York steers 49ers into new era

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York steers 49ers into new era

Programming Note: Jed York will be in studio for Chronicle Live today, along with Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett, tennis legend John McEnroe and former U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick. Join us at 5 p.m.

Jed York will be on Chronicle Live today, which makes one wonder what other wonderful developments are in store for the show. Gold coins stacked on the sets coffee table? The sound of harps augmenting Kozs voice? A foot massage for producer Adam Littlefield?

Because good things seem to happen when York is around. Young Jed is on a pretty amazing 13 month run, beginning with his hire of Jim Harbaugh in January of 2011 (a generous soul could stretch out his run of good fortune to 14 months, starting with the firing of Mike Singletary but were not going to give him credit for facing the inevitable, and -- besides -- hes the one who hired Singletary in the first place).

Starting a little more than a year ago, York stuck with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. He paid Harbaugh what it took. He concentrated on the task of getting a new stadium and let the football guys deal with the football team.

As his uncle Eddie says, Jed was smart enough to mind his own business.

He stepped back and watched the guys he entrusted to do their job actually do their job. Thats harder than it sounds for owners -- especially for young newbie owners. And York was rewarded for his lack of meddling: his team went to the NFC Championship game.

And now more good stuff is happening. Because winning creates stability. Winning creates happiness. People want to help winners.

In the past two weeks, York has shored up his success. He gave Baalke a three-year extension, a deserved contract based on this years success. That means Harbaugh and Baalke can work together through at least 2014. He named Gideon Yu a co-owner -- Yu is believed to own once percent of the team.

But most importantly, York got 200 million from the NFL, approved a few days before the Super Bowl. And with that money secured, Santa Clara officials said they plan to break ground this summer and have the stadium ready for the 2014 season.

Thats real. Thats soon. That means the stadium is past the stage of wishes and dreams and in the ordering a concrete pour stage.

There still will be glitches in the process. The stadium opponents are unhappy about what they see as altered financing from the original deal and want to take legal action. Many of the 49ers long-time fans are miserable, priced out a lousy reward for sticking with the team for the past decade. Franklin Mieulis heirs are suing the Yorks over the worth of the team.

But, right now, it looks, like York is going to get done what his father and his uncle could never achieve -- get the 49ers a brand new stadium.

Which is nothing short of stunning.

On a conference call during the playoffs, York took the right tone. For a guy who has plenty to boast about, he took a humble, thankful approach. He didnt inherit the tin ear that plagues other family members.

And hes done some other noteworthy less-flashy stuff, like righting past wrongs. Rather than running from the teams past success York has embraced it, bringing in former greats, including his uncle. Their regular contact has mended one of the uglier rifts in sports ownership.

Its been a hell of a run, and quite a transformation for an organization that was widely viewed as inept just two years to one now firmly back among the contenders.

The one thing York couldnt seem to accomplish was getting his uncle into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Give him time. The guy needs to have something left on his to-do list.

Freelance writer Ann Killion is a regular contributor to CSNBayArea.com and Chronicle Live.

Reid endorses LSU safety Adams as draft prospect

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Reid endorses LSU safety Adams as draft prospect

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers already have three safeties selected within the top two rounds of the draft.

But as the organization has considered its options with the No. 2 overall pick, LSU safety Jamal Adams had been in the discussion. Adams recently visited the 49ers, where he and Eric Reid had a chance to catch up with each other.

Reid’s final season at LSU was 2013. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward at the end of the first round in 2014, and Jaquiski Tartt was a second-round pick in 2015.

In the past 25 years, only two safeties -- Eric Berry (2010) and Sean Taylor (2004) – have been selected in the top five. Both were chosen with the No. 5 overall selection. Adams has a chance to go as early as No. 2 overall.

“I’m excited to see where he ends up. He could end up here. You know what I’m saying?” Reid said on Wednesday at the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp.

“He’s the best one in the draft. Someone will be very happy to have him, I’m sure.”

Adams (5 foot 11 ¾, 214 pounds) is considered more of a box safety. He recorded five interceptions in his 36-game college career, but Reid said he believes Adams can also play free safety.

“No doubt,” Reid said. “The kid can do it all. That’s why they got him projected to go where he is. I believe he could.”

In the 49ers’ new defense, which is based on Seattle’s scheme, Ward is getting a long look at free safety in the team’s minicamp. Ward started at cornerback last season.

After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid has one interception over the past two seasons. He played 10 games last season before sustaining a season-ending with a torn biceps.

Reid said he is learning a new position but he believes playing closer to the line of scrimmage suits him. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as he plays this year with a salary of $5.676 million on the fifth-year option.

“I’m used to be on the back end,” Reid said. “I’m used to dealing with a lot more space. So, really, it’s the run game. And the run fits, knowing the gap schemes, the run (stunts) and knowing where the D-linemen are going to fit and filling the holes. That’s been the biggest difference for me.

“I like it. I’m a bigger safety in this league, so I think it’ll work for me.”

And what if the 49ers select Adams on Thursday evening?

”That’ll be interesting,” Reid said. “We’d have to battle it out. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”