Matt Millen to new 49’ers GM John Lynch: ‘Good Luck’

We do apologize for mentioning Matt Millen’s name once again, as you’ve no doubt worked hard to scrub the unpleasant memories associated with his time working for the Detroit Lions.

However, you may have heard the news that the San Francisco 49ers have hired John Lynch as their general manager. Lynch, a former 15-year NFL player with Tampa Bay and Denver, has no front-office experience, and has since been working as a game analyst for Fox. The 49ers fired former GM Trent Baalke at the end of this season.

Millen spoke with the Detroit Free Press following the Lynch hire, and couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Lynch’s and his own hiring.

“When I heard the news, good luck,” Millen said. “He’s a bright guy. I mean, the parallels are kind of funny, actually”

Millen was hired by the Lions as team president and CEO in 2001, and he soon took over as general manager a mere two years later. During his 7 1/2 years in Detroit, the Lions went a horrendous 31-84. He was fired shortly into Detroit’s infamous 0-16 season.

“It’s not about understanding the game and knowing the game. It’s none of that,” Millen responded when asked what advice that he’d give to Lynch. “It’s not X’s and O’s. It’s about managing people.”

“It’s a little different (situation than I was in), but it’s similar,” Millen said. “So it still comes down to you have to know people, you have to know people in the league. You have to have contact, you have to have people who you — it’s easy to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to fire this guy.’ Oh, yeah? Who you going to hire? And how do you know them? Are they qualified? What’s their work like?

For San Francisco’s sake, we hope that their hire doesn’t turn out anything like what we endured here in the Motor City for nearly eight years.


Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.


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