World news – 49ers GM John Lynch, new Hall of Famer, pays tribute to Bill Walsh


John Lynch got the chills on Sunday and remembered Bill Walsh’s influence on his career. It was Walsh who started Lynch on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

« I would have gone and played baseball, » Lynch recalled in a video conference call with reporters. « I wouldn’t be here without Bill Walsh. »

Lynch, who has played safely in the NFL for 15 seasons, is part of a Hall of Fame class that was unveiled Saturday night. He will be inducted into Canton on August 8th with Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson, Alan Faneca, Drew Pearson, Trainer Tom Flores and Scout Bill Nunn.

About 30 years ago, Lynch was working for the Erie Sailors in the Florida Marlins’ farming system when Walsh, then a football coach at Stanford, asked for a seat after Lynch returned to campus for his junior year.

Walsh’s ultimate pitch: « I understand the great chance you have in baseball, but I believe you can be an all-pro security guard in the NFL. »

Lynch, who originally went to Stanford as a quarterback, remembered Sunday when Walsh showed him video clips alternating between games he’d played in safety and those of 49ers’ great Ronnie Lott.

« Of all the people who started this, Coach Walsh was so authoritative, » said Lynch, who also recognized the late Dennis Green for his change of position at Stanford.

Lynch was voted a Super Bowl year in Tampa, where his NFL career began as a special team ace after missing the hall as a finalist for seven straight years.

He was a third round of the Bucs (No. 82 overall) in the 1993 draft. Before him, the Bucs had the defensive end Eric Curry (12.5 sacks for his career), linebacker Demetrius DuBose (in four years out the league) and Lamar Thomas (six seasons, 10 TDs) drafted.

Lynch learned of his Canton election two weeks ago when Hall of Fame President David Baker knocked on the door of Lynch’s off-season San Diego home. A large crowd of family members had gathered around the house after church, Lynch thought, to watch the NFC and AFC championship games.

« Loudest knock I’ve ever heard and probably the best knock I’ve ever heard, » said Lynch.

Lynch’s leadership and menacing presence helped ensure that the Buccaneers became Super Bowl XXXVII champions during his 11-year tenure there. He played his last four seasons with the Denver Broncos and was eligible for them for the first time in the 2004 Hall of Fame exhibition game in Canton.

After working as a Fox analyst, Lynch was surprisingly hired four years ago as general manager of the 49ers, the handpicked choice of trainer Kyle Shanahan. Lynch was named NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America last year.

The 49ers reached the Super Bowl for the first time in 25 years. They lost to the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. Quarterback Lynch is one of his greatest regrets.
Related articles

John Lynch « chases » 49ers who bypass Patrick Mahomes

Hall of Fame welcomes GM John Lynch from 49ers; Alex Smith named Comeback Player of the Year

Joe Montana quit once at half time in a Super Bowl – as an announcer

The great 49er Charlie Krueger dies in East Bay at the age of 84

Frank Gore wants to return to the 49ers – and not just retire


Donnez votre avis et abonnez-vous pour plus d’infos

Vidéo du jour: