NASHVILLE – Ran Carthon's road to Tennessee included plenty of stops along the way, from his college playing days at Florida to his NFL playing days in Indianapolis to three prior stops in the NFL.
Before being hired by the Titans as their next general manager, Carthon spent the previous six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
Over the course of the past two weeks, at the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, five different 49ers were asked about Carthon in interviews with TennesseeTitans.com.
They described a man who made a big impact on their lives on and off the field.
They also think Carthon is going to be a great fit with the Titans.
"Obviously you are getting a brilliant football mind," 49ers Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams said of Carthon. "He's a huge part of the 49ers, where we're at now. But as a person, you are getting a pioneer, a guy who can come in and lead, a guy whose heart is in the right place, and a guy who can relate to the players, the people in the front office. He can groom guys to be people like himself. He is the total package."
49ers Pro Bowl safety Talanoa Hufanga echoed those comments.
"He's special, man, truly special," Hufanga said of Carthon. "He's a guy who works hard each and every day, and is a great person. From my first interactions with him, it was just unbelievable. Great person, being able to sit and talk game and come up with different goals, different things in life.
"And when guys care, it makes the players feel wanted, and it makes them want to continue to work at a higher level. A guy like that, he is going to make the locker room better, he is going to make the front office better, he is going to make the coaching staff better. A guy like him just amazing, pretty special."
Carthon, named GM in Tennessee last month, joined the 49ers when General Manager John Lynch and Coach Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017. Since, the 49ers have made three playoff appearances, played in two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. Additionally, the 49ers have had nine players account for 13 total Pro Bowl selections in the last two seasons (seven selections in 2021 and six in 2022).
Carthon, who served as San Francisco's director of player personnel the past two seasons, spent five seasons (2012-16) with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams as their Director of Pro Personnel. He entered the NFL scouting world as a pro scout with the Atlanta Falcons for four years (2008-11) after spending three seasons (2004-06) as a player with the Colts.
"The Titans are probably getting the realest dude I've ever met," 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker Fred Warner said of Carthon. "Ran was right there with the players every single day. What he meant to me in my development, and letting me know straight up during my good times and my bad times, things I can work on and things I was doing well, it meant a lot. He obviously has the eye for talent and development. He is in the perfect spot with Tennessee now. I am happy and blessed to know him and happy for him.
"And him playing the game, been there, done it. Florida native. He's a cool cat, and I know the players (in Tennessee) are going to love him. That's my guy."
Carthon played running back at the University of Florida, and his father, Maurice, played for the Giants and Colts, and he also coached for New England, New York Jets, Detroit, Dallas, Cleveland, Arizona and Kansas City.
"Ran, he's fantastic," 49ers Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle said. "I've known him my entire career. Smart guy. What I like about our front office is they've always had good guys with high quality character. When you put a team together full of guys with high characteristics, respectable characteristics you have a higher chance of winning football games. I'm a fan of (Ran), and he's been nothing but kind to me."
49ers Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey, who joined the team during the 2022 season after being traded from the Panthers, said Carthon is "a great guy, somebody who works hard."
All the 49ers players said they were excited to hear about Carthon landing the GM's job in Tennessee.
They all also said they hated to see him go.
"I told him I am going to miss him," Williams said. "He is such a great dude. I am going to miss seeing him every day, but he'll be a friend for life. Tennessee is incredibly lucky to have him. He is going to do an amazing job."