There may be fans who are turning off the NFL because of some players protesting during the national anthem.
But 49ers owner Jed York knows that there’s a more organic reason for his fans’ unrest.
During an interview on KNBR, the 49ers owner displayed a self-depricating sense of humor while pointing out their obvious issues.
“We certainly heard some of that from people,” York said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “But I’ll say in full honesty our bottom line has been hurt much more by bad coaching hires and decisions by me than anything that has happened here [with protests].”
Well, it’s hard to argue with that.
The 49ers have lost 35 of their last 43 games, and after a clash of personalties led Jim Harbaugh out the door, the failed Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly experiments led them to restart with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan this year.
Asked what he’s learned over the process, York pointed to their own failings.
“I think I can write a multi-volume library (on what I’ve learned),” he said. “I’m not sure how much time we have, if we have like the entire show? I think the biggest thing is you have to be on the same page with your coach and G.M. It’s not just about winning games. It’s about how you do it. How you want to build your entire franchise.
“You look at Jimmy T. He’s a great guy. He did a lot of great things for us as a defensive line coach. I think it was the opposite personality of Jim Harbaugh. And it’s easy to sort of make that jump and say ‘OK we want to hire this guy because he’s different than the last guy.’ It was difficult at times to get along with (him) and you can have tension in the building with players. With the General Manager. So let’s hire Jimmy T. And it didn’t work.
“You look at Chip. I think Chip is a phenomenal football coach. I think it probably would have been better if we would have sat out a year before coming right back into it. But I think Chip’s going to get right back into it, whether it’s college or the NFL. And I think that’s where when you actually take a step back – I don’t look at what are we going to do this season. I’d love to win this season, but I want to get back to competing for championships. And if you’re going to compete for championships you have to start with a foundation. And I think you have to start with being on the same page.
“And I think that’s where Kyle (Shanahan) and I hit it off so well is — what I believe a football team should be about, Kyle believes the same things. He grew up that way. John Lynch is such an awesome person. Unbelievable player on the field. He’s somebody that you trust. He’s somebody that goes to work every day, but he takes input from people.
“And that’s the biggest thing. If you don’t have collaboration it doesn’t matter how much talent you have. You cannot win at the level we want to win at. You can’t win championships unless you have that collaboration.
“And you see it across the Bay with the Warriors. Those guys have collaboration. They have superstars that are willing to take less money because they are having so much fun playing together. You have a coach that embraces everything. You have an entire management that embraces it. I think they are the gold standard in sports right now. That’s where we want to get. And I think the only way you get there is understanding collaboration and knowing that you might have to do some things that make you feel uncomfortable. But if you’re not willing to do those things — and you’re not willing to put in that hard work — you will never have a chance to get to the level that we want to get to.”
Giving Lynch and Shanahan six-year contracts is a sign he’s willing to take the effort seriously, as they raze the remains of previous mistakes and try to start over.