.

    While we as fans may enjoy the candor, a recruit considering USF probably doesn’t like the fact that a member of the school’s athletic staff publicly bashed a player. His tweet was bad for USF football, not Lynch.

    Also, he had every opportunity to give his forthright opinion in private meetings with pro personnel. Honesty is expected and encouraged behind closed doors in this process but not on Twitter.

  22. What the strength coach did threw the H.C. and the player under the bus. When you tweet or go on the record you better think about it. The H.C. vouched for this kid. Aaron was a super star D.E. coming out of high school and STARTED for Notre Dame as a freshman and was very effective. He had to sit out as a year and then played for U.S.F. as a junior and senior. He has never been able to play like he did at N.D. The kid has had mental issues but I hope everyone understands that these things can be overcome and I hope Aaron can make it. Bottom line: it was an uncalled for cheap shot and I’m delighted the chump got suspended.

  23. Haha, this dude sounds like an ex-wife. I can understand if this guy had some serious off-field legal issues, but a work ethic issue? Seriously? Its not like he kicked your dog or anything.

  24. Funny, because Lynch and Clowney came out of H.S. same year, same size, same speed, same position. Similar stats when both were All Freshman selections in 2011, with Lynch playing one less game at N.D.

    Similar questions about work ethic, character, motivation, etc. Even to the extent of being shafted after the fact by former coaches. Can’t have Jadeveon, take the closest facsimile.

  25. could not believe it when Mel Kiper grade them an A …did i miss something Im starting to think the media sucks up to the 49ers cause even to the average joe the 49ers draft sucked this year…not that Im an average joe but come on all the draft reports are out there and there draft sucked if you any scouting reports b4 the draft/

  26. I’m not surprised about them taking a chance with Aaron Lynch, who’s biggest sin seems to be lack of motivation. I am surprised by them drafting Carlos Hyde, who was charged with assaulting a female, and suspended several games last season as a result. That seems to directly contradict Jim Harbaugh’s assertion that the one unforgivable act is striking a woman.

  27. You can’t draft cupcakes if you have to knock off hands-down the dirtiest team in the league. Ya know, that team that plays in NFL Siberia that NOBODY cares about?

  28. You CAN speak these days… Tweeting is a different story. This is why I hardly put my opinion out on social media. I have my close friends to bounce my thoughts off of and we can have a friendly debate that allows me to justify anything that seems not so PC. If you’re gonna put your opinion out for the world to see and within the limit of 140 characters or less, you’d better be careful with your choice of words. What happens in cyberspace stays in cyberspace.

  29. I will never understand why people in the public eye even post on Twitter. Nothing good ever comes of it. The very best you can do is look boring. Usually you just look like an unthinking tool of one kind or another.

  30. What does the fact that 49ers won 5 Superbowls have to do with anything? Dallas won 5 superbowls with a lot of players with attitude problems. This guy should have been suspended simply of merit being a douche bag who feels empowered to make bold statements about what he feels elite franchises should do, while being an assistant coach at university of south Florida.

  31. All you haters need to remember Bowman was in a very similar boat coming out in the 2010 draft. He dropped to 3rd because of his ‘attitude’ issues and even you haters were praising him after this season and especially holding onto a ball while getting his leg shredded. He’s a class act and a beast on the field – maybe Lynch can turn it around, low risk high reward pick.

  32. Many, if not most of you, missed the underlying issue – that is the Strength and Conditioning coach just undermined the USF head coach’s remarks/opinion of A. Lynch. Never mind the fact that SnC coach was not asked about his opinion but his opinion will clearly have an effect on the USF 2014 team. For all concerned, it was best that he resigned or terminated.

  33. the 49ers don’t think they have enough problem children on the team already? now they purposely choose to draft another one with character and motivational problems. just what they need is someone to come in and poison the locker room, and turn the team’s positive chemistry inside out negative even more than culliver, et al, already have…and some people, even after being proven wrong, still believe they can “change the world.” good luck there, harbaalke! go 49ers!

  34. Low character player – that’s the only type that peaks the interest of the 49ers.

    Criminal record or deviant behavior is the number one qualifier on Balkee/Harbaugh scouting report. No class, no championships.

  35. If he kicks ass and makes the team, he was a great pick, if he sucks, it was just a pick that the 49ers wanted to waste and hopefully if no one picked him up, he’ll make the practice squad

  36. “Thought an organization with 5 Super Bowl titles would have a stricter draft criteria. Clearly, integrity & character are not a priority,” Straub wrote in a post that’s since been deleted.

    Living in the past man. Integrity and character haven’t been a priority of the Santa Clara 49ers for 30 years.

  37. All you Santa Clara fans slamming the coach… This is what Harbaugh did that mad Sherman and Baldwin drop.

    It’s why we have the trophy and you live in the past.

    Difference is Harbaugh’s a liar.

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