Niners Live brings closure to the Aaron Lynch saga once and for all: Aaron Lynch: The “Underachiever” never had the desire to be Great.
Let’s recap how we got here at a glance:
Aaron Lynch, 6’6 270 lbs, was suspended for four games in 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse program. He reported to training camp overweight and didn’t drop the pounds by the time the suspension was over. His play directly suffered because of that. Lynch then missed another five games with an ankle injury and only registered 1.5 sacks and 13 tackles in seven games in the 2016 season, via ESPN.com. No offensive coordinator, offensive tackle, or quarterback feared his presence or those statistics. He ranked 198th in the league in sacks.
Stats to know: Lynch, in 2017, has appeared in only 6 games while posting 9 tackles total, 4 coming assisted, 1 sack and a key fumble recovery against the Houston Texans. His Pro Focus Grade Overall: 77.8, pass rush 76.9, run def 79.6 on 110 total snaps. In 2016, his grade was 51.3 overall. For the record, a 77.8 overall grade is considered average by PFF’s grade scale standards.
This 2017 offseason it all sounded good:
Head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch made it clear to Aaron this past offseason that he must be in better shape if wants to play for the Red and Gold. Lynch weighed over 280 lbs. at the start of the offseason and the team wants him to lose 10-20 lbs.
Here’s what Shanahan said way back when: “There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us. In the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day,” said Shanahan (via Cam Inman of mercurynews.com).
In the offseason, Niners Live had questions: will Lynch be self-accountable to push himself to drop the pounds by improving his diet and conditioning? During the offseason, he has said all the right things. The front office and fans will have to wait until training camp to see if the proof is in the pudding.
Lynch said all the right things to the media:
“I’m working my (butt) off right now trying to do everything they want me to do. I don’t think I took my diet the best I could. I was going out places, taking my wife out. I wasn’t eating vegetables and lean meat every day, so I gained weight,” Lynch stated to the media this off season (via Cam Inman of mercurynews.com).
Niners Live gave the benefit of the doubt to Lynch: Another motivating factor for Lynch is playing his natural position of defensive end instead of outside linebacker, and in a defensive scheme that allows players to attack the ball and play fast.
Aaron Lynch sold fans on his false upside and potential:
“Leo is a lot of damn fun, so yeah, I like it a lot. You get to set the edge and get the quarterback. This defense we’re in allows us to play fast as hell and let us do things we do naturally. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be a better defense,” said Lynch.
Aaron Lynch: The “Underachiever” never had the desire to be Great:
Lynch has missed several games due to injury this season and, as of late, has been a healthy inactive scratch on game day. And when he’s not a healthy scratch? He’s not a key cog in the rotation at Leo or as a situational pass-rusher. Are your eyes wide open? The San Francisco 49ers have gone outside of the organization to find pass rushers (ala… Elvis Dumervil and Cassius Marsh just to name a few) that would help generate a consistent pass rush and motivate Lynch to reach his full potential. In the end, those efforts haven’t paid dividends or a return on the 49ers’ investment as they would have hoped. One can now only come to the final conclusion that Aaron Lynch: The “Underachiever”, never had the desire to be Great. And…news flash and reality check…the 49ers now know it…
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims