Front Office Report
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Ever since Eddie Debartlo was indicted for his gambling scandal the 49ers front office has been in shambles. Larry Thrainkill was immediately promoted to the 49ers but he simply lost interest preferring instead to stay with the Debartolo Corp. With Denise Debartlo in charge she decided her husband would be the ideal guy to take the lead of the 49ers and get them back on track. John York and Bill Walsh, what a combination. The friction here was obvious, York was business minded- Walsh was football minded; how would they ever get a long? Then of course there was the Mariucci and Walsh saga, present coach versus former coach, where once again there was an ego war. Now lets bring into the mix Terry Donahue, Walsh's heir apparent, whom many believed was doing little with the 9ers.

Simply put it was a rough start and a rough past two years. Now it's time for the good times though, and as much as the media may not want to hear it, the 49ers front office, is not only functional, but also operating rather well. Starting at the top John York has allowed Bill Walsh the freedom to make the moves he sees fit to re-build the 9ers. York was willing to do whatever it took to keep the players Walsh wanted on the team. The two worked well together this off-season.

Steve Mariucci and Bill Walsh have learned to be friends and make decisions together. The two evaluated players and regardless of how much the media overplays their bad relations, truth is the two make decisions together and respect each other. Mooch and Walsh were both involved in the decisions this off-season and they will be the first to admit that. What about the trade with Washington you ask? Not only did Mariucci and Walsh deny that any friction was present here, but former 49ers director of personnel currently holding the same position with Washington, Vinny Cerreto denied the media hype about Mariucci saying "you gave it away" referring to the draft pick. Truth is it never happened.

What about Terry Donahue though? Last season he was almost invisible to the public's eye and this season, well, he wasn't any more visible. Why does Walsh have so much faith in him? Quite simply it's because Donahue has done lots more for the club than many realize. He has been involved in contract negotiations, team decisions and is in control of the scouting department. Furthermore Donahue has revolutionized the way the 49ers scout players, insisting on having the position coaches come to the combine and scout there positions, and he changed the system the 49ers had in place for handing out scouting reports. Donahue made sure each 49ers coach had the reports before the scouting began; thus the coaches knew where to look for potential week and strong points before they ever met the player.

This is all very encouraging news for the 49ers. In any business or association success begins at the top. Under proper leadership the 49ers can flourish. The 49ers now have that leadership, and this years draft and off-season maneuvers should be a better place to start. Players no longer question who they are working for, or worry about if the team is moving and the friction between team executives. The foundation has been restored, now the 49ers need to get the players to build up from the ground and rack up the wins.
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