You remember Trent Baalke? Sure you do. After getting fired by the 49ers, he sold his San Jose home and just disappeared. That is, until he resurfaced with a new job in the NFL offices, a far cry from a general manager gig.
Well, he was busy this week, securing interviews with some radio stations located in none other than Canada. Rather than give everyone two different Baalke posts for a Saturday, we’ll hit up both here. Cam Inman transcribed a lot of what was said at all stops if you are looking for further reading. The time stamps are below.
Over with Montreal 960, Baalke had some questions pertaining to Colin Kaepernick. One thing brought up that I never realized was Kaepernick and Baalke’s careers ended at roughly the same time. There was something later on if Baalke thought Kaepernick was better than the crop of quarterbacks available and answered with this from the eyes of a scout:
“You have to look at his track record. One Super Bowl, another NFC Championship Game. He’s won a lot of games. He’s put up big numbers in those games, with his arm and his feet. He’s certainly had a run of success in the league. And that’s all you can go by as an evaluator. What does the film tell you? You study what he’s done and what he’s done recently and you make a determination. I can’t speak for the 32 evaluators or decision makers in the league now, but his track record of success on the field kind of speaks for itself.”
It’s a brief, nine minute interview, but he does offer some insight into the new NFL helmet rule and how he managed the Alex Smith/Kaepernick controversy as well.
00:30 - Feelings on the period of success with the 49ers (2011-2014)
01:15 - Kaepernick’s career ending with the 49ers when Baalke’s ended
01:47 - Surprised an NFL team hasn’t signed Kap?
02:20 - Kaepernick better than the quarterbacks that have come through lately
03:17 - Thoughts on 49ers current quarterback position
03:50 - What he does for the NFL
04:30 - How he managed the Smith/Kaepernick drama
05:20 - The new NFL helmet rule and players adjusting
06:34 - Any pet projects?
07:30 - How he’d handle Jalen Ramsey and run of comments
08:21 - Favorite NFL player growing up
This was a significantly longer segment covering a lot of the Kaepernick controversy in detail. Baalke did offer some thoughts on Jimmy Garoppolo which is rather interesting:
“I think he’s got all the makings. He’s certainly got a quick release. He’s super smart. He’s accurate. He’s a quick decision maker. He can throw into tight windows. He’s got a nice ball. He’s got all the makings but you’ve got to do it. One year doesn’t make a quarterback, just like seven games doesn’t make a quarterback. Those guys we’re talking about with [Tom] Brady and [Drew] Brees, they’ve done it from Day 1 throughout their career, and it’s taken them awhile to get to that stature. I think it’s no different for Garoppolo. All the signs are positive. Now he’s got to go do it, and do it for a year, then next year string another year on top of it. And then if he does that, you’re talking about him long term. But right now, he’s got to step out in a big environment and produce on a weekly basis.”
What Baalke says is probably pretty obvious. Defenses are going to adjust to Garoppolo, and then the question will be how Garoppolo adjusts to them. So many times we’ve seen a single season of great QB play, only for the league to figure them out and them unable to replicate the success they had.
Below are the time stamps to the second interview.
00:55 - Thoughts on Super Bowl winners play opening game and the NFL schedule
01:55 - The evolution of the Kaepernick controversy
02:45 - Was Kaepernick trying to make things better?
03:30 - What made Kaepernick difficult to defend?
05:00 - Surprised Kapernick hasn’t caught on with a team
06:10 - Would bringing in “a” Kaepernick cause concern for the distraction?
07:26 - How challenging is it for the NFL with the “Anthem issue.”
09:00 - Games/quarterbacks that Baalke is interested in watching
10:55 - Thoughts on Jimmy Garoppolo
12:08 - Offense in the league he finds intriguing
13:25 - On the Tom Brady/Bill Belichik relationship lasting so long
14:20 - Memories of the Seattle Seahawk/49ers rivalry
17:00 - The length of time the Kaepernick situation will continue for