A blast of Baas: Rookie ready to bolster O-line
Q: Did you have any idea the 49ers were planning on drafting you at the beginning of the second round? Baas: It caught me by surprise. I had talked to coach (George) Warhop and then I don't remember talking to anyone else. When I got the call, I was definitely glad. I'm glad to be a part of San Francisco, but you definitely caught me by surprise. Q: Were you told by Warhop how the 49ers envision using you? Baas: He said I better be ready to play right guard. I don't know what that means, but I know they've got a competitive offensive line out there and I am going to have to fight for any position that I want to play and I am ready to do that. I am just ready to get out to San Francisco and do that. Q: What kind of adjustment will it be for you to play right guard after playing left guard and center at Michigan? Baas: I played center and left guard. That's not an adjustment at all. I moved from left guard to center within a week and I played that for almost a year. I don't think that's going to be hard at all. I even played right guard in some practices when I was at Michigan. I've had some experience there, just game time experience, but I am fine with that. I can handle anything they throw at me. Q: How do you feel about protecting the team's new quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 pick in the draft? Baas: My goal is for nobody to touch him so I am going to do whatever it takes for that goal to be complete and let him develop and help the team win. Q: What do you know about Smith? Baas: You know, I met him at the Home Depot College Football Awards and he seemed like a great guy. I really didn't get to know him as a person, but from what I did see of him for the five minutes, he seemed like a really good guy, really intelligent guy. I think he is going to help the program tremendously. I am excited to go out there and protect for him. Q: Were you expecting to get drafted by another team? Baas: I think I just didn't expect to go that high in the second round. I was looking more towards a second-round middle pick, but there wasn't a specific team. I knew a lot of teams were interested because of the things that I have done, so I was just basically waiting, spending time with my friends and family and I knew good things would happen. Q: What do you think allowed you to climb up the draft board in the last couple weeks? Baas: I think that the one thing that made my stock rise was that fact that a lot of people thought I was slower. My dad sent me all these mock drafts, basically opinions of me. I think a lot of people had me at a speed of 5.3 (second in the 40-yard dash) and that I couldn't move and different things like that. I am not for sure if the switch from guard to center helped me out with showing that I was athletic and fast, but I think when I went to the Combine and the Senior Bowl and got to show them what I really had, that kind of opened some eyes and opened some doors, apparently, because now I am going to be with a great organization like the 49ers. Q: What do you rely on more, your technique or raw power? Baas: You always have to start a play with technique. So, I always rely on technique, but power, aggression and toughness is my game and I love to get after people. I'm ready to go. I'm fired up.
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