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8 Takeaways from Jed York's Jan. 2 Press Conference


**The CEO of the San Francisco 49ers addressed a packed auditorium inside of Levi's® Stadium on Monday morning.

The room was filled with reporters looking to hear Jed York's explanation for relieving general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly of their duties. York touched on the reasons behind the moves and what steps the 49ers will make to find their replacements.

We've boiled down the top eight takeaways from York's near 30-minute press conference. 1. "Championship Culture" is what York seeksIt was a phrase that the 49ers CEO mentioned on five occasions. York repeatedly pointed to how making changes at GM and head coach would help the organization get back to its winning ways.

"I want to let the fans know that I apologize for a 2-14 season," the CEO said in his opening remarks. "I apologize for being back here again and making a change, but I think it's very important that we reestablish a championship culture."
* *When he was later asked to define "championship culture," York said it was all about developing a system that would produce continued success.

2. The 49ers are flexible on structureThe previous quote leads us to another big topic going into York's press conference. Who would be hired first, a GM or a coach?

To York, the order doesn't matter much as it does to find the right people for both positions.

"I think we need to be open and flexible to structure," he said. "We need to make sure that the head coach and the general manager know each other, have a good understanding for each other. Doesn't mean that they had to have worked together in the past, but they have to have a good respect for each other and a good understanding and know that they have similar visions and philosophies on building a football team."

Communication is paramount for York when selecting the GM-coach combination.

"They're going to have a very, very long leash in terms of making decisions," York said. "There are no sacred cows here, whether that's in the personnel department, on the coaching staff, in the locker room. … My ultimate goal is to win a championship, win multiple championships, and that's the foundation that we need to lay and that's what we need to build for."

3. Parameters for the searchThere's a growing list of reported candidates who are being sought after by San Francisco. York said previous options for the head coach position could be considered in 2017.

There's no rush or timetable on when the 49ers will make the two hires. NFL rules, for example, prohibit teams from speaking with candidates on playoff teams at certain points of the postseason.

"We need to make sure that we sit down and talk to the right people at the right times when they're available," York said.

"I don't expect it to happen tomorrow," the CEO went on to say. "But when we find the right people and when we find the right connection and combination of people, we're going to make sure that they get hired."

4. The decisions rest with YorkMany of the toughest questions in the press conference touched on York's role in the hiring process. San Francisco's CEO said he would rely on people inside the organization, as well as outside consultants, when making the final decisions on who to hire.

The 49ers front office structure will remain with a general manager and head coach. York will not hire someone to solely oversee football operations.

The CEO firmly stated his desire to get these decisions correct. "We are going to be judged on what we do and what we accomplish," York said. "We haven't accomplished enough. I own this football team. You don't dismiss owners. I'm sorry that that's the facts and that's the case, but that's the fact. And I'm going to do everything that I can to get this right. This isn't about a business and running an operation to make money."

5. What went wrong with Baalke-Kelly pairing

San Francisco's 2-14 record played a big factor in the dismissals of the former GM and head coach. York said he met with both men midseason and was not pleased with the direction of the team and their vision for improving the franchise.

"The marriage didn't work," York said. "I should have probably seen it. It's easy to play revisionist history, but we are where we are and that's why we're cleaning the slate."

6. GM and coach roles will be attractive to future candidates

Selling the jobs won't be too difficult, when you consider some of the more attractive aspects of joining the 49ers in 2017.

York pointed to some of the many perks the new hires would benefit from.

"We're going to have the opportunity with a lot of draft picks," York said. "We're going to have the opportunity with a lot of salary cap room. There are some pieces here. I don't think there are enough pieces here, but there are some pieces that we can build around."

The 49ers are expected to have double-digit selections in the upcoming draft, including the second overall pick, nearly $40 million in salary cap space and have several young stars like running back Pierre Garçon and defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.

"I think our candidates know that I care about this team, and that I'm going to do everything that we can to win," York said. "We're going to spend the money to win, we're going to do the right things culturally to win, and we're going to make sure that they have every piece necessary in their arsenal to win."

7. How the current coaching staff and scouting staff will be affectedChanges to the top of a team's personnel and coaching staffs trickle down to everyone involved in those departments. York said assistant general manager Tom Gamble would not be considered as Baalke's replacement.* *

York said there have been no other changes in either department, but employees are free to pursue other opportunities. The new GM and coach will decide on who stays with the organization.

"I want to make sure that we do everything that we can to take care of them whether they are here or whether they're not going forward," York said.* * Chief strategy officer and executive vice president, football operations Paraag Marathe will play an integral part in the interview process, according to the 49ers CEO.

8. York categorized 2016 as an embarrassmentThe franchise's prideful CEO reiterated his stance on how a two-win season was not acceptable to him.

"Our fans deserve better than this," York said. "I owe them so much more than what we've given them. And we will give it to them. People have questioned us in the past. I think we've tried to answer a lot of the questions. We certainly got close for a period of time, but we didn't get to our ultimate goal. I'm embarrassed where we are now, and I'm going to do everything that we can to get us back."

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