For all the headiness of the current situation and the midas touch that seems to be hovering over Trent Baalke and the front office, it wasn’t very long ago that the team seemed to be in a world of disarray. Flash back to waaaaay long ago in time. Like 2 years ago. The sour stench that was Mike Singletary still permeated the office of 4949 Centennial Blvd. The misdirected lines of communication were still a worry, and Trent Baalke’s draft in 2010 had Singletary’s imprint on it as well. Baalke insisted on improving the line with the Niners 2 first round picks in Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis, but Sing insistend on Taylor Mays, a washout as a safety now relegated to ST duties. Baalke certainly has paid his dues with the Niners, coming in with Mike Nolan in 2005, and running the western scouting region before being promoted to Director of Player Personnel, and then VP of PP, and finally on to his current GM spot. His 2011 draft was fairly awesome in that the Niners got better in the pass rush in one fell swoop, found their QB of the future, and strengthened their depth at OL and RB.
Last year’s draft wasn’t as immediate a success, but LMJ was a very solid addition. AJ Jenkins is searching for the path out of the dog house, Fleming was hurt on day one of camp last year, Looney shows promise, Robinson is sticking around, and Cam Johnson still could be a diamond in the rough. Only Jason Slowey has been jettisoned from the 2012 draft. This year? Well, the mouths are watering, and the blog-o-mill is in a frenzy trying to figure out how this draft will proceed, seeing as the Niners have 14 picks, and likely not enough rookie cap money to sign everyone. It’s pretty much a guarantee that draft day (happy birthday to me) will be filled with fireworks and plenty pf wheeling and dealing.
As usual I lost my train of thought, but there you have it. This was supposed to be about how despite the fact that the only change between the front office ineptitude up to and including 2010 and the front office golden-ness in 2011 and beyond was Jim Harbaugh, how did the rest of the front office evole into the geniuses that they currently are? I said it then, and I’ll say it now. For all the front office hierarchy, the team in 2010 was nominally Mike Singletary’s. Baalke was not (and won’t be) the big honcho type that, say a Bobby Beathard was, AJ Smith of the Chargers, or even Ozzie Newsome of the Ravens is. These guys are heavy hitters and don’t really subsume to the head coach like Baalke has. In Singletary’s case, this was bad news. Now that Harbaugh is in charge, this is very good news. Even the spreadsheet guy, Paraage Marathe has shown his value under the new regime by doing very well in keeping and signing important players. Granted, he was under my microscope as being a problem in years past, but it’s all great now.