The 49ers brain trust of Jed York and Chief Strategy Officer Paraag Marathe are scouring the NFL landscape seeking a dynamic duo (a new GM and head coach) to lead the 49ers back to championship form. Jed has said that he is keen on two things from the new duo, bringing a winning culture to the organization and having a symbolic relationship between the two people.
But what qualifies Jed and Paraag to hire qualified people to run the 49ers front office and the football team? Other than the fact that both have been associated with the 49ers for over 15 years nothing in their background tells us they have the football knowledge to correctly decipher whether the candidates they are interviewing have the vision, knowledge, experience and maturity to be successful in the two top jobs in the NFL.
Looking back Jed’s father, John York, lead a search for a new GM and head coach about 16 years ago after firing the them following a 2-14 season. After an exhaustive search John York, with the help of Paraag, hired Mike Nolan. Mike had the appropriate NFL experience and background to be a head coach and presumably dazzled John and Paraag in the interview process with his vision and knowledge. But a little research and football knowledge would have lead John and Paraag to not hire Nolan due to his weaknesses in a prior role as defensive coordinator in Washington and Baltimore.
Once again the 49ers under the York family, with Paraag as their trusted sidekick, are attempting to hire a new GM and head coach yet their intimate knowledge of football personnel evaluation and coaching is still weak. Instead they will fall back on how the people interviewed, did they feel “comfortable” with these guys and did the candidates display a greater level of football knowledge than them (not very hard).
The obvious fix to cure the York/Marathe football knowledge deficiency would be to hire a football consultant such as Steve Young or Bill Billick, both knowledgable about the 49ers, to help them select the best duo to lead the 49ers back to championship caliber. Moreover it would give Jed a measure of comfort and clearance if such a duo is ultimately is not as successful as hoped.