Talking about Trent

A collection of comments regarding Trent Dilfer joining the 49ers and what he brings to the team from those who have worked with Dilfer in the past and will work with him in the future with the Niners.

From Scot McCloughan, the 49ers vice president of player personnel who was Seattle's director of college scouting during Dilfer's four seasons with the Seahawks:

On what Dilfer brings to the team:
"He can still go out and play. The thing that he brings is just that he's been through a lot, he's been through big-time success and big-time failure. You can't teach that. You have to live it. And that's one thing that Alex (Smith) is going to have to go through, in which he has already started. That's part of growing at any position in the NFL, but especially a young quarterback. It's just another piece of the puzzle that makes the offense better, because it gives us a proven guy that when things go awry and with the amount of youth we have on the offense, it gives another sounding board for people to talk to about."

On what Dilfer has done in the past to mentor young quarterbacks, particularly current Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck in Seattle: "Just from the standpoint of listening. It's a very tough position to be successful at in the NFL. You're going to have ups and downs and you've got to take them in stride. Fans are going to boo you, you're going to be pulled out of games and replaced as a starter. And you've got to mentally stay with it and just keep working to get better. And he was. I see a lot Alex in Matt Hasselbeck from the standpoint of intelligence and knowing its not always going to be busy. He can go striaght to Trent and ask him."

On Dilfer's intensity: "The thing that you will see - I kind of call him like a warrior because of what he's been through, and he's such a competitive guy. He lives for that Sunday, on the sideline or on the field. So it's pretty impressive."

On whether Dilfer is at peace playing behind Smith and not starting: "You know what, I'm sure he'll say no. Because he's such a competive guy. He wants to play. The one thing that's important to him, which he stressed with me, was being at a place where they're trying to do things right and be successful and win games. The relationship we had in Seattle, and knowing what my intentions are down here and knowing how hard I'm going to work at it, and he likes that stuff. He wants to be around football people that want to win games and every day work to get better."

On Dilfer's qualities as a quarterback: "Intellingence. Experience. Reading defenses. He's been around a long tiem. One thing you'll get to know is he's a very, very intellingent guy on and off the field. And that's huge at that position. And that's how he gets success, because he knows certain things he cant do physically any more, he's going to make up mentally. And he still has enough arm strength to throw the ball."

On what the 49ers can expect if they need to call upon Dilfer to play in place of Smith: "His physical skills are diminishing somewhat, but he could still go out and play. Two years ago when I was there, he started two games for us in Seattle and won both of them. He started 11 last year (in Cleveland), but you didn't really see him at his best last year because he was hurt early in the year and played with that knee injury. But that's his style. He's not going to come out of the game. You're going to have to drag him off the field."

From wide receiver Antonio Bryant, who played with Dilfer last year with the Cleveland Browns:

On what Dilfer can do for the 49ers:
"We don't have any real proven veteran quarterbacks, so I think Trent is going to do a great job coming in. Even if there comes a situation where he has to play, I know he can step in and get the job done. We had some success in Cleveland, but it wasn't like it's going to be here, with especially the routes and the things we're able to do with this offense and talent we're surrounded by here. It's going to be interesting."

From Smith, who will have an established veteran quarterback playing behind for the first time since he entered the NFL last year:

On Dilfer's credentials:
"I'm excited about it. He's a guy that's been in the league for a long time, has a Super Bowl (ring), went to the playoffs, he's been to Pro Bowls. He's accomplished a lot in his career and was an early (first-round draft) pick as well, similar to me. He's from the (San Francisco Bay) area, and a guy I look to kind of pick up a lot of things from. One thing that comes from veterans isn't necessarily me directly asking him questions, I think it's also me just watching him, it's me learning how he does things and seeing how he does things - it's things you pick up that way as well. I'm excited about it."

On reasons Dilfer was brought in: "We've had such great (quarterback) guys here since I got here. Being so young, we were such a young group, I think (team officials) were potentially looking, if the opportunity came up, to get a veteran guy. I don't think they just wanted anyone, though. It wasn't a case of. 'Let's just get anyone with expereince in here.' I think they wanted the right person. I think they saw an opportunity for that and went after it. At the same time, it's a good fit."

On if he feels his job as a starter is threatened by Dilfer's presence: "I don't. Not at all. Having talked to Trent and having known him a little bit, and knowing coach Nolan's situation here, I'm not threatened at all. I'm actually excited to kind of pick his brain and learn from him."

From 49ers coach Mike Nolan, who also attempted to acquire Dilfer in the offseason last year:

On Dilfer's role with the team:
"I hope that his mentality is (that) he sees he has multiple roles, to a large degree. I think he'll add something to our football team first and foremost. He's an experienced guy who's won a Super Bowl as the quarterback on that (Baltimore Ravens) team, but his experience, I think, will be widespead as far as the people it touches on this team. It should touch Alex. But if something happens to Alex, I'd like to think he can perform at a high level. If it happens, I believe he's fully capable and well and would do a capable job for us. It's as much about the experience and maybe the mentoring of Alex as it also is about the playing."

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