It is always an event when 49ers GM Trent Baalke speaks to the media. Today, he spoke. Well, not really. He issued a statement. So let me rephrase the above. It is always an event when the media-shy Baalke issues a statement. He issued a statement after signing safety Craig Dahl, to wit:

“We are pleased to announce the signing of Craig. He is an experienced veteran with excellent intangibles, who has working knowledge of the NFC West.”

If you’ll permit me, I’d like to analyze Baalke’s words, as actual words from him are so rare.

1. Baalke is pleased he signed Dahl.

2. Dahl is experienced, which means he’s played a while, nothing more.

3. Dahl has excellent intangibles. Baalke does not say what those intangibles are — Dahl’s a good dancer? — and more importantly, he does not say Dahl is excellent at performing the basic functions of a safety.

4. Dahl has a working knowledge of the NFC West. Sure, but does Dahl have superior working knowledge? I mean, working knowledge is vague and may mean only so-so knowledge.

5. All in all this a lukewarm review. Here’s what I want to know and Baalke never said: Can the guy play? Is he even a starter?


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  1. RZ

    I think what Baalke means is the 49ers like Dahl’s working knowledge of the St Louis Rams and coach Fisher. Remember how the 49ers did against the Rams? That doesn’t mean he won’t make the team. He would be useful in preparing for Rams week. And he’s probably a serviceable backup.

    March 16th, 2013 7:36 pm

  2. Bob In Portland

    His role will probably be on special teams.

    March 16th, 2013 10:17 pm

  3. MJ

    This reminds me of Mo Williams 2 seasons back. Veteran but not going to be a starter. Expect them to sign or draft the Donte Whitner to Dahls’ Madieu Williams.

    March 18th, 2013 8:50 am

  4. Larry Rowe

    This is exciting to see. JH & TB are building there team. Look how far we have come in 2 years since we outed the other coach’s.

    2 years and college headcoach, has turned the team around and got a subopar team to the superbowl.

    This year we will be 13 0r 14 wins and we will win the superbowl.

    Our O will be explosive and defense will re-rise and become what we know they can be.

    Could you imagine if we sign Elvis >>>> Dumer…..!!!! We will be lights out on D.

    God Bless

    March 18th, 2013 12:09 pm

  5. Mark M

    I don’t envy you covering this guy. He’s worse, or is it better, than Harbaugh with his ability to say nothing. Words appear to be coming out, but nothing really gets added here.

    At any rate, his PR abilities are less important to me right now than his current task with this off season. He can set this franchise up to win for years if he plays his cards right with all the excellent options he now has. There’s a bit of cap space and a myriad of high picks that he needs to score on. No one will be scrutinized more than Baalke this off season.

    I wonder if he’ll ever even speak directly to you…..LOL

    March 18th, 2013 3:44 pm

  6. dharte

    Good questions…and the South Dakota sphinx will say nothing of course.

    Baalke is starting to look very shaky. He’s getting credit for other people’s draft picks and Harbaugh’s (and his staff’s) coaching ability. Remember, Baalke didn’t pick Harbaugh. So we have a few excellent picks (Aldon Smith) and a few apparent duds (Culliver, AJ Jenkins); Colin Kaepernick was Harbaugh’s boy all the way, so Baalke gets little praise there.

    Now the real question comes: can you win the title? You’ve allowed two fantastic opportunities slip away, and the clock is running, Trent. So I’d argue this draft is make or break if the 49ers want to compete with their own history. Baalke cannot screw up again (and last year’s draft, while still early to judge, did little to help their title chances).

    Goldson was clearly an excellent player in his prime. Dahl is nothing but a journeyman, with little speed, and far less presence–he won’t intimidate anyone.

    So they’ve taken a step back, a big step, for a defense that struggled badly in the playoffs, while Seattle has not. The Seahawks are so much improved it’s hard to believe what they’ve already pulled off…before the draft. And that fact is the standard Baalke needs to counter.

    At this point Trent Baalke needs to come through or a golden opportunity will have been missed (and no one around this area for the Walsh/Montana years would call the last two seasons a success).

    It’s time for Baalke and Harbaugh to win a title or quit talking altogether.

    March 19th, 2013 10:50 am

  7. Johnc

    Dahl has intangibles all right.. for the balance sheet . They they got a veteran that cost nothing (and will contribute less).

    March 21st, 2013 2:37 am

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