Helping to build the 49ers from what seems like the ground up has been a difficult task for General Manager John Lynch.
But it has also been a familiar one.
Via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBCSportsBayArea.com, Lynch compared what is happening now to his days as a safety for the Buccaneers.
When he was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1993, it had been 10 years since they had a winning record or went to the playoffs. They went on to win a Super Bowl, with him a key piece of a strong defense.
“I remember in Tampa when we won our Super Bowl, Warren Sapp saying something like, ‘We’ve gone from a third world country to the Taj Mahal,’ ” Lynch said. “So I think there was something sweet about starting at the bottom.
“And I was there in ’93. They would make jokes about us all the time. We were the worst franchise in all of sports. So to end up winning a Super Bowl in my home town, I think that made it all the more sweet.”
Of course, the 49ers had won prior to Lynch’s arrival, and they’ll be playing for the franchise’s sixth title on Sunday. And while he’s embraced the team’s “Mobile to Miami” mantra after coaching the Senior Bowl last year, he believes the team is better now for the struggles that came along the way. They lost their first nine games of 2017 before getting a Jimmy Garoppolo bump, and then went 4-12 last year after Garoppolo was injured.
“I think that first year being 0-9 and just looking at each other and going, ‘Wow,’ but still feeling good about where we were going,” Lynch said. “I think when you do go through struggles together and you come out the other side it make the bond closer because adversity, you’re really tested. Your beliefs are tested, your relationships are tested and you better stick to our beliefs.
“I think the fact that we did, and not everybody as been together those three years, but there’s a great bond on this team that I think is born in a lot of those working through tough times, but coming out on the other side.”
And he’s seen what that looks like, up close.