Seven days ago, Scot McCloughan stopped spilling vodka and started spilling secrets. Well alright, the vodka joke is a bit out of line, I am really happy for the guy for finding another job so soon, especially considering he wasn't terrible for us. Still, it would have been nice if he didn't end up on a division rival, you know?
Much was made of it initially (kind of), whether or not McCloughan signing on as a senior personnel executive would have any bearing on how the Seahawks play the 49ers this upcoming season. Tim Kawakami echoes the thoughts of many, including myself, when he says he thinks not.
As noted, there really is nothing the guy can divulge about the team, there's nothing to get worked up over. What is he going to tell them, I (and Kawakami) ask? There are a few integral parts to the 49ers in 2009 that will need to be imrproved in 2010 for the team to garner the success they crave. A few aspects of the game that were a weak point for the 49ers last year that needs to be turned into a strength this year.
Guess what? McCloughan has zero information on those aspects of the game. He has no insider knowledge on how a particular unit is progressing, nor can he even offer insights about a particular units philosophy entering 2010. The 49ers were weak at two very clear aspects last season: the offensive line and the return game.
Offensive line information is something that is most definitely valuable to a new team. It just so happens that this year it's going the other way - we've got Seattle's old offensive line coordinator here working the 49ers line. So what does McCloughan know? Absolutely nothing. The only bit Seattle will know about our new offensive line is remnants of what they know of Solari from his time there, McCloughan cannot comment on that, probably the most crucial "rebuilt" area of the team.
Not only that, but the line has two rookies on it - rookies who were selected after McCloughan was already gone. Alex Smith should be much improved this season, and that will be heavily assisted by the fact that he should spend a fairly large amount of time not on his back.
Now the return game - something that McCloughan wasn't addressing at the time of parting ways with the team. Trent Baalke, the acting GM of the Niners after McCloughan's departure, made a trade for Ted Ginn Jr, primarily for a return man. Then the 49ers drafted Kyle Williams and signed undrafted free agent LeRoy Vann to supplement what they hope we be an improved run game.
What information does McGloughan have on them? Nothing, obviously. He knows as much about those players as we do. So I'm not entirely sure what the point of this piece is, just to talk a little bit about McCloughan and the fact that the Seahawks got him is well... a little flattering, at best. I think Kawakami says it best: (say whaat?)
What privileged information could McCloughan divulge before the Sept. 12 opener in Seattle? That Alex Smith is a big talent who needs to be immersed in a system before he can flourish? That coach Mike Singletary wants his team to play with aggression? That Jed York, Paraag Marathe and Trent Baalke are a largely untested and unpredictable management team?
You don't need to an NFL counter-intelligence operation to figure any of that out. You just need game film.
Bring it, Seattle Seahawks. Go Niners.