As the discussion heats up in regards to Trent Baalke as the potential future general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, someone made a good suggestion about looking at his past comments when he was first promoted to his current VP role. I went back through our NN archive (always a good page to keep handy) and found these posts that mentioned Baalke in the title. The first three are transcripts and the final post is when the McCloughan stuff went down. The first post is about the Davis and Iupati picks, while the second is about the draft as a whole.
Beyond those, here's an SF Gate link that has a slightly different transcript; here's a scout.com link; here's a 49ers.com link. I think for the most part the transcripts are somewhat guarded front office-speak, but you can see the mentions of the need for physical players. That lines up with Coach Singletary's philosophy but who knows how much Baalke is a believer in that philosophy.
After the jump we take a closer look at a couple of his comments...
In the first transcript Baalke discusses the trade with Denver, which has been a source of contention for many fans. However, as I look through the first day transcript, this comment stands out:
On whether two offensive linemen say anything about him as a personnel person:
"I think we have an identity in this building, on this football team that we're trying to build. And, whether it be offensive linemen, linebackers, running backs, we're looking for certain characteristics in these players. These two players have the characteristics we're looking for. Physically, they're able to impose their will on other players. They've done it at the college level, and we expect them to do the same thing at the pro level. As far as how I view it and the things that I look for, this is an organizational decision. I think both of these guys are going to be very good football players."
Does that answer sound a little like, I wasn't quite as down for drafting these guys but Coach Sing got his way? His comment doesn't mean this is not his philosophy. In fact, it could just be that he's a humble guy who doesn't want this to come across as him taking credit for everything. At the same time, given how things have shaken out with Coach Singletary, it's worth at least considering the alternative.
Of course, he followed that up in the second transcript with this:
On whether he was more finely tuned to Head Coach Mike Singletary's thoughts and direction this year:
"I think the assessment goes like this: Coach was involved in the process probably more so than he was last year because he was more involved in the overall process. He was on the road. He was calling people. He was getting to know the backgrounds of these young men. But, in terms of making the final decision, I made the final decision, but he certainly was involved in it."
So really, nothing means anything I suppose. Take it all however you want.