**Commanders.com spoke with San Francisco 49ers president of football operations/general manager John Lynch to discuss new Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters.** Here's is the full transcript of the conversation.
Thoughts on Adam Peters coming to Washington:
"There's a lot of pride involved. I'm real proud of Adam. I'm real happy for Adam, Jen and their family. He's earned this opportunity. He's been outstanding and integral to our success here. He's the first guy I asked for from the outside. I got to know him when John Elway allowed me to be a part of their draft process. And that was kind of a phased approach when I was broadcasting. He just asked me to one year when he first took the job just to kind of study the safeties the first year. The second year, he liked what I did and said, 'Hey, take all the DBs.' The third year, I went in and did the draft process. I happened to sit next to Adam, and he was the college director there. And I just became very impressed. We had a lot of similarities in the way we saw the game. And when I got the job here, I asked John, and I knew it was a big ask, but John allowed me to have Adam. And I think the commanders made a great hire and he's a great friend and I wish him all the success in the world
On what stuck out to Lynch about Peters when they first met:
I felt like we kinda liked a lot of the same players. I think also he was somewhat bold. It was hard to work John Elway, a living legend. I was friends with John, and I noticed that if John didn't like a player, they'd kind of just go along with John because that's an easy thing to do. And Adam, in a very tactful way, would say, 'No, I think we should look at this player more. So, he had a little gumption to him. And a little conviction. When he was convicted, he wasn't afraid to say it. And that always impressed me. And then he's very organized. He's had experiences, I mean, albeit as an area scout with the Patriots, but he kind of got to learn the way the Patriots did things and had so much success. Then he went to Denver, they were successful there. And then he came to our place. And like I said, it was very much a part of us putting this thing together and putting together the foundation of what's been a successful run. We haven't reached our expectations and our goals yet, but we've had a good measure of success and are very grateful to Adam for his contribution to that.
On how valuable it is to have someone in the room who will stand up for players they believe will help the roster, possibly against what others might think:
That's all you want. You have to empower people. No one can do this job alone. It's a collective effort, and you have to empower people, but it's hard to empower people if you don't have a lot of belief in them and the way they have to earn that belief. You don't just show up. And so having conviction, but having support as to why you're convicted, that's one thing he just did. I liked his process, and he was very thorough. Prior to being here, he had never been in-house, other than when he was a scouting assistant. So that was the next step in his maturation. But he was here for the seven years and whatever, his role when we first got him, and then as our assistant GM here for the last three years, he did a just a great job.
On Peters' philosophy and the players that he likes:
I think that's a big thing that he's gonna have to decide. I'd prefer to let him articulate that I know what we were looking for, and I think we worked painstakingly to define that. So, I know that whatever Adam has and whatever he is gonna have to blend that with a new head coach, with an ownership group. That's what you do when you go to a new place and you're gonna be successful. You all work together and you all go in the same direction. But I think the ability to capture whatever that belief is, and Adam may have something, but the head coach that you guys decide to choose may have his own beliefs, but they're gonna be intertwined in some facet if you're gonna be working together and the people that can be in lockstep and be together. But I can tell you that his core principles are extremely solid. His, his process is extremely thorough. He's a very bright guy. He really is. And he's a tireless worker. And then he is just a really good person. He's one of my better friends in the world, aside from being my trusted and kind of right-hand man for years, he's great, great person. And so, I think those things will take him a long way in his new role.
On Peters' approach to collaboration and if there any specific examples of when he was particularly helpful in that:
The roles will change. A big part of Adam's job here was to take care of stuff when I was doing one or two things, or a lot of things. That's the thing about this role, is that it never stops. And it could be a variety of things from meeting with the team president, with sponsors. But the biggest part of my job I always thought was what is my head coach after? What does my football team need? And that the amount of time spent with that person, because you two are the ones charged with running this thing, I thought [he] was just vital. And so, knowing that you had someone who could hold down the fort when I was busy doing that, or was with ownership, handling my deals, or doing PR and keep the process going such that when I reentered, we didn't miss a beat. And Adam could handle that extremely well. He could handle anything I threw to him. That allows me to even be better at my job because I think you have to prioritize. You can't do everything. And he allowed me to prioritize and not have to do everything and be very comfortable that the message was gonna get communicated, that the job was gonna get done to my liking. He also took good direction. Now he'll be the one. It's not gonna be dictatorial like, 'Hey, go do this.' It's gonna be, 'Hey, let's all set out, but here's what I need from you.' I think he's seen a lot. He's been challenged by a lot of people, and he's ready. I know that.
On some things he has learned from Peters:
I came from a different background, so I hadn't been involved in the front office of an NFL team. So, the cool thing is we kind of learned together because he had been in the college part of it. He hadn't done a free agency and all those things. So, we assembled a team. I think anyone, you gotta throw your ego out and assemble a team. And I think successful people in this job surround themselves with quality people and then empower them to do their jobs and contribute to the process. And Adam was very integral in establishing our process. He's had a number of different leadership opportunities, but now he's gonna be one of the people out front. You never know how someone will respond until they're doing it. But man, I got full confidence that he'll figure it out. I really do.
On the value of Peters' ability to relate to players:
Your players are everything. And so, it will be even more important in the role he's in now. It was nice to have someone, but when you're the guy that people know are making decisions on their careers and on the trajectory of your organization, they want to have confidence. One way to do that is just the ability to communicate and tell them very bluntly, 'Here's what we're trying to do. Here's how we're trying to do it.' You bring them in the process and tell them, 'Here's what we stand for.' I think it goes a long way. And it's critical. You could be old school and say, 'I don't need to talk to the players,' but I don't think that works very well. And so, his ability to connect, and he'll have to even bring that to new heights in this role. But that's a lot of things. I keep going back to he really is prepared for the job. I think as prepared as anyone I knew that You just have to have aligned visions with the people interviewing him. I'm excited for him and the commanders.
On how Peters was influenced by all the coaches he's been around:
That's been my message to him is I started with, 'Hey, there's a lot of pride for me,' because he's earned this and he's a great friend. And so that's his challenge now, and that's gotta align with ownership, with Josh and his group and everybody involved there. I think it's critical that they come up with their core values and. Adam, he's got a lot of different experiences, and now he can put his imprint on a really storied organization. That's typically when you go into some place, it's not because they've been great most of the time. It's because there's been some challenges, and he's up for that. I think he's been there before, albeit not in that role. But he has been around that and knows what it takes. It's just kind of tireless work. One thing he knows too is that it's not easy, but we have an old saying around here: 'It's not gonna be easy, but it will be worth it.' Especially in the beginning when you're building a foundation, you have to unearth every possibility, and you really have to really articulate who we wanna be. I think he'll do a great job of forming that in, in their way. I would imagine it would have a lot of what we believe in here, but it will also have some other things that come from other places. And then probably some things that either he or the new head coach just have strongly believed, 'If I ever had the chance, I would do this.' I think that's what's critical is capturing that. And I think he'll do a nice job of that.
On Peters' role in identifying late-round talents:
One thing we always talked about in our process is no one person is responsible for any player. It's a process. And it always starts with the area scouts who are out there grinding. Sometimes it is someone who first recognizes the talent, but what I can tell you is we were fortunate in that the previous regime had hired really good people in our college scouting, so we ended up keeping most of our college scouts. But then you've gotta give them direction. And Adam did a tremendous job of helping to lead them and creating our process and having a really good and thorough process. And I think the hallmark of that was it was extremely collaborative. It started with Kyle and my own relationship and being right there with each other, but that's not enough. It's gotta permeate throughout the entire organization. So, I think the hallmark, if you asked anybody, is the way our scouts would work with our coaches to come up with our choice. I think Adam was very integral in creating that process. And it worked out for us. We had our misses, like everyone did, but we had a lot of good picks that turned into great players.
On why Peters would choose to come to Washington:
I know the name has changed, but if you watch football, and if you're a fan of football, it's a storied franchise, and it's a great football market that's a little starved right now for success that it's been kind of missing. And you know, people tend to like a challenge, and I think it's a big challenge. I keep going back to there had to be alignment with the ownership group. That was clear. I've only met Josh once. I happen to be real friendly with Bob Myers. And Bob's involvement I think was a huge plus, because Adam knew Bob as well. And probably more importantly, it's one thing to know someone, but to have a lot of respect for the way Bob had operated, for what Josh's vision is for the commanders. I think all those things kind of aligned. To know that you're going to have ample resources to do the things you want to do, all those things kind of aligned and he saw it as the opportunity for him. They just hit it off. And that happens. Like I said, I'm happy for him, and I think it's gonna be great. I'm excited for him to endeavor for them. Because it's not just him for them to endeavor about finding the person he's gonna be working with, because that relationship is critical. They have a lot of work to do, but he knows that and he's eager and excited to get going.