Jed Joke evades questions on McCloughan departure

Addressing the departure of former general manager Scot McCloughan in a conference call with reports on Monday night 49er team president Jed York Joke said the team had “been prepared for this” and the agreement was “mutual” but refused to answer questions about what happened.  He repeatedly said it was a privacy matter and that he could not comment fully and deflected some of the questions by saying you need to ask McCloughan.  The reporters pressured him with questions which resulted in him saying that personal matters, not job performance was the reason for McCloughan’s departure.  Jed Joke also said that “I haven’t decided if we’re going to have a general manager.”  His he serious, no general manager?  Not having a GM defies the logic of running a successful NFL franchise which is to have an experienced GM calling the shots on free-agents and draft prospects.  There are not too many NFL teams that have been successful in not having a general manager on board but if anything Jed Joke said that he guarantees he will not take over as GM and that head coach Mike Singletary’s role will not change with the team.  This was the only good thing to hear from Jed Joke yesterday that he and Singletary will not try to be GM’s when they have no experience in making personnel moves.

What struck me the most about what Jed Joke said yesterday was that the team had “been prepared for this.”  Now we don’t know the exact circumstances surrounding the firing of McCloughan and in the end the move might be warranted but if this has been a problem for some time and they had been prepared for this to happen why did they wait until month before the draft to make the move?  When the 49er Faithful wanted answers Jed Joke did not do himself any service yesterday by staying mum on why McCloughan was let go.  With the recent increase in ticket prices for 49er games for the 2010 season and with the all their attention rolled up in doing everything they can to build a stadium outside of San Francisco we deserved a better explanation.  Who knows, when all of this is played out we may get that explanation but with the way this team has been run since it was taken away from Eddie Debartlo Jr. yesterdays song and dance should have been no surprise.

Trent Baalke to assume GM role

Director of player personnel Trent Baalke will assume the duties of GM for the April NFL draft.  Baalke joined the 49ers scouting department in 2005 and was promoted to director of player personnel in 2008.  Before joining the team Baalke worked with the Redskins from 2001-2004 and the Jets from 1998-2000 in the scouting department of both teams.  Baalke’s title will not change and after the draft everyone will be evaluated in the front office for job performance.  If Jed Joke had any football smarts he would give Baalke the interim title of GM until the 49ers can find a permanent and more experienced replacement after the season.  Hiring someone outside of the organization after the draft would not be wise because all the good candidates already have jobs.  But then again making wise decisions has not been the forte of the Joke family.

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