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Dilfer: "Baalke smartest football man in the league"

Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I'm disappointed with your logic MD. I value your opinion, and strongly agree that judging someone in 6 games is insane, however your logic doesn't add up. The Peterson argument specifically frustrates me. By that logic, you are either assuming that every team has the player they pick in the 1st round as the #1 player on their board, or they should trade the farm to trade up. Was Peterson the first player on our board? maybe. Did we trade for him? no. But there are two parts to the equation. How much better is he than the guy you're going to draft? and what is that going to cost you? I'm sure that everyone outside the top 3 does not draft the #1 player on their board. So who was going to trade with us? AZ who wanted Peterson also? Cincy who had their heart set on AJ Green? Carolina? Denver? Buffalo? They all wanted players who would have been gone by our pick, and would have required the farm for a trade. We couldn't offer that much for 2 reasons: 1. Baalke knew he wanted to draft a QB later in the draft and needed not only the 2nd round pick, but also other ammunition. 2. Last I checked Peterson is not Andrew Luck...you don't trade the farm for CBs! Then you say he got "lucky" with Aldon Smith. Again, by that logic every team is lucky. The Colts were lucky with Manning, someone will get lucky with (excuse the inadvertent pun) Luck. Other than that, drafting is a skill. Aldon Smith was the top rated player on our board, we wanted to trade down to get him later, and we chose him over players that many thought we would take. Completely unfair to call that luck. You think Watt will be better? Fine. Very possible. You think it's too early to tell if Aldon will actually be good? That's fair again. But to call a pick lucky? Come on! Same logic goes for FAs. We all know that loosing teams have to do more to get FAs, and sometimes the player doesn't even consider non-playoff teams. But back to my point... we had a value assigned to certain players, and if another team valued them higher, then we stopped competing. That's what you're supposed to do! If you value someone at $3MM/yr, and someone pays them $9MM/yr (random #s) then you didn't fail, you stuck to your guns. As for the 1 year players, I hardly doubt we'll have much trouble re-signing the ones we want. Rodgers has stated he wants to stay here long term. Ginn took a pay cut to stay. I'm sure he'll resign. Alex will do as Harbaugh says. Morgan will have a long term deal before the season ends, and any judgement on Edwards should be saved until he actually plays (how did you say that he was a mistake on Baalke's part? He go injured in game 2! How do you predict that?). You really think signing Costanzo will be an issue? The other 1 year contract guys? Who cares? Too early to tell how good Baalke is, I agree, but reading your review I can't help but see an agenda to be skeptical. Unfair criticism for much of it.

The process you adopt in player personnel matters is critical to get the guys you want on the field. Can you get everyone you want? Surely not. However, Baalke's approach has been passive: we will wait and see what is left over for us. That was his approach in the draft this year, and was his approach in free agency. There were a few exceptions, but the pattern is one of passivity. That is my criticism. In the end, to me, this is not the way to build a franchise. You may end up hitting on some players by being passive (look at the crazy draft the Bengals put together with the worst scouting department in the NFL), but in the end, I believe it is a long-range losing application.

I am not calling the pick of Smith lucky, but the process in landing him. You wanted to go up, but didn't make the bold move. You wanted to go down, but didn't find takers. You select what is left over as a third option, and may have hit.

The Niners and the one-year contracts signed are going to have to make some serious tough decisions because these players are not going to be as cheap next year. Smith is going to cost a LOT more money in 2012 if both sides decide to work something out. Rogers is going to be very pricy. Snyder is now a starter, not a backup. Ginn is going to want more money next year.

I am skeptical of Baalke. I may be wrong in the end, but I think his approach is not a long-term winning approach.

Actually, he did make the bold move. He knew his most important move was to get a QB and he moved up and got him. Last year he moved up and got Anthony Davis. He caught a lot of criticism for both. Again, I'm not praising Baalke, but I think the criticism you suggest is not representative of his actions. The idea that you sell the farm every time is clearly not what you're suggesting. He chose QB the position that he went after and attacked. BTW, what current successful franchise constantly signs big name free agents and trades up in the draft?
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
I'm disappointed with your logic MD. I value your opinion, and strongly agree that judging someone in 6 games is insane, however your logic doesn't add up.

The Peterson argument specifically frustrates me. By that logic, you are either assuming that every team has the player they pick in the 1st round as the #1 player on their board, or they should trade the farm to trade up. Was Peterson the first player on our board? maybe. Did we trade for him? no. But there are two parts to the equation. How much better is he than the guy you're going to draft? and what is that going to cost you? I'm sure that everyone outside the top 3 does not draft the #1 player on their board. So who was going to trade with us? AZ who wanted Peterson also? Cincy who had their heart set on AJ Green? Carolina? Denver? Buffalo? They all wanted players who would have been gone by our pick, and would have required the farm for a trade. We couldn't offer that much for 2 reasons: 1. Baalke knew he wanted to draft a QB later in the draft and needed not only the 2nd round pick, but also other ammunition. 2. Last I checked Peterson is not Andrew Luck...you don't trade the farm for CBs!

Then you say he got "lucky" with Aldon Smith. Again, by that logic every team is lucky. The Colts were lucky with Manning, someone will get lucky with (excuse the inadvertent pun) Luck. Other than that, drafting is a skill. Aldon Smith was the top rated player on our board, we wanted to trade down to get him later, and we chose him over players that many thought we would take. Completely unfair to call that luck. You think Watt will be better? Fine. Very possible. You think it's too early to tell if Aldon will actually be good? That's fair again. But to call a pick lucky? Come on!

Same logic goes for FAs. We all know that loosing teams have to do more to get FAs, and sometimes the player doesn't even consider non-playoff teams. But back to my point... we had a value assigned to certain players, and if another team valued them higher, then we stopped competing. That's what you're supposed to do! If you value someone at $3MM/yr, and someone pays them $9MM/yr (random #s) then you didn't fail, you stuck to your guns. As for the 1 year players, I hardly doubt we'll have much trouble re-signing the ones we want. Rodgers has stated he wants to stay here long term. Ginn took a pay cut to stay. I'm sure he'll resign. Alex will do as Harbaugh says. Morgan will have a long term deal before the season ends, and any judgement on Edwards should be saved until he actually plays (how did you say that he was a mistake on Baalke's part? He go injured in game 2! How do you predict that?). You really think signing Costanzo will be an issue? The other 1 year contract guys? Who cares? Too early to tell how good Baalke is, I agree, but reading your review I can't help but see an agenda to be skeptical. Unfair criticism for much of it.
Good post, excellent analysis.

I concur with all of it, except for the part about "valuing" MadDog's opinion. I used to give him the benefit of the doubt, but his posts about the draft (Aldon Smith a "C"? Culliver a "C+"? Bruce Miller an "F" at FB? etc.), about FA, and about Baalke, prove that he doesn't know as much about NFL football, or as much about the Niners, as he would like us all to believe. (To his credit, he sure can BS his way through a post defending his position(s), though.)

In addition, his unwillingness to eat crow when he's clearly wrong (i.e., "Niner's gonna be 1-5 at the bye week") can't help but make one wonder. He had Aldon Smith as the best OLB, but NEVER ranked him higher than Robert Quinn on any version of his "Big Board"? Sure, that seems likely. (Not!)

The former English teacher in me made me break your post up into paragraphs to make it easier to read. I apologize, but sometimes one cannot help old habits.

Finally, MadDog may respond and accuse me (and/or you) of "stalking" him. To which I reply: I've never done anything more than what you did in your post: question his logic. Something I've done with other posts and other posters. Your post here saved me the effort, and you did a much better job than I could have done.

Thanks for the paragraphs...I couldn't actually stand to re-read my own post till that :)
Trent Dilfer just watched moneyball and now thinks balk ain't got nothing on the greatest GM ever, brad Pitt.

BTW MD, for Baalke to get "lucky" their must be some real crap GMs who picked the lesser talents before Baalkes pick. Where does that put their decision making on the totem pole?

Also, you of all people should not be mentioning that six games or any number of games as a measurement of success or non success. You of all people should know that a player can be evaluated by how he plays rather than the stats produced in any number of games.

So far, Aldon Smith has displayed impressive arm speed, power, and assortment of technique while rushing the passer. Other rookies have done the same at their positions yet you, a person who scouts these displays weighing higher than stats and other things should know better.
You based your entire evaluation of Brooks on a subjective measurement which was that you felt he would f**k up. That is not very credible in most cases.

Too bad you don't give credit to what Baalkes selections/free agents HAVE done over stubbornly and improbably stating what they still have a chance at not doing. One is cold hard fact and the other is pure subjective prediction.
Originally posted by candlestick49er:
I agree, 6 games isn't enough to grade long-term performance because we don't know how things will turn out in the future. However, its enough to critique performance so far. During the offseason I wasn't willing to make bold statements (good or bad) about Baalke because I wanted to see the results first. He has my support because he's our team's GM and he hasn't done anything to show he isn't capable. You disagreed with many of his moves, which is fine. You may be right in the future, but we don't know that yet. What we DO know is that he's done a great job so far.



Wow. So if Baalke's moves don't pan out, it was a bad move/decision. But if his acquisitions do pan out it was by accident? According to you, Baalke is either going to be a poor GM or a lucky one. Its lose/lose and he'll never be good in your eyes if that's how you look at things. You aren't respecting the fact that GMs make decisions and a thought process occurs before decisions are made. Baalke CHOSE Aldon Smith, he wasn't forced to select him (Amukamara, Watt, Quinn, etc were available). Baalke CHOSE to sign Carlos Rogers, he wasn't the only CB left (Carr, Marshall, etc). Sure it was reported that we were interested in Patrick Peterson and Nnamdi, but you have to consider value. If interested in a player, GMs can either: A) attempt to acquire at all costs regardless of the price (even if it hurts the franchise) or B) attempt to acquire if the value makes sense. From the outside looking in, I would say Baalke is more of a value guy. Is it genius? No, but its a smart approach.

It is a smart approach if it works, and as you and I both state, it is really early in the game. To early for some to declare that Baalke is a genius or the Smartest man in the NFL. That is my point.

As stated before, it doesn't take a really smart guy to wade through the list of available, leftover free agents and select the top guy left over. The harder work is getting the guy you wanted in the first place. Note: The Niners signed Carlos Rogers on August 3. Richard Marshall was signed on July 31, and Chris Carr on July 30. So, neither guy was avaliable when the Niners made their selection, which also included guys they did target and try to sign: Nnamdi and Johnathan Joseph.

Let's make this an analogy that might end up sexist; if so I honestly apologize: A guy enters a bar and sees a number of pretty ladies. He is not able to get the first lady on his list, and also fails to put his best foot forward on the second. He continues down the line, and eventually way down the line finds a girl who is the best looking one in the room, but one that most guys simply are not that interested in. She is low maintanance. However, the next time you meet, she has gone through a remarkable transformation and is now one of the best looking girls in the bar. Now, is the guy who selected her a genius? No. He is lucky. He didn't get what he initially wanted over and over again, and left with dwindling choices ends up with someone that was not high on many people's lists, but someone that everybody now wants. That is good fortune, not a detailed plan of success.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Trent Dilfer just watched moneyball and now thinks balk ain't got nothing on the greatest GM ever, brad Pitt.

BTW MD, for Baalke to get "lucky" their must be some real crap GMs who picked the lesser talents before Baalkes pick. Where does that put their decision making on the totem pole?

Also, you of all people should not be mentioning that six games or any number of games as a measurement of success or non success. You of all people should know that a player can be evaluated by how he plays rather than the stats produced in any number of games.

So far, Aldon Smith has displayed impressive arm speed, power, and assortment of technique while rushing the passer. Other rookies have done the same at their positions yet you, a person who scouts these displays weighing higher than stats and other things should know better.
You based your entire evaluation of Brooks on a subjective measurement which was that you felt he would f**k up. That is not very credible in most cases.

Too bad you don't give credit to what Baalkes selections/free agents HAVE done over stubbornly and improbably stating what they still have a chance at not doing. One is cold hard fact and the other is pure subjective prediction.

Teams that continually are drafting in front of the Niners do have a poor history in talent evaluation, so it no shock that some of the guys that others bypassed may now have regret over choices made. Does this make Baalke a genius or someone that is the smartest man in the league? No. It just means there are a lot of meatheads out there. Hence the statement I made before, Not the smartest, and certainly not the dumbest.

My evaluation on Brooks is that he was a colossal failure in Cincinnati, and being displaced on the roster by players such as Niners' reject, Jim Maxwell, showed that he was not committed to tap his potential. It took nearly three years for that to happen here. So, I don't regret my evaluation of Brooks. Feel free to read the reports from him a few years ago. Terms like: lazy and undisciplined were the norm. He has been reborn as a player, and good for him and us.

As for not giving credit for the free agents Baalke signed, you need to go back and re-read what I stated earlier.
[ Edited by MadDog49er on Oct 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM ]
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Actually, he did make the bold move. He knew his most important move was to get a QB and he moved up and got him. Last year he moved up and got Anthony Davis. He caught a lot of criticism for both. Again, I'm not praising Baalke, but I think the criticism you suggest is not representative of his actions. The idea that you sell the farm every time is clearly not what you're suggesting. He chose QB the position that he went after and attacked. BTW, what current successful franchise constantly signs big name free agents and trades up in the draft?

Although I did not have Davis on the top of my board when the Niners moved up last year, I didn't have a problem with the trade to get him. That is the aggressive manuevering needed to get the players you really want on the roster. Even if Davis does not pan out, the proactive approach is one I think is the winning formula. As for jumping up to get CK, I thought the better move (and still do today) was jumping in front of Cinci who was all over Dalton before the draft and picking the TCU QB. Baalke, in my opinion, simply targeted the wrong QB. Team Baalke seems to ignore the AD versus CK decision by Baalke while blowing the trumpet for Aldon Smith. In both cases, time is needed to see who was right or wrong. I am not doing backflips over AD being 1000000 times more superior to CK at this point. It may end up that CK is better. And, that is the magic of time.

In other words, it is odd that people run to the defense of Baalke in the selection of Davis, and A. Smith, but run from the discussion of draftees CK and Taylor Mays.

As for a winning franchise making bold moves, take a look at Atlanta's jump up to get Julio Jones.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
It is a smart approach if it works, and as you and I both state, it is really early in the game. To early for some to declare that Baalke is a genius or the Smartest man in the NFL. That is my point.

As stated before, it doesn't take a really smart guy to wade through the list of available, leftover free agents and select the top guy left over. The harder work is getting the guy you wanted in the first place. Note: The Niners signed Carlos Rogers on August 3. Richard Marshall was signed on July 31, and Chris Carr on July 30. So, neither guy was avaliable when the Niners made their selection, which also included guys they did target and try to sign: Nnamdi and Johnathan Joseph.

Let's make this an analogy that might end up sexist; if so I honestly apologize: A guy enters a bar and sees a number of pretty ladies. He is not able to get the first lady on his list, and also fails to put his best foot forward on the second. He continues down the line, and eventually way down the line finds a girl who is the best looking one in the room, but one that most guys simply are not that interested in. She is low maintanance. However, the next time you meet, she has gone through a remarkable transformation and is now one of the best looking girls in the bar. Now, is the guy who selected her a genius? No. He is lucky. He didn't get what he initially wanted over and over again, and left with dwindling choices ends up with someone that was not high on many people's lists, but someone that everybody now wants. That is good fortune, not a detailed plan of success.
Hilarious, MadDog talking about picking up ladies at a bar.

Fact is, alot of ladies, when they become the object of some guy's attention, start paying more attention to their appearance and seem to "blossom." So your analogy is flawed from the outset.

It appears that you know as little about women as you do about being an NFL GM.

Thanks for the laugh, though.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Actually, he did make the bold move. He knew his most important move was to get a QB and he moved up and got him. Last year he moved up and got Anthony Davis. He caught a lot of criticism for both. Again, I'm not praising Baalke, but I think the criticism you suggest is not representative of his actions. The idea that you sell the farm every time is clearly not what you're suggesting. He chose QB the position that he went after and attacked. BTW, what current successful franchise constantly signs big name free agents and trades up in the draft?

Although I did not have Davis on the top of my board when the Niners moved up last year, I didn't have a problem with the trade to get him. That is the aggressive manuevering needed to get the players you really want on the roster. Even if Davis does not pan out, the proactive approach is one I think is the winning formula. As for jumping up to get CK, I thought the better move (and still do today) was jumping in front of Cinci who was all over Dalton before the draft and picking the TCU QB. Baalke, in my opinion, simply targeted the wrong QB. Team Baalke seems to ignore the AD versus CK decision by Baalke while blowing the trumpet for Aldon Smith. In both cases, time is needed to see who was right or wrong. I am not doing backflips over AD being 1000000 times more superior to CK at this point. It may end up that CK is better. And, that is the magic of time.

In other words, it is odd that people run to the defense of Baalke in the selection of Davis, and A. Smith, but run from the discussion of draftees CK and Taylor Mays.

As for a winning franchise making bold moves, take a look at Atlanta's jump up to get Julio Jones.
Okay, serious discussion now.

You're categorizing the drafting of CK with Taylor Mays????? You think they're somehow equal moves?

I can understand saying that Baalke drafted Mays at the urging (or demand) of Singletary, the Head Coach at the time, and, equally, it appears that HC Harbaugh was stongly behind the selection of Colin Kaepernick. So to that degree, there may be some basis for comparing the two picks. But that comparison does nothing to help analyse Baalke's ability to run the draft, other than to show that he's willing to listen to others, especially the HC of the team.

Or are you trying to say that you think CK is as bad a prospect at QB as Mays is at Saftety? All measureables and no football talent. If so, then its your opinion vs. Harbaugh's when it comes to CK.

I think I'll go with Harbaugh's opinion. He seems to have a track record of success w/ QBs. Your recent track record? Meh, not so much.
[ Edited by oldninerdude on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM ]
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
It is a smart approach if it works, and as you and I both state, it is really early in the game. To early for some to declare that Baalke is a genius or the Smartest man in the NFL. That is my point.

As stated before, it doesn't take a really smart guy to wade through the list of available, leftover free agents and select the top guy left over. The harder work is getting the guy you wanted in the first place. Note: The Niners signed Carlos Rogers on August 3. Richard Marshall was signed on July 31, and Chris Carr on July 30. So, neither guy was avaliable when the Niners made their selection, which also included guys they did target and try to sign: Nnamdi and Johnathan Joseph.

Let's make this an analogy that might end up sexist; if so I honestly apologize: A guy enters a bar and sees a number of pretty ladies. He is not able to get the first lady on his list, and also fails to put his best foot forward on the second. He continues down the line, and eventually way down the line finds a girl who is the best looking one in the room, but one that most guys simply are not that interested in. She is low maintanance. However, the next time you meet, she has gone through a remarkable transformation and is now one of the best looking girls in the bar. Now, is the guy who selected her a genius? No. He is lucky. He didn't get what he initially wanted over and over again, and left with dwindling choices ends up with someone that was not high on many people's lists, but someone that everybody now wants. That is good fortune, not a detailed plan of success.

I don't think you give enough credit to the FO for signing non-marquee free agents. I know you mention "low maintenance" in your analogy, but I don't get why you consider it such a problem that Baalke didn't fork over the money it would've cost for the top tier agents. There are 32 teams in this league, and several of those teams made plays to get the same players (Joseph and Nnamdi) that the 49ers wanted, including the Jets and Cowboys, which are 2 big market, good teams that FAs would want to go to. The Texans and Eagles won out in those sweepstakes, but it's not some sort of total failure that the 49ers were unable to sign them that you've made it out to be. For someone who preaches value all the time in the draft, I'm surprised you don't apply the same principles here - the 49ers probably didn't feel there was value at the cost it would've taken to sign these FAs. There's no reason to believe the 49ers were "all-in" on those free agents and failed - they simply had an obligation to do due diligence in improving their team, and they did so.

Do I consider Baalke a genius for getting Whitner/Rogers/Goodwin/Braylon and whatnot? No, not really. But do I think that you're undervaluing the work it takes to SIGN (not kick the tires on!) free agents, high priced or not. They were able to sign free agents they believed they could fit into their team and put in a position to succeed, which is terribly important. I think this confident mentality is pretty clear especially in the case of Bruce Miller. You draft a college DE to play FB? That's confidence in your coaching and ability to create success.

In contrast, look at Haynesworth - he came from a 4-3 in which TEN rotated him out a lot to give him rest, before the Redskins paid him and tried to make him a NT and play him a ton of snaps. I hate to point to Philly, because there are a lot of reasons for why that team has struggled besides free agency, but look at Nnamdi - a great player, but the Eagles tried to make him a Woodson clone and also put him in zone coverage a lot, and that's just not who he is.

Give credit where credit is due - the Niners are riding success and their personnel and coaching decisions are a huge part of that, even if Baalke is not genius. To think that these guys just sign whoever's left over because they have to do it and get lucky, rather than doing a ton of research and carefully selecting who to sign.... that is stupidly laughable. Unless you're the Redskins.



EDIT: Also, that Julio Jones trade was retarded.
[ Edited by dhp318 on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM ]
Originally posted by dhp318:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
It is a smart approach if it works, and as you and I both state, it is really early in the game. To early for some to declare that Baalke is a genius or the Smartest man in the NFL. That is my point.

As stated before, it doesn't take a really smart guy to wade through the list of available, leftover free agents and select the top guy left over. The harder work is getting the guy you wanted in the first place. Note: The Niners signed Carlos Rogers on August 3. Richard Marshall was signed on July 31, and Chris Carr on July 30. So, neither guy was avaliable when the Niners made their selection, which also included guys they did target and try to sign: Nnamdi and Johnathan Joseph.

Let's make this an analogy that might end up sexist; if so I honestly apologize: A guy enters a bar and sees a number of pretty ladies. He is not able to get the first lady on his list, and also fails to put his best foot forward on the second. He continues down the line, and eventually way down the line finds a girl who is the best looking one in the room, but one that most guys simply are not that interested in. She is low maintanance. However, the next time you meet, she has gone through a remarkable transformation and is now one of the best looking girls in the bar. Now, is the guy who selected her a genius? No. He is lucky. He didn't get what he initially wanted over and over again, and left with dwindling choices ends up with someone that was not high on many people's lists, but someone that everybody now wants. That is good fortune, not a detailed plan of success.

I don't think you give enough credit to the FO for signing non-marquee free agents. I know you mention "low maintenance" in your analogy, but I don't get why you consider it such a problem that Baalke didn't fork over the money it would've cost for the top tier agents. There are 32 teams in this league, and several of those teams made plays to get the same players (Joseph and Nnamdi) that the 49ers wanted, including the Jets and Cowboys, which are 2 big market, good teams that FAs would want to go to. The Texans and Eagles won out in those sweepstakes, but it's not some sort of total failure that the 49ers were unable to sign them that you've made it out to be. For someone who preaches value all the time in the draft, I'm surprised you don't apply the same principles here - the 49ers probably didn't feel there was value at the cost it would've taken to sign these FAs. There's no reason to believe the 49ers were "all-in" on those free agents and failed - they simply had an obligation to do due diligence in improving their team, and they did so.

Do I consider Baalke a genius for getting Whitner/Rogers/Goodwin/Braylon and whatnot? No, not really. But do I think that you're undervaluing the work it takes to SIGN (not kick the tires on!) free agents, high priced or not. They were able to sign free agents they believed they could fit into their team and put in a position to succeed, which is terribly important. I think this confident mentality is pretty clear especially in the case of Bruce Miller. You draft a college DE to play FB? That's confidence in your coaching and ability to create success.

In contrast, look at Haynesworth - he came from a 4-3 in which TEN rotated him out a lot to give him rest, before the Redskins paid him and tried to make him a NT and play him a ton of snaps. I hate to point to Philly, because there are a lot of reasons for why that team has struggled besides free agency, but look at Nnamdi - a great player, but the Eagles tried to make him a Woodson clone and also put him in zone coverage a lot, and that's just not who he is.

Give credit where credit is due - the Niners are riding success and their personnel and coaching decisions are a huge part of that, even if Baalke is not genius. To think that these guys just sign whoever's left over because they have to do it and get lucky, rather than doing a ton of research and carefully selecting who to sign.... that is stupidly laughable. Unless you're the Redskins.



EDIT: Also, that Julio Jones trade was retarded.
Whoa. Great post! Excellent read.

I think the bolded is especially well stated, but after re-reading the entire post a couple of times, its all good!
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Lots of topics. Where to start first...

First, nobody should ever concede that a six game window either makes or breaks a player, a player personnel director, a coach, a GM, etc. It is always the long haul. My critique of Baalke may end up being brilliant if the team begins to slide, or it may be a colossal failure in analysis. The issue becomes for many that any criticism of Niners' management is a direct attack on the team and fans, and for some, board members. People shouldn't take things so angrily, personally. Claiming victory after half a season either way (the critic or supporter of management) is tenuous, as the NFL is a tricky business. Teams rise and slide easily.

I'm not sure the talent is better than last year, but rather the system put in place by the coaching staff is superior.

They may have signed the right guys by accident, as other teams continued to outbid players the organization wanted, but was unwilling to commit the money. To me, that is not genius, as some suggested.

It appears that some enraged by my critique of Baalke are requesting that I make a public statement that I was wrong. These individuals are going to have to wait a while. The window of time is far too short. I will have no problem saying I was in error down the road (because that obviously means we have a consistently solid team for some time), and for a handful of individuals, for some crazy reason, this will make their fondest wishes come true. But, it would be silly for me to grovel on the board after a third of the season, then potentially watch the team slide, or watch free agents walk away after this year and have a subpar season in 2012, only to take back the grovelling. Time is the true test of anything, and my analysis, as explained earlier is based on the long-term health of this organization.

As for Baas and Spikes, the situation was a bit different for both guys. The team did not appear interested in re-signing him, so his departure was not a shock. Baas' signing was a blow. The team, from the beat writers, intended to make a run at him, and seems blindsided by the events that took place. Neither was let go by the organization as both were free agents.

I agree 6 games is way too early to tell however I don't think there is anything wrong with saying "we'll see how it goes, so far so good maybe i was wrong"

Instead you try to play the "he got lucky" card. It just comes off pretty bad. I've been wrong about the niners many times expecting something bad and being wrong. I'm thrilled as hell to say I was wrong in that case.

I know you have this draftnik rep to defend here but common you're still a niners fan. Call it like it is. So far almost every move looks top notch. Things can change, injuries can happen or slumps can happen so these first 6 games don't tell the future but common sense says players mature and get better with time.

I also didn't get your answer on the - if we draft JJ Watt who do we get at OLB? You're quick to call out Baalke and the front office but what would've been your move there?

And for the record I don't have anything personal against you. It just happens that other people were calling you out and I found your response humorous in how hard you're trying to avoid saying you may be wrong and Baalke may know what he's doing.
@MadDog49er - Well of course its early to make and statements with 100% accuracy and time is needed to truly judge these player moves, but your unwillingness to give Baalke credit is comical.

You say above how the "Pro-Baalke" peeps here tout the Smith drafting but run away from Taylor Mays and Colin Kaepernick.

1) Mays. Mays was a mistake. It seems pretty clear to me that Sing wanted Mays and Baalke didn't, but we'll set that aside and count it as a "mistake" for Baalke. NOBODY hits 100% of the time. NOBODY. One of the best drafts of all time by Bill Walsh (the one where he drafted Haley, Taylor and a host of others) started with Larry Roberts. Who? Larry freakin' Roberts. When Walsh came back, he traded UP to get....wait for it.....Reggie McGrew. He even chased Lawrence Phillips. This isn't to slam the legacy of Walsh. I'm just saying the BEST evaluators don't always get it right.

2) Kaepernick. Guess what? Both Harbaugh and Baalke liked Kaepernick better. Its as simple as that. Andy Dalton has played well for a rookie, but he wouldn't be playing here. He'd be doing exactly what Kaep is doing...riding the bench. This wasn't a case of them taking the guy that was left. They tried to move into the FIRST round to take Kaep. Whether you like the guy or not is irrelevant...they made a bold move to move up in the second round to go get the guy they wanted. Harbaugh is taking the same approach with Kaep as he did with Luck. Its a "redshirt" year. The Bengals did the same with Carson Palmer. Dalton playing well early doesn't make him a better player...it just means he got on the field sooner.

3) Aldon Smith. Making a bold move up is only a GOOD move if the price is right. Its just as good a decision to NOT make a bad move as it is to make a good one. They tried to move down, but couldn't find a trade partner. If the worst we can say about this pick is that they tookthe guy they really wanted a few picks early, I'll take that any day of the week. Your comment about the Falcons bold move up tells what I need to know...I think that was a STUPID move. A #2 WR isn't that important. When they don't have the picks this year to fill holes, they can look over at that #2 WR to see where they went. The Niners did something similar when they moved up for J.J. Stokes. Ya know who that lost #1 pick turned out to be the following year? Ray Lewis.

4) Your entire "bold" idea is flawed. The Niners have moved all over the place in the draft. When there was a trade to be made, they made it. Not jumping up significantly in the first round doesn't mean they aren't bold....it just means there wasn't a player there that they were willing to sacrifice that much for to make the move. Ya know else operated like that? Belichick. Ya know who used to operate like that? Walsh. I'm not saying Baalke is either of those guys...I'm just saying that your entire position is flawed.

The issues you have in free agency are comical as well. The freakin Eagles went on a binge in Free Agency. What has it gotten them? Historically the team that spend huge money on pricey free agents don't get anywhere. The only team I know of who did well with big name free agents was the '94 49ers....and even then they got most of those players at bargain basement prices (Deion, Rickey Jackson and Oats took small contracts). The rest (Norton, Plummer, etc) didn't break the bank. The teams that historically succeed in Free Agency wait it out and get bargains. They get good players at lower prices and don't overpay (again, Belichick). I'm not suggesting he'll be a better player, but right now Rogers is outplaying Nnamdi.


Bottom line to all of this, I do understand your hesitancy to give Baalke credit, but I think you are too quick to go the other way. Of course all of this takes time. Aldon may tank from this point or he could be a superstar. Kaep may never see the field or he could be another Andrew Luck. Nobody knows at this point.

I think its fair to say tho that it APPEARS at this point that Baalke has done very well.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:47 AM ]
Yeah, I think the "he got lucky" comment is what is is drawing so much ire.

At the end of the day, the GM also selected the Coach who is getting the most out of the players. I'm sure there were conversation with the coachng staff about who they wanted as players balanced against the financial constraints of who they could afford.
Originally posted by Marvin49:
@MadDog49er - Well of course its early to make and statements with 100% accuracy and time is needed to truly judge these player moves, but your unwillingness to give Baalke credit is comical.

You say above how the "Pro-Baalke" peeps here tout the Smith drafting but run away from Taylor Mays and Colin Kaepernick.

1) Mays. Mays was a mistake. It seems pretty clear to me that Sing wanted Mays and Baalke didn't, but we'll set that aside and count it as a "mistake" for Baalke. NOBODY hits 100% of the time. NOBODY. One of the best drafts of all time by Bill Walsh (the one where he drafted Haley, Taylor and a host of others) started with Larry Roberts. Who? Larry freakin' Roberts. When Walsh came back, he traded UP to get....wait for it.....Reggie McGrew. He even chased Lawrence Phillips. This isn't to slam the legacy of Walsh. I'm just saying the BEST evaluators don't always get it right.

2) Kaepernick. Guess what? Both Harbaugh and Baalke liked Kaepernick better. Its as simple as that. Andy Dalton has played well for a rookie, but he wouldn't be playing here. He'd be doing exactly what Kaep is doing...riding the bench. This wasn't a case of them taking the guy that was left. They tried to move into the FIRST round to take Kaep. Whether you like the guy or not is irrelevant...they made a bold move to move up in the second round to go get the guy they wanted. Harbaugh is taking the same approach with Kaep as he did with Luck. Its a "redshirt" year. The Bengals did the same with Carson Palmer. Dalton playing well early doesn't make him a better player...it just means he got on the field sooner.

3) Aldon Smith. Making a bold move up is only a GOOD move if the price is right. Its just as good a decision to NOT make a bad move as it is to make a good one. They tried to move down, but couldn't find a trade partner. If the worst we can say about this pick is that they tookthe guy they really wanted a few picks early, I'll take that any day of the week. Your comment about the Falcons bold move up tells what I need to know...I think that was a STUPID move. A #2 WR isn't that important. When they don't have the picks this year to fill holes, they can look over at that #2 WR to see where they went. The Niners did something similar when they moved up for J.J. Stokes. Ya know who that lost #1 pick turned out to be the following year? Ray Lewis.

4) Your entire "bold" idea is flawed. The Niners have moved all over the place in the draft. When there was a trade to be made, they made it. Not jumping up significantly in the first round doesn't mean they aren't bold....it just means there wasn't a player there that they were willing to sacrifice that much for to make the move. Ya know else operated like that? Belichick. Ya know who used to operate like that? Walsh. I'm not saying Baalke is either of those guys...I'm just saying that your entire position is flawed.

The issues you have in free agency are comical as well. The freakin Eagles went on a binge in Free Agency. What has it gotten them? Historically the team that spend huge money on pricey free agents don't get anywhere. The only team I know of who did well with big name free agents was the '94 49ers....and even then they got most of those players at bargain basement prices (Deion, Rickey Jackson and Oats took small contracts). The rest (Norton, Plummer, etc) didn't break the bank. The teams that historically succeed in Free Agency wait it out and get bargains. They get good players at lower prices and don't overpay (again, Belichick). I'm not suggesting he'll be a better player, but right now Rogers is outplaying Nnamdi.


Bottom line to all of this, I do understand your hesitancy to give Baalke credit, but I think you are too quick to go the other way. Of course all of this takes time. Aldon may tank from this point or he could be a superstar. Kaep may never see the field or he could be another Andrew Luck. Nobody knows at this point.

I think its fair to say tho that it APPEARS at this point that Baalke has done very well.


Don't hate on Larry Roberts. He was a significant contributor to the DL rotation for the back-to-back teams in 1988/89.
Originally posted by genus49:
I agree 6 games is way too early to tell however I don't think there is anything wrong with saying "we'll see how it goes, so far so good maybe i was wrong"

Instead you try to play the "he got lucky" card. It just comes off pretty bad. I've been wrong about the niners many times expecting something bad and being wrong. I'm thrilled as hell to say I was wrong in that case.

I know you have this draftnik rep to defend here but common you're still a niners fan. Call it like it is. So far almost every move looks top notch. Things can change, injuries can happen or slumps can happen so these first 6 games don't tell the future but common sense says players mature and get better with time.

I also didn't get your answer on the - if we draft JJ Watt who do we get at OLB? You're quick to call out Baalke and the front office but what would've been your move there?

And for the record I don't have anything personal against you. It just happens that other people were calling you out and I found your response humorous in how hard you're trying to avoid saying you may be wrong and Baalke may know what he's doing.

Good question on the OLB position. For me, you can't conquer every position in one year, especially if there isn't a strong market in a certain position. So, 2011 is not a year I would have made significant changes at OLB. The combination of Manny, Brooks, and Haralson was not a bad combination. It certainly wasn't that dynamic, but as stated, there were higher needs (CB, C, G, etc.). To me, 2012 was the better year to address that issue.

I think many are still jumping the gun on the Niners' success in FA. With all of the uncertainty of free agency in 2012, this team could regress if the guys who signed one year contracts, added with the guys who were on the roster last year with expiring 2011 contracts decide to bolt. And, these guys that are off to a good start may not pan out over the 16 game schedule. Just too many variables. That is why I stated that he "may be the luckiest", not that "he is the luckiest". Too early to tell.

Being called out is a regularity by those who cannot fathom Trent Baalke making bad decisions or having an inept long-range game plan. I am willing to admit he may be right in the long road. Others are not willing to give my opinion the benefit of the doubt. Not a surprise when someone challenges the authority of Niners' management. However, the hostility and anger and attempt to smear my character by a handful of people is really bizarre.