49ers brick by brick rebuild includes connecting with the past

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49ers are shifting the culture with gestures such as inviting Steve Young and Jerry Rice to practice. (photo by Lea Suzuki of the San Francisco Chronicle).

Since San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch took over, he has used the mantra brick by brick as a metaphor for the team’s methodical, ground up rebuild. While Lynch has certainly applied that mantra to rebuilding the roster, his vision is holistic and has wisely included rebuilding the 49ers culture by connecting with the past.

Until these recent front office changes, the 49ers organization was described as disconnected with the past, documented in an article by Chris Biderman earlier this year. Unlike at Candlestick, retired jerseys of former 49ers were not designed into Levi’s Stadium. Hall of Fame quarterback and former 49er great Steve Young went on the record in a KNBR interview saying that he thought the 49ers from the past were not fully embraced by the current regime:

“I think people also need to recognize that when the split happened – when Eddie (DeBartolo) lost the team and Denise (DeBartolo York) got the team — there was tremendous acrimony between the parties,” Young said. “And so the past – that 49er past – is gingerly embraced … They’re looking to win Super Bowls into the future.


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Fast forward to the John Lynch regime of 2017 and one will notice that the new regime has not only embraced social media and prioritized public relations, but they are using both to reconnect with and embrace the past. When Dwight Clark announced he has ALS, Lynch shared positive thoughts about Dwight and his family in a manner that would have never been considered by his predecessor:


Lynch publicly wished Happy Birthday to one of the greatest 49ers of all time:


And leading up to practice yesterday, Lynch had previously invited Hall of Famer and former 49er great Jerry Rice to talk to the team. But yesterday, Lynch had both Jerry Rice and Steve Young join practice with the team and in front of fans, definitively demonstrating his big-picture wisdom that will help rebuild the 49ers culture and increase the organization’s chances for lasting success.

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