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McCloughan’s Mailbag 2010

Posted by Taylor Price on March 4, 2010 – 11:36 AM

Our annual offseason Q&A sessions with 49ers General Manager Scot McCloughan known as “McCloughan’s Mailbag” will officially be back on 49ers.com, but with a new twist.

This year, anyone can submit questions in three ways:

-Tweet us your questions to the Official 49ers Twitter account (@SF_49ers) along with the hash-tag of #SM_Mailbag.

-Write your McCloughan’s Mailbag question in the comments section of our Facebook account here.

-Upload your questions for Scot to our 49ers YouTube account here.

Ask away, but it should be noted due to NFL rules, McCloughan cannot answer questions about any potential free agents and will refrain from giving detailed information on any draft-eligible players.

To see what was asked last year, you can read all of McCloughan’s Mailbags from 2009 here.

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Combine Leftovers and Closing Thoughts

Posted by Taylor Price on March 2, 2010 – 5:31 PM

It was a great trip to Indianapolis this past weekend at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine. We spoke with the countless NFL prospects, interviewed two of the NFL’s top information men from two major networks, spoke with our head coach and general manger, toured the 49ers interview room and even caught up with the athletic training staff.

On top of all that, interviewing groups of players over a four-day period gave us a lot of information on this year’s prospects.

It also gave us insight on members of the 49ers current roster. 

For instance, Virginia Tech punter Brent Bowden recalled how talented of a player 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan (49ers sixth-round pick, 174th overall in 2008) was during their time as college teammates.

“Josh Morgan used to strike fear in the front line of our punt team,” Bowden recalled. “Whenever we would do it in practice every day, I’d used to hear my snapper or one of my guards talk about, ‘Man, Josh Morgan is the hardest dude ever to block!’”

Bowden said he and the rest of his teammates on the punt team took pride watching Morgan play with the 49ers over the past two seasons.

“Whenever they’re on TV I try to catch them because I know he’s playing there. I know he’s doing a pretty good job.”

The 49ers first-round pick of 2009, (10th overall) also was praised by one of his teammates.

Guard Brandon Carter, known for his imaginative face-paint worn on gamedays in college and pass protection for Red Raider quarterbacks, had rave reviews for his former teammate Michael Crabtree.

“He deserves a lot of credit, he was a great player and he was a hard-worker,” Carter said of his teammate who caught 41 touchdowns in college. “I did follow what he did this season and I think he did well. He’s going to do a lot better in years to come. I always had all the respect in the world for him. He was a great player and a good guy in the locker room.”

Likewise, Pittsburgh tight end Dorin Dickerson followed the play of his college teammate, Scott McKillop (49ers fifth-round pick, 146th overall in 2009).

“I heard he was Special Teams Player of the year for the 49ers, that’s pretty good.”

Dorin ran an Eric Dickerson-like 4.4, 40-yard dash at the Combine thanks to all the hard work in his preparation. McKillop noted in his last rookie diary he was working out with his former teammates, Dickerson being one of them.

“He was telling us what to expect here at the Combine,” said the impressive, 6-2, 230-pound tight end.

Dickerson might have received a head’s up on what to expect, but once he arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium, the magnitude of the event struck him instantly.

“I’ve been watching the Combine since I was little, it’s kind of cool actually seeing yourself there. When I pulled up, I was looking at the stadium like, ‘This is the real deal.” So you have to be prepared for it.”

In case you missed any of the headlines, photos, or interviews from the Combine, check out 49ers Combine Central for a comprehensive look at 49ers.com’s coverage.

And for all the best Combine performances, NFL.com has the top workout numbers posted here.

In the coming days we’ll have more Combine-related content including  1-on-1 interviews with a handful of the draft’s top prospects from both sides of the ball, including one Bay Area talent you might be familiar with.

Until then, put on your GM hat and discuss your draft opinions in the comment section of this post.

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2010 Combine Blog: Friday

Posted by Taylor Price on February 26, 2010 – 9:40 AM

We’re back at Lucas Oil Stadium amongst hundreds of NFL media members on hand to cover the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine. This time of the day is the calm before the storm.

But the morning did have some importance as several important coin-flips finalized the 2010 Draft order, including one of which determined the 49ers second first-round pick. The Carolina Panthers lost their coin-flip to the Tennessee Titans, meaning the 49ers will select at No. 17 in addition to No. 13.

At the moment, Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith is at the podium answering questions from a sea of reporters. Following Smith will be a who’s who of NFL decision-makers including head coaches and general managers.

The 49ers handled their speaking duties already as Mike Singletary and Scot McCloughan spoke on Thursday, but you can check out our TV49 package in case you missed what they said.

There’s plenty of big-name players coming into the media area to talk, quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers will be the ones gracing the podiums.

We’ll have plenty of updates throughout the day, so stay tuned to 49ers.com for all your 2010 NFL Scouting Combine coverage. And be sure to check out our 49ers Combine Central page for stories, blogs, videos and photos from Indianapolis.

Noon Update

Lots of players are starting to make there way into the media area. One of the first prominent prospects to take the podium was Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn who figures to be one of the top wide receivers taken in this year’s draft.

Benn caught 67 passes for 1,055 yards as a sophomore, but struggled this past season with 38 catches for 490 yards. Despite the drop in production, Benn sounded confident that the numbers don’t tell his entire story.

“Numbers, don’t tell everything. A guy can have so many numbers based on how many times they’re getting him the ball,” Benn explained. “But I don’t have any regrets going to Illinois, we struggled in the passing game, but I know what it feels like to win and I know what it feels like to lose. That helped me a lot, being able to go through that type of adversity and just keeping going.”

Benn was asked who his favorite receiver is, without hesitation he said, “Jerry Rice.”

1:00 PM Update

Big surprise, I found another Jerry Rice fan. I think it’s safe to say that all of this year’s wide receivers grew up watching Rice.

Like Benn, UC-Davis wide receiver Chris Carter said he also is a big fan of Rice.

Carter caught 85 passes for 889 yards and four touchdowns in 2009, earning him Great West Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors. The Danville product has seen a lot of Bay Area football already, and would love to continue playing for a local team like the 49ers.

“It’s exciting to see what the Niners are doing, getting better,” Carter said. “You can see them growing as a team. I grew up loving to watch the Niners and Jerry Rice. How could you not as a receiver?”

Unlike Benn and Carter, Notre Dame wideout Golden Tate (pictured left) said he patterns himself after Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith.

Tate did however, inform the media that the 49ers are one of the teams he’ll be meeting with this week in Indianapolis. To the 2009 All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner, it doesn’t matter which team selects him. He just wants to make an immediate impact. In 2009, Tate impacted the Irish with 93 catches for 1,496 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He hopes  that production will carry over in the NFL.

“I want to play for whoever thinks I can come in, make a difference right away and help them to the Super Bowl. That’s who I want to play for.”

3:00 PM Update

Just after you get one interview done, an NFL employee announces another player has entered the room and so it’s on to the next one.

So far today, we’ve heard from several of the top quarterbacks in the draft like Jevan Snead from Ole Miss, Tony Pike from Cincinnati, Dan LeFevour (Joe Staley’s old college teammate from Central Michigan) and Sean Canfield of Oregon State.

But no sign of Tim Tebow (Florida), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), Jimmy  Clausen (Notre Dame) or Colt McCoy (Texas) just yet.

They should be hitting the podiums soon. Same goes for Cal running back Jahvid Best and Stanford running back Toby Gerhart.

On a personal note, I also caught up with Ohio wide receiver Taylor Price, who could run the fastest time by any wideout in the draft. Price is shooting for the low 4.3 range, which certainly will help his draft stock.

And just as I wrote all that, Tebow hit one of the main podiums and all members of the media went over to here what he had to say.

4:00 PM Update

“Some guy named Tebow is at the podium.”

Not the typical announcement for a prospect about to address the media, but Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is not your typical NFL prospect. As soon as it was announced, you could hear a shuffle in the room and reporters grabbed their recorders and notepads and flocked over to the stage.

The former Heisman Trophy winner (2007) and two-time BCS National champion (2007 and 2009) with the Florida Gators has easily been the biggest attraction this week in Indianapolis.

Knowing that, Tebow is not letting it get to him, especially with the advice he received prior to attending the Scouting Combine.

“Enjoy the journey, enjoy the process, because you’re only going to do it once,” Tebow said of his mantra for this week. “I’m doing that. It’s a long process, but it’s a lot of fun. I’m enjoying it.”

Much of Tebow’s press lately has been about his throwing motion, more specifically, the adjustments he’s made in preparation for a career in pro football.

“I’m working on it, making some adjustments and just trying to improve my fundamentals as best I can. That’s something I think will improve my game and help me as a quarterback. It’s something I’m working on a lot.”

Tebow won’t throw at the combine, but will “compete” in every other event. The signal caller has his eyes set on his pro day at Florida on March 17 to show his new techniques to the various NFL coaches, scouts, and GM’s in attendance.

With Tebow’s calling card being his leadership, one reporter asked if it could rub NFL veterans the wrong way.

Not so, according to Tebow.

“I think (it’s like) when I got to the University of Florida. Sometimes, you can’t help the attention. But what you can help is your attitude, you can help your work ethic. When you go in there and show, I am putting the team first. I’m going to do whatever it takes to help you guys succeed, and I’m here to help this organization and together, we, can achieve more. And so, if that’s my attitude and they know that and they believe that, then they’re going to respect me. And that respect grows into like and that like grows into love and then you get a team that’s bonded. And then you get a team that wins championships.”

Cal running back Jahvid Best is at the podium now, we’ll have a feature on him later today on 49ers.com.

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McCloughan Praised by Mentor

Posted by Scott Kegley on February 26, 2010 – 9:38 AM

When GM Scot McCloughan was asked on Thursday who had influenced his draft philosophy the most, he gave three names – his father, former Packers GM Ron Wolf and the current GM of the Packers, Ted Thompson.

“I learned a lot from all of them,” McCloughan said.  “Never lose sight of a good football player.  It’s not just the production and the tape and all that but the person himself – the character, the passion, the intelligence. Life’s short in this business. And if you have a vision, stick with it.”

McCloughan’s vision has been cultivated throughout his career.  He first worked with Thompson as an area scout in Green Bay from 1994-2000 and then in Seattle as the Director of College Scouting from 2001-2005.

In his current role as the head man in San Francisco, McCloughan is still close with Thompson, who had nothing but compliments for his former protogé when I asked about him on Friday.

“Scot’s a grinder,” Thompson said.  “I think he’s done a marvelous job if you look at his drafts.  They’ve been solid every year.  He’s gotten some outstanding Pro Bowl players through the draft, which isn’t as easy as some people might think it is.  He’s accumulated draft picks and he has two [first round picks] this year.  I think we both have a strong belief that you build your team through the draft.”

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2010 Combine Blog: Thursday

Posted by Taylor Price on February 25, 2010 – 5:50 PM

It wasn’t the coziest walk to Lucas Oil Stadium, but Scott Kegley and I braved through the elements on our five-block walk to Combine headquarters. Once we got inside and got set up, things started to pick up.

First, General Manager Scot McCloughan stepped up to the podium and answered a number of questions from the gathered national media. You can read the highlights of the interview here. Up next on the podium was Head Coach Mike Singletary. And just like McCloughan, you can read the best quotes from his interview right here.

We caught up with Singletary stage left with our NinerCam to ask a few follow ups, you can check that video out here.

Both seemed to be in good spirits on Thursday, despite being in the midst of a very important stage of the offseason process. But then again, they aren’t the ones being drafted.

The young NFL hopefuls are entering a tough realm. As one player pointed out, “It’s not going to be easy taking a job away from a grown man.”

That’s the reality of the situation, but the draft hopefuls put their best foot forward on Thursday. Kickers, punters, offensive linemen and tight ends were the first players to speak with the media, to give insight on themselves as well as their experiences at the Combine so far.

Some of the most anticipated interviews, (based on the size of reporters surrounding their podium) included the premier offensive linemen of this year’s crop like tackle Bryan Bulaga of Iowa, tackle Anthony Davis of Rutgers, tackle Trent Williams of Oklahoma (pictured right) and guard Mike Iupati of Idaho.

We caught up with several of the big offensive line prospects and will have more on those players in the weeks leading up to the Draft. We also caught up with one of the top center prospects, Jeff Byers of USC. Byers has blocked for some talented rushers in his college career, including teammate Stafon Johnson, who almost lost his life because of a tragic weight room accident.  Byers wasn’t surprised that Johnson has made it back to where he could be drafted.

We’ll be back at Lucas Oil on Friday to hear what the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers have to say.

Be sure to check out all of our Scouting Combine coverage at our Combine Central page.

Who would you like us to talk to within those three position groups?

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No Decision Made on Starting QB

Posted by Scott Kegley on August 23, 2009 – 1:49 PM


In his conference call with the media on Sunday, head coach Mike Singletary did not name a starting quarterback.  Singletary and the coaching staff will review the film from the game and be very detailed in their evaluation before coming to such a decision.

“I have to look at some more film,” Singletary said. “It takes me a little longer than some other people.”

Alex Smith injured his thumb against the Raiders making a tackle after his pass intended for Josh Morgan was intercepted by linebacker Ricky Brown.  Smith will be evaluated and is day-to-day.  Singletary insisted that the injury will have no impact on which quarterback is ultimately selected to start against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 13.

Other notes from the conference call included:

-  The main thing that jumped out to Singletary after watching the game was the physicality. “The execution of the offensive line was a challenge going into the game. We had to have it in order for our quarterbacks to develop. The running game allowed them to have a bit of a comfort zone.”

- Adam Snyder injured his right knee and ankle in the game.  He will be evaluated before any update is given on his condition.

- Singletary praised the play of both the offensive line and running backs.  “I think it goes hand in hand. If you put a running back behind an offensive line that is not good, he could be the greatest in the world and you’d never know. For a rookie, the more [Glen Coffee] plays the better he’s going to get.”

- Singletary was pleased with the effort of the defense which has forced six interceptions in the first two preseason games.  “It’s nice to see that early on. We certainly would like for that to be a trademark of the defense. The most important thing is do your job, the reason those turnovers happen is because guys are in the right place.”

- Linebacker Scott McKillop, guard Chilo Rachal, safety Reggie Smith and cornerback Carlos Thomas were a few of the young players who stood out to Singletary. “There are a few guys who did a nice job.  Scot McCloughan and his staff have done a great job of bringing in guys who can play, so I take my hat off to him.”

- The 49ers will travel to Dallas next Saturday, a game in which the starters will probably see more playing time.  “For us, the thing I really want to focus on is it’s our first road game and we’re playing a talented football team. I know they’re considered an elite team. We have to continue to take steps and move forward in being the team we want to be.”

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