Just when you thought we couldn't milk the GM search and latest rumors of Baalke having it in the bag...along I come to shatter those notions. I'm coming with a perspective, a question that was raised and answered by some, that arose in yesterday's gigantic Lombardi/Baalke thread (complete with 900+ comments).
The fear of the Baalke hire is this: What we saw this year in terms of personnel brought in via the draft, free agency (FA), and trades is indicative of what Trent Baalke's "style" is as a player personnel guy...that is, Trent Baalke is just like McCloughan and likes big, physical guys mostly from the SEC and doesn't value speed or elusiveness enough.
However the question, I think, is: Was that ALL Baalke or was he simply fulfilling the wishes of the Singletaryship he was under? We all know that Singletary had rule over the 53-man roster. We also know he was clamoring for offensive linemen and big physical players - something McCloughan always delivered and valued.
So how much of Baalke's scouting was a result of what McCloughan and Singletary instructed him to go out and find? Were the draft picks Baalke's personal choices? Or perhaps Jed York gave Singletary a big enough say in the draft that Baalke simply found the players that fit the Samurai's wishes. Plus Baalke had been scouting Singletary/McCloughan players right up until the last minute...and it's rare to pick a guy you didn't scout (or crossed off your board because they were too small, not tough enough, etc.).
Additionally, if you believe that Baalke acted on the wishes of Jed, Scot, and Sing...who is Trent Baalke then? What's his own style? Is he capable of staffing a team's roster with players that fit a different mold? What types of teams did he scout for in the past and what offenses did they run (for instance)?
After the jump, we'll pull up Baalke's resume again.
May 2010-present: VP Player Personnel, San Francisco 49ers
2008-2009: Director of Player Personnel, San Francisco 49ers
2005-2007: Scout, Western Region, San Francisco 49ers
2004: College Scouting Coordinator, Washington Redskins
2001-2003: National Scout, Washington Redskins
1998-2000: Scout, New York Jets
1996-1997: Athletic Director, Shanley High School (Fargo, ND)
1990-1995: Defensive line/strength and conditioning coach, South Dakota State
1998: Graduate Assistant/defensive line coach, North Dakota State
I'd appreciate any insight you all have into each of these scenarios Baalke has been involved in terms of what kinds of offenses/defenses they ran and what type of players Baalke would have been scouting and helping bring in to the team.
If we were to hire a West Coast Offense type of coach/coordinator, could Baalke effectively go out and find players to suit the scheme? Is he diverse in that he can find any type of player or does he have enough of a defined style that he would be much like McCloughan and generally only go for certain types of players?