San Francisco 49ers owner and CEO Jed York faced a feisty Bay Area media Monday after firing coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke.
With the Niners set to hire their fourth coach in four years, York was asked what makes him qualified to make another hire and why he hasn’t been replaced as the head of the organization.
“I own this football team. You don’t dismiss owners,” York said. “I’m sorry but that’s the facts, and that’s the case. That’s the fact. I’m going to do everything I can to get this right. This isn’t about a business and running an operation to make money. We’re making sure we’re doing everything we can to re-establish this culture.”
York is hitting the reset button after years of front office strife and miscommunication between the GM and coaching staffs.
“My vision of Chip and Trent working together, I think it’s clear that Trent probably has more of a defensive mind,” York said of what went wrong in a 2-14 season. “Pairing (Baalke) with an offensive-minded guy, having those guys be partners … but the marriage didn’t work. I should’ve probably seen it. It’s easy to play revisionist history, but we are where we are. That’s why we’re cleaning the slate, and we’re reestablishing the culture.”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that this time around the 49ers plan to hire a GM and coach who are on the same page and possibly a duo that has worked together in the past. For example, San Francisco has requested to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and director of player personnel Nick Caserio.
“We need to be open to the right structure with the right people,” York said. “We need to get the right people. It can’t be ‘I have the 53-man roster, and you need to go back to your office’. We can’t have that. It’s got to be these two guys on the same page, and when we disagree on a player, we need to know what to do when we disagree on a player, how to move forward and move beyond it. That’s very important to me. Whether the head coach is in control, the general manager is in control, they need to be accountable to each other. That’s the most important relationship in the building.”
One part of the decision to fire Kelly comes with a desire to start anew instead of forcing a coach on a new GM.
“We need to make sure we start fresh, and we start with a new culture between a general manager and a head coach and do everything we can to get back to that winning way,” York said.
The team owner added: “I’m embarrassed at where we are now, and I’m going to do everything I can to get us back.”