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Baalke's ultimate authority for 49ers not a smokescreen

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Jan. 13, 2011 @ 9:08 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Despite the fact that both new head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke insisted during Harbaugh's introductory press conference that Baalke would have the final say on the 49ers' 53-man roster, there were many skeptics in the local media who believe that Harbaugh actually would be making the final calls. But the way we keep hearing it, both owner Jed York and Harbaugh are quite comfortable with Baalke having the ultimate clout within the organization. "Baalke is very strong-minded and just as ambitious as Harbaugh," one team insider said. "And he has already proven to be far more qualified and a much better administrator than (former GM Scot) McCloughan, who was really just a scout." What hasn't been widely reported was just how much homework Baalke did on Harbaugh. "He went to a lot of games at Stanford and had a rare insight that most GMs just don't get,"  the insider said.

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