On the other hand, while the aforementioned Lynch is officially in place atop the 49ers' front office, Shanahan has yet to be officially hired as the franchise's head coach. "If you don't have it, then it'll turn out the way it turns out". The pair guided the 49ers to a 2-14 campaign in 2016 that saw San Francisco beat only the Los Angeles Rams, going winless against the rest of the league.
While Lynch may not have any experience running a team, neither did John Elway when he took over as executive vice president of football operations and general manager of the Broncos in 2011.
Millen, of course, had a disastrous seven-plus seasons and was sacked three games into the only 0-16 season in league history in 2008.
Lynch replaces Trent Baalke, who was sacked along with head coach Chip Kelly on December 31, before the final game of the regular season.
Lynch was a Broncos' starting safety from 2004-07, earning a Pro Bowl berth in each of his four seasons.
He was sacked in September 2008. But none of those things are factors. If you got that, fine.
Lynch, 45, was hired to cap a weekend that saw presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, meet with known finalists George Paton and Terry McDonough.
There have been other instances of a general manager being hired without much front-office experience, or surprise hirings from related jobs like the Cleveland Browns giving general counsel Sashi Brown control over the roster previous year. But let's give Lynch some credit for perhaps knowing Jed York's brain better than anyone else. Though he hadn't worked in the NFL since retiring, Elway had experience in football management, managing people and in business.
"The biggest thing that helps in those jobs is experience and having been exposed to it", Millen added.
ESPN's Jim Trotter wrote the 49ers' decision "left some people shaking their heads while others scratch theirs". There's tons of stuff.