Walsh Urged Bucs To Draft Lynch

January 23rd, 2016
How Bill Walsh changed Bucs history.

How Bill Walsh changed Bucs history.

Bill Walsh is one of the most famous offensive gurus in football history.

He is often thought to be one of the very best coaches to ever walk a sideline; maybe the best.

And it was his keen eye for both offense, and defense.

Remember: Walsh drafted three rookie defensive backs in 1981, and all three not only started for his first Super Bowl-winner that year, but one was a cornerback by the name of Ronnie Lott. Walsh also gave birth to what may be a Pro Football Hall of Fame career for a college quarterback.

It seems forgotten in football history that Walsh coached at Stanford twice — before and after his days as 49ers coach. When he returned to Stanford in 1992, he quickly realized that one of the more experienced quarterbacks he inherited, a senior who had yet to throw a touchdown pass, wasn’t much of a quarterback and likely was better at safety.

The player’s name? John Lynch.

So Walsh moved Lynch to safety where he blossomed. Yesterday, Lynch remembered what Walsh told his long-time friend and colleague, then-Bucs coach Sam Wyche.

“I think the reality is Bill Walsh told Sam Wyche, ‘You’re a fool if you don’t draft this guy’ and Sam took a chance on me,” Lynch said. “I had a defensive coordinator in Floyd Peters who I don’t think really wanted to draft me, didn’t think I could be a player in this league, and it took about two-and-a-half years to prove to him that I could. And Tony and the entire staff came in and the rest is history.”

How cool is that? There is your Walsh connection to not just the Bucs, but football history.

If Walsh never got the itch to coach again and doesn’t return to Stanford, then it is highly doubtful Lynch would have ever come to the Bucs much less been a safety. And it’s very possible Lynch’s professional career would have been with another Sunshine State team, pitching for the Florida Marlins instead.

(Trivia: Lynch was a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher and a 1992 second-round pick by the Marlins. He started in the very first game in Marlins history, for Erie, a rookie league team.)

19 Responses to “Walsh Urged Bucs To Draft Lynch”

  1. dmatt Says:

    Enough about john lynch n 1993 draft. Let’s get busy scouting n looking for a man beast defensive end for this upcoming draft. We need a player with traits of Ray Lewis/JJ Watts. Look no further than BYU’s Bronson Kaufusi, a relentless aggressive gladiator. Several scouts got him going rounds 3-4. This guy is what we need. He’s a two sport player (basketball) n u can c his skills on the gridiron as he hustles, never give up on plays, has several batted passes each year,get after the qb, something we haven’t had since rice. Pre draft 2011 I referenced jj watts n the passes he bats down n how he rush the passer. This guy mirrors what I saw in watts. Please watch his video n hopefully kotter has his eye on this guy. Clemson de don’t impress me we’ve had too many bust drafting Clemson players. If we draft a good corner in the first round then 2nd round grab Bronson from BYU. Check him out n let me know what u think.

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Lynch earned his props, dmatt, unlike most players on this team now.

    Keep it coming, Joe!

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Hardy Nickerson hired by 49ers.

  4. Leighroy Says:

    dmatt, take your armchair scouting somewhere else, and quit disrespecting a Buccaneers icon.


  5. Luther Says:

    That was a great article. I have and always thought that Bill Walsh was the best coach to ever hit the NFL. His impact is still being felt from of offense to his VAST coaching tree. Guys like Jon Gruden and Andy Reed and still making lots of money due to what they learned from that guy.

  6. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Lynch is a testament to Tony Dungy’s lack of player evaluation…a trait he passed on to Lovie along with another bad habit…bring in your own guys from past teams and bench players currently on the roster for former faves!!!

    Tell me is this isn’t a Lovie style move. Lynch broke through in Wyche’s final year here. He earned a starting job and appeared to have the position for the following year. Then TD comes in and immediately brings in one of “his” guys from KC and benches Lynch. Luckily for Father Dungy “his” guy got hurt very early and Lynch went back into the lineup…the rest is history!!!

    The more I think about it the more I realize as much respect as I have for Dungy this was clearly one of his worst areas…talent evaluation…He had the corps of the great Bucs when he arrived…he went to Indy another Super Bowl ready team. TD never build a team with an eye for talent…the talent was always already in place. And remember Father Dungy wanted MM over #3.
    Some things never change I guess.

    Some guys are really good coaches but horrible evaluators of talent…they need a good GM…that was Chucky’s downfall…preference for over the hill vets and no real skill set at finding the gems. Both TD and Chucky were great coaches but they simply didn’t have a great eye for discovering talent.

  7. LargoBuc Says:

    A lil off topic but man, u guys feeling this wind

  8. LargoBuc Says:

    And st pete, your right and to your point, nfl head coaches must have a eye for talent. They have more control than ever and the role of gm has diminished somewhat

  9. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Yeah man the wind is blowing pretty strongly here in St. Pete. I wonder if they closed the Skyway again this morning?

    Agree with your observation that today’s GM’s have lost power relative to the old timers. The formula used to be GM finds the players…HC coaches them. Then some successful HC’s started demanding more and more power. Sometimes that can work..see Bill Belicheat…frequently it does not….see Chucky’s post SB years here when he went 45-51. I think his downfall was getting too much say in talent selection.

    I am hopeful that Licht Koetter have a more traditional relationship…GM finds the players…lookiing for the “type” of player the HC wants. Of course the HC gets a seat at the table when the personnel decisions are made but I hope Licht has the final say.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    LargoBuc…the wind is brutal. My autistic daughter has slept in the same bed as my wife since she was 7 years old. She’s 14 now. I have my own bedroom. Trouble is the bedroom is an addition onto the house and there is no AC/heat vent. I froze my ass off last night. T-shirt, sweatshirt over it, pajamas with sweat pants over them and 3 layers of blankets. This is NOT Boston or Chicago. It’s Florida. Can you imagine coming down here for vacation and run into this wind?
    I mean if it’s 5 degrees up north and it feels like 30 here, it’s STILL cold as hell. The northerners always try to play up like this is nothing compared where they came from. I always tell them, okay go for a swim then.

    My cool John Lynch story goes like this for those who have never read about it. My cousin the Bucs LS put my uncle, my cousin and me up in a room in the team hotel while they were playing the Panthers. On gameday I got in the elevator to go down to the lobby to try to score some autographs. About 3 floors down the elevator stops and in walks John Lynch. I was star struck for some reason. Me in my Meshawn jersey, he kind of hesitated when entering the elevator as if he knew what was coming next. “Umm Umm Umm Mr. Lynch can I have your autograph please, you’re one of my wife’s favorite players.” I said all goofy-like I had just met Elvis or something. He gladly signed of course while in the elevator. We got to the lobby and I told him to go kick some ass today. He just smiled. Then I got out to the lobby and saw all the players and could barely contain myself.

  11. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Dmatt Joe just posted one of his best articles and you decide to talk about some lineman out of BYU that is projected as a 3rd or 4th round pick in the comments section!? What a clown!

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh yeah cool trivia Joe.

  13. LargoBuc Says:

    Cool story 87. And btw guys, my family from Pittsburgh are down (all diehard STILLER fans) and they are on the beach. Needless to say they underestimated our winter and are freezing! I tried to warn them about the wind off the gulf, but now they know 😉
    And st.pete I just hope the indian rocks bridge dosent close or ima be late for work lol.

  14. OneBuc55 Says:

    St Petersburg buc I’m with you…

    I think Dungy is overrated let’s not forget his decision to send Trent Dilfer packing in favor of Shawn King…yes he did have a part in changing the culture here but that’s where it ends…he had three HOF’ers in Brooks, Sapp, and Lynch on the roster when he arrived…Honestly, I think Sam Wyche already had us headed in the right direction…Also Dungy got Mannings best years in Indianapolis and while Indys defense was OK under him they where never as dominant as Tampas defense…

    Dungy was a better coach than Lovie (if that means anything) that’s for sure but is he a HOF coach??…not imho…he was just fortunate to coach a hand full of HOF’ers (like Manning, Harrison, James, Brooks, Sapp, and Lynch) that he had no part in drafting…What I do give him credit for if giving a lot of African-American coaches a chance…he also drafted a few potential HOF’ers in Alstott, Barber, and Freeny…Bob Sanders was also pretty good for a few years…

    Imho HOF coaches are coaches that belong on the Mt. Rushmore of coaches; while Dungy was a solid coach he wasn’t a great coach…I always had a problem with his “play not to lose mentality” great coaches “play to win”…at best Dungy belongs in Tampa Bays Rings of honor not in the HOF…

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Seems like forever ago.

    But I’ll never forget this was around the time. When it seemed like San Diego County had some of the best coaches in the nation. From Pop Warner to High School. They were just pumping out talent. Two of the hardest hitting light skinned bothas (white guys) I’ve witiness play – Played in San Diego County.

    • John Lynch (Torrey Pines)
    • Chuck Cecil (Helix)

    But they also had guys like…..

    Countles Corners
    • Eric Allen (Point Loma)
    • Robert Griffith (Mount Miguel)
    • Bryant Westbrook (El Camino)
    • Michael Booker (Oceanside)

    Running Backs
    • Marcus Allen (Lincoln High School)
    • Terrell Davis (Lincoln High School)
    • Ricky Williams (Patrick Henry)
    • Rashaan Salaam (La Jolla Country Day)
    • Michael Pittman (Mira Mesa)

    Junior Seau, La’Roi Glover, Donnie Edwards , Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila ……..

    The list goes on and on.

    So many Military Bases – Kids & Coaches coming from all across the country.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  17. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Thanks to Sam Wyche for drafting him, Tony Dungy for molding him, and Jon Gruden for lighting the fire under these guys which led to a world championship!

  18. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the kind words guys.

  19. godzilla13 Says:

    Great story on one of the all time greats. dmatt – On BYU’s Bronson Kaufusi, he isn’t a very explosive player and he doesn’t close short areas super quickly nor does he have a dynamic first step off the line of scrimmage. We need athletic edge rushers with speed who can get to the QB with more than one move. I like his nasty side. He is probably a 4th round pick, maybe 5th? We need to address DE, DT, CB, Safety and WR and grab the kicker from Florida State in the 4th or 5th.