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McCloughan's Mailbag - Feb. 20


Check out our sixth round of questions for General Manager Scot McCloughan. If your question wasn't selected this round, please try again. Keep in mind that 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.

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Q: Mr. McCloughan, where do you see the 49ers in the next 3-5 years? – Tarik
A: I see us having a consistent offense, defense and special teams in terms of both our coaches and players. I see stability where everybody is on the same page with our vision and what needs to be done.

Q: With free agency and the draft on the horizon, I would like to know which you consider more important, player talent or desire? Thanks. – Dan Bliznik, Watsonville
A: They're both very important, but you can never lose sight of a guy's athletic ability, size and strength. To get everything out of an athletic, talented and physical football player, he also needs to be intelligent, have a passion for the game and then work hard at it. When all those things come together, you have the potential to get a very good football player.

Q: Hi Scot. Thomas Clayton has done well in the past two preseasons. The question that begs an answer is how will perform against first-stringers? Is there any plan to have him start a preseason game? Two good reasons to find out: Frank Gore needs a good backup and DeShaun Foster is not a sure thing to return in 2009. Maybe the answer is in our back yard. Thanks. – Dick Flynn
A: It's too far in advance to answer that, but he's on this team for a reason. He has a skill-set that we like. This will be an important offseason and a very important training camp for him to take the next step to become a better football player and help us win football games.

Q: Thanks for taking my question. Will the 49ers ever go to a 3-4 defense like they have been talking about for years or will in vary depending on the opposing team? Or is personnel the concern? I know coach Nolan talked about it, yet it never transpired. Secondly, what can the 49ers do to get Vernon Davis the ball? Thanks for the time. I've been a dedicated fan since birth. - Leo Del Carlo, Stockton
A: I think you're going to see more consistency on defense n terms of what we're doing and what our scheme is. Greg Manusky will be calling the shots. You're going to see more of a 3-4 than anything. We might adjust some depending on the personnel we're matched up against, but the majority of the time we're going to be a 3-4 defense. To answer the second part of your question about Vernon Davis, it's a two-way street. We can't lose sight of his physical talent, size, strength and speed which allows him to be a big play-maker for us. Also, he needs to make sure he's doing what he's supposed to be doing in terms of running the correct routes, catching the balls he's supposed to catch and getting open in order to be involved in the offense.

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