Originally posted on NBC Washington  |  Last updated 1/5/12

SAN FRANCISCO - 2009: Jed York of the San Francisco 49ers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in San Francisco, California. (Photo by NFL Photos)
In the NFL it seems the success or failure of franchises flows down from the top. Inept ownership and bungling general managers can steer teams out of the playoffs and Super Bowls for decades and leave their fans frustrated and fuming. Meanwhile other franchises build a winning foundation from the top down. Every season those teams are in the playoffs or in the running for another ring. Finally, in San Francisco it appears the Niners have such a foundation. Under first-year coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke, San Francisco went 13-3 this season, won the NFC West and earned a No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, with the right to host a divisional playoff game Saturday, Jan. 14 at Candlestick. In the wake of this season’s accomplishments, both owner Jed York and Baalke are earning kudos for what they’ve done. Former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the architect of the Niners’ Super Bowl runs with Joe Montana and Steve Young, looks at this year’s team and sees York’s wise leadership. “...
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