Trent Baalke, the 49ers’ director of player personnel who becomes the team’s top personnel man with the departure of general manager Scot McCloughan, says things will not dramatically change with him in control.
Baalke said he is very comfortable with the 49ers’ quarterback situation. And although he could not talk specifically about a trade for a veteran quarterback who might be under contract, he intimated the team is not interested in acquiring Donovan McNabb.
Baalke left no room for interpretation when asked about free-agent Adam “Pacman” Jones.
“At this time there is absolutely no interest in Pacman,” Baalke said. “And I don’t see that changing.”
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Baalke met with the beat reporters who cover the 49ers today. Because of a prior commitment on the
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–Baalke said the 49ers “most definitely” have the tools to win the division and cause some noise in the playoffs. But he said the team “most definitely” still needs to get better. Baalke said he is excited to see Alex Smith this season play in the same system with the same offensive coordinator for a second year in a row – “with more talent around him.”
–Baalke said he had an open dialogue with coach Mike Singletary when Singletary was a 49ers assistant coach. But once Singletary was promoted to head coach, most of his conversations were with McCloughan. Now, Baalke and Singletary are re-opening those lines of communication.
Baalke said he and Singletary will leave Sunday for a three-day scouting trip to get to know each other better and spend time discussing the prospects. When I asked where they would be going on that scouting trip, Baalke answered, “You’ll have to follow the plane.”
–The 49ers enter the draft with an open mind, as far as drafting offensive tackles. Baalke said the versatility of Joe Staley makes it possible for the 49ers to get a left or right tackle in the draft and then decide what makes the 49ers’ offensive line stronger.
–Baalke talked about having three solid running backs on a team, citing the Cowboys as where the league seems to be heading. The 49ers have two running backs, Frank Gore and Glen Coffee, who have similar styles. Baalke said there is definitely room on the 49ers for a Jahvid Best-type of player. (Baalke was asked specifically about Best.) But he said any interest in Best, or a player of his ilk, is not a change in 49ers philosophy.
–Baalke said he and McCloughan share similar philosophies about size, intelligence, competitiveness and intangibles when evaluating players. He likes big players, but he said “there are exceptions.” He said he likes to take it on a case-by-case basis.
–He said the draft board is 85 to 90 percent set. He said there will be changes made to the 49ers’ draft board. But he said that those changes would’ve probably happened anyway based on late information coming to the team, such as medical issues or final workouts.
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