Fooch's Note: I like the way supraman has organized this. There are numerous ways to attempt to compare the Scot McCloughan and Trent Baalke. Using their press quotations is a unique way of doing this (I made a slight adjustment to the title).
Opinions on QB position:
Q: On the 49ers quarterback situation:
TB: I think we're very comfortable with where we're at at this point. I think coach Singletary has made that clear.
Q: Because you're happy with the QBs you have?
TB: I think right now. ... The way you have to look at this, we're very happy with the situation we're in right now. I think you're always looking and evaluation players throughout the course of the year. You're always looking at ways to better your team at any position. Right now we're very comfortable with where we're at, and that's where we're going to leave it."
Q: If you get quarterback play, is this roster a few draft picks away from being a playoff team?
TB: Most definitely. You look at the quarterback play, I'm excited for the opportunity to see Alex in a situation where he has the same offensive coordinator going into a second season with the same system, the same playcaller and even more talent around him. So do I think this roster is in position to make a playoff run? Most definitely. Do we need to add some pieces to the puzzle? Most definitely, but we're going to be able to do that. That's what the draft is for.
Q: People are too hard on Alex Smith; don’t you think that two years in the same system are going to be huge for him? Thank You. -David Wall
A: From the get go I’ve always liked Alex as a player and as a person. I think with him having the same terminology, the same offensive scheme of plays, he won’t start over. He’ll pick up where he left off and be a better player next year and I’m very excited about it.
Further comparisons after the jump...
Q: On possible changes to the 49ers' draft board:
TB: I think first and foremost it goes back to your first question, did Scot and I share similar beliefs? The answer to that was, yes. Scot is a very good evaluator of talent. A lot of the work we did on this board, we did together. Obviously at that point in time, he was the point man. So where the board is at this stage - 85 to 90 percent set going - a lot of that is not going to change. Now are there going to be a few subtle changes, yes, there will be. But there would be the same changes probably that would have happened whether he was here or not. Because you still have the coaches that have to weigh in on this. You still have a lot more information that we're gathering through pro days to put into this. So there are going to be some changes. And there will be some changes that maybe Scot wouldn't have made, but it's going to be minimal.
Q: What's your idea of the best player available?
TB: I think there's two ways to look at the board. Do you set your board up based on need or do you set your board up based on value. We're a value-based team. Obviously we look at needs but we want the board to reflect the best players down. The board is going to reflect their value as a player, OK? Then we'll address the needs. You obviously want to take the best available player so if there's a clear difference between two players, we're going to take the best available player. It's not always necessarily going to be at the need position. When two players are very similar in ability and they're at two different positions, that's when you can look and say, 'You know what? They're both very similar, let's address the need.' That way, you're always adding good football players to the roster.
Q: On his philosophy vs. McCloughan's:
TB: I think Scot and I share a very similar philosophy. I think the big thing is - size is important, intelligence is important, competitiveness is important. The intangibles, what they bring to the locker room. All those things are important and Scot and I both shared those beliefs. And I think it stems not only from the personnel side but the coaching staff believes the same thing. And as an organization, that's what's important, that we're all on the same page. With that said, there are exceptions in this business. There are guys that don't meet the height, weight, speed standards, that come in and can be pretty good football players. And I think you've got to evaluate those guys on a case-by-case basis. And when you make a decision to draft or being in a free agent or any type of player as an exception, everyone just has to be on the same page as to exactly what you're dealing with.
Q: On drafting so-called "exceptions":
TB: Certainly I do. And I think the people in this business that have had that same philosophy and said the same thing that you just said about staying away from exceptions because you'd have a team of exceptions ... If you went back and studied their rosters, you would find out that along the way somewhere they had made an exception. So I don't think it's a matter of whether you make one. I think you have to be very calculated when and if you do make one.
In years past the 49ers have stuck with the common phrase, "We will take the best player available." Are there any plans to focus more on a team need versus the best player available? -Aaron Horne
A: Absolutely not, best player available. You can never have enough good football players on your team. If you take the best player, you’re not living in year one, it’s living in the future as well. He’ll help you in year one, but he’ll also help you year two and on.
Q: Who has given you the best draft advice?
A: My father, of course, I've been around him my entire life. And Ron Wolf was very instrumental, and Ted Thompson, who's coming up here in a little bit, in Green Bay. I learned a lot from all of them. And again, never lose sight of a good football player. It's not just the production and the tape and all that but the person himself - the character, the passion, the intelligence. Life's short in this business. And if you have a vision, stick with it. And if you go wrong, at least you go wrong with your own vision. You're not flip-flopping back and forth each year. With our team right now in San Francisco, it's a great group of guys, coaches and players. We're taking steps, little steps, but we're going in the right direction. So I'm excited about this year and I'm excited about coming years to see which way this team goes.
Q: Hi Scot. When you consider drafting a player, how much depends on the player's talent and how much depends on their interview? Thanks. -Tyler Hanley
A: I would say the talent level for a player is probably 60 percent, the person who he is, is probably 40 percent. The person makes a player from good to great.
Q: Running back, do you look for a Gore lookalike or someone who does different things?
TB: I think if you look at the league right now, it's certainly gone to a two-pronged attack, guys that complement each other, different styles that bring a little different element of preparation to the defense's standpoint. You're always looking for something a little bit different. But if you look at the backfields that are really starting to have a lot of success, it's not only the two, it's the three-back system that's becoming even a little bit more ... you look at Dallas' situation with a bell-cow back and another guy that can come in and still have some bell-cow ability in Tashard Choice, a little bit different style than Marion Barber, and then you throw Felix Jones in the mix, of course completely different. They all different sets of skills but they're all high level guys and it's very difficult to defense. I think the more you have complementary styles, the harder it is to prepare for.
Q: Do you have a hard-and-fast rule about how tall and big guys have to be? Or, are smaller guys, like a Jahvid Best, on the board for you?
TB: Most definitely, and the funny thing, they were on the board for Scot as well. We have a very similar philosophy. There's that exception rule that we already talked about but the philosophy here hasn't changed. There is no 6-foot policy in this building in terms of players, and you'll find guys like Frank Gore on this team, those aren't 6-foot guys. There's enough guys on this team, there's been a cutoff at the corner position in terms of height that we look at, and we'll continue to look at that. In terms of being for every position a cutoff, that's never been the case.
Q: Do you draft a right tackle, or always left at a premium pick and go from there?
TB: Would you spend a high pick on a right tackle versus a left tackle? We're never going to try to not put good football players on this team regardless of the position. Obviously, the left tackle carries a little more weight in terms of value in the NFL. From that perspective, you're going to be a lot more comfortable if you do pick a tackle high, it's going to be a tackle that can fit in on the left side of the line.
Q: Scot said Joe Staley could go back to right side if you take a left tackle like Oher, still the deal?
TB: I think that having a guy like Joe Staley and the value that he has is his ability to play the right and the left. And when you have that flexibility it really creates more options for you on draft day. It doesn't lock you into having to draft a left tackle or having to draft a right tackle. What we need to do is improve the offensive line and it's an area we're going to address. We do have some good football players on this offensive line.
Q: Do you plan on taking a running back with a different style than Frank Gore?
A: We could. Yeah, we could. Again, I think it comes down to what will be his role with us. Is there any special teams value involved in it? Again, where he's taken in the draft is going to say what the role is going to be and how soon we think he can help us. Gore is a really good football player for us and we expect him to be a good football player for us for the next couple of years. But we also understand that we can't count on him forever. And if you start limiting his carries now somewhat - he doesn't like it - but if we protect him. What our vision is to play 16 (games) and get to the playoffs. We need him to be healthy for him to that.
Q: What are the most important attributes you and your scouts look for when evaluating an offensive lineman? -Thomas Betz A: Size and arm length, toughness, guys who compete, who want to finish the play. When the play starts you want a guy who has foot quickness, he’s able to extend, lock-out, block a guy coming off the edge and he’s able to sustain the block.
Q: What are your thoughts on the offensive line class?
A: I think every draft takes on an identity. I'm not saying this is a real deep year on the offensive line but there are good football players out there. The one thing about the offensive line nowadays is the game's changed a lot in college with the spread offense. The big power guys, the guys that come off (the line) and drive block and all that - you don't see that any more in college. You see more finesse, more pass protection. From our standpoint, the o-line is always going to be important. When you're carrying the 53, it's the deepest position numbers-wise. You're always looking in the draft, first round through seventh round, for guys who can come in and play and play a role for you.
Q: How do you evaluate defensive ends who become linebackers in 3-4 defenses?
A: Natural pass rush. The thing about is very seldom do you see them standing and come out of the two-point stance. I think it's important here, you see a lot of the guys in the two-point stance. Natural instincts and being able to go forward. I don't think you're ever going to be able to sit there and say, 'Can he drop, how's he going to be in coverage?' I think the first and foremost thing is, can he get to the quarterback and go from there.
Q: Do you feel the need to add fast corners with so many prolific passers in the NFL?
A: Again, each team has their own philosophy in what they believe. We believe in bigger corners. In our division, we went 5-1 last year, I think we set ourselves up pretty well to match up against guys in our division. Also, you've got to realize the receivers coming in have somewhat running back vision and instincts because they the ball and have so many opportunities to make plays in college. But again, I'll never lose sight of this and maybe I'm a dinosaur in this, but it's a big man's game. From the standpoint of holding up through a season durability-wise. But also in the playoffs. You have to have some size and some power and strength I think to be a contender year in and year out.
Q: How do you evaluate spread quarterbacks?
A: Every quarterback is different. What you're seeing nowadays is a trend that's not going away. Even high schools are going to spread offenses. If you're going to take a spread quarterback, know that that's what he's used to and the reason you're drafting him is that he's been a good football player. Don't completely change what he's done in the past that's made him successful. It doesn't mean he has to be in the shotgun every snap and run the routes he ran in college, but you've got to find a balance between the two - being in the shotgun, being in three and four-receiver sets. Most of the teams - I know it's a little bit different with New Orleans - need to be able to run the football in the fourth quarter, especially late in the year and especially on the east coast in open-air stadiums. You've got to be able to play power football still.
Just had to organize everything before I began formulating. My opinions will either come in another FanPost or the comments below.