As many owners whose teams fail so badly they fire coaches rapidly do, 49ers owner Jed York spoke of culture.
And while he’s related to the championship culture of the 49ers, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical that he’s going to be able to recreate his family’s glory.
Five months removed from his uncle Eddie DeBartolo Jr. earning a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his work building the 49ers into a dynasty, the nephew has razed it to the ground again. Getting rid of coach Chip Kelly and General Manager Trent Baalke yesterday was something he said he felt necessary in that process.
“I just think it’s time for us to re-establish a championship culture,” York told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “In order to do that, I thought we had to clean house.”
So, to recap, after getting rid of a good coach (Jim Harbaugh) in what can only be viewed as a personality clash, York is about to hire his fourth coach in 26 months after playing through the regrettable Jim Tomsula era and giving Kelly one year.
And plenty of people will now wonder why a good candidate would take the job, given the short fuse York has shown during his time in charge of the team.
“People have felt like that before,” York said, “and we were able to hire a coach of the year, and GM of the year. And we were able to win a championship.”
That’s a pretty liberal use of “we.” While Harbaugh won coach of the year in 2011, it’s reasonable to say York single-handedly ran him off. The previous coach of the year who actually won a title was Bill Walsh in 1981.
That was 35 years ago. And perhaps not coincidentally, the 36-year-old York was in diapers when that happened, as unable to control a culture as his impulses.
When DeBartolo was inducted to the Hall in August, he stressed the importance of family, saying the word 26 times in his speech. The words Jed or York were never mentioned, one of the few names he didn’t say that night.