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Jim Harbaugh blasts media for criticizing rookie A.J. Jenkins

The 49ers are going to try to establish a better passing game this season, and first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins is expected to be a significant part of the plan. By adding Jenkins, Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, San Francisco is hoping their offense can become more dynamic and Alex Smith can be more effective throwing the ball. However, there has been some indication that Jenkins has not impressed in offseason workouts. The San Francisco media hasn’t exactly been blasting the rookie, but apparently they have said enough to infuriate Jim Harbaugh.

“For those scribes, pundits or so-called experts who’ve gone as far to say he’s going to be a bust, they should just stop,” the Niners coach said Sunday according to the San Jose Mercury News. “I recommend that because they’re making themselves look clueless, more than they already did. A.J. is going to be outstanding.

“I’m going to keep track of these names of so-called experts who are making these comments. And there’s going to be an ‘I-told-you-so.’ I foresee that happening.”

For his part, Jenkins said he has “no hard feelings” toward anyone who has said negative things about him and that he embraces criticism. Harbaugh has never been shy about defending his players, as evidenced by the comments he made about Smith last season and the way he denied that the Niners ever pursued Peyton Manning. In all likelihood this is just a way for Harbaugh to give an important rookie some confidence heading into the season.

Jim Harbaugh denies pursuing Peyton Manning ‘it’s phony, erroneous’

It’s confirmed: Jim Harbaugh could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. Or at least he’d try to if it was in the best interest of his football team.

The 49ers coach spoke to the media on Wednesday and attempted to spin the reports that said the team pursued Peyton Manning in March.

“There’s a perception out there, and it’s an erroneous perception, that we were flirting with Peyton Manning,” Harbaugh told the media, unprompted. “I keep hearing that over and over. It’s silly and it’s untrue. It’s phony. Even the perception that we were pursuing him — we were evaluating him.

“I’ve said all along that Alex Smith has been our quarterback. There’s no scenario, other than Alex choosing to sign with another team, that we would consider him not as our quarterback.”

Let me get this straight: Jim Harbaugh admits 49ers were looking at Peyton Manning, but the extent of their interest in him comes down to the way you define the words “evaluating” and “pursuing.”

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Jim Harbaugh was Indiana basketball’s team manager (Pictures, Video)

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is going to be in Indianapolis for the NFL combine this week, so it only made sense Wednesday night for him to make the hour-long drive south to Bloomington to see his brother-in-law Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers take on North Carolina Central. But what Harbaugh was seen doing during the game might make less sense.

Fans in attendance probably noticed the NFL’s coach of the year, in his typical black-sweater-and-khakis ensemble (he’s practically reached a Steve Jobs-level when it comes to his wardrobe), lingering around huddles and hauling fold-up chairs before and after timeouts. It turns out that’s what Harbaugh wanted to do, and for the night he was college basketball’s most famous (and richest) team manager.

“I’m trying to contribute,” Harbaugh shouted from the back of the room during Crean’s postgame presser when the Hooisers coach was asked about Harbaugh’s involvement on the bench.

When Crean was also asked if his brother-in-law was a Michigan spy, Harbaugh yelled, “Hell no!”

The Hoosiers rolled, 75-56. Afterwards, Harbaugh also spoke to the Indiana players (perhaps about honey badgers?) and even complimented NCC’s coach LeVelle Moton for his team’s effort. Jim Harbaugh being well-mannered towards the other team’s coach? That’s a first.

Below is a video of Harbaugh in action:

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Jim Harbaugh Says Asking About Your Feelings is a ‘California Thing’

The only coach who gets to enjoy his final press conference of the season is the one who wins the Super Bowl.  Everyone else has to answer questions about what went wrong and what they plan on doing to fix it.  It certainly isn’t fun, but it’s part of the job description.  For future reference, Jim Harbaugh only wants to talk about X’s and O’s. He doesn’t want to turn it into a “personnel meeting” as he said several times on Monday and he certainly has no interest in talking about his feelings.

“Is it just California that everybody just wants to know how you feel?” Harbaugh said in his final presser of the season Monday according to Shutdown Corner. “Care about what you thought, what you did, how you felt, how your pinky feels. Is that just a California thing? Back where I come from, nobody really cares. In my opinion, it is a California thing.”

Betty White is so offended right now it’s not even funny. She already put an offer on the table to show any of us how they roll in California, and Harbaugh steps all over it by stereotyping the state some more.  We know Harbaugh loves toying with the media, but now he’s messing with the whole state.  The stones on this guy, huh?

Jim Harbaugh Toys with the Media, Talks Best Baseball Player of All Time

Is there any doubt remaining that Jim Harbaugh was the right man for the job in San Francisco?  This is only Harbaugh’s first season leading the Niners, and he has already taken them from NFC laughing stock to NFC Championship game.  He knows how to handle his players.  He knows what plays to call in certain situations.  He knows how to confuse his opponents by putting on a show.  What is perhaps equally important is that Harbaugh knows how to handle the media.  Take, for example, his decision to talk about baseball during a press conference on Thursday.

When a reporter asked Harbaugh if he could draw any comparisons between his own playing days — when he was the quarterback of the Colts and known as “Captain Comeback” — and Alex Smith, it was obvious Jim didn’t want to go there.

“I hate to compare. You can’t compare. It’s so hard to compare,” Harbaugh said according to SFGate.com. “You’re talking 15 or 16 years ago, my goodness. It’s like baseball. Who’s the greatest baseball player of all time? It’s such a tough argument. I like to say Willie Mays, but you have other people that’ll say Babe Ruth, because of what he did in his era. That he had more home runs than any other baseball player, than some other teams hit at that time. He was hitting 65 and other teams were hitting nine. It’s really tough to make comparisons. I think Willie Mays, too. They’ve got a heck of an argument in Babe Ruth. Maybe that’s a discussion for another time.”

The real genius in his comments is that nobody understands the motive.  It’s possible Harbaugh was just showcasing how ridiculous it is to compare his current quarterback to himself just days before the biggest game of the year.  It’s also possible he was just trying to keep things light and loose.  Or maybe — just maybe — he was taking a subtle shot at Joe Biden for confusing football with baseball earlier in the week.  The fact that we have no idea is what makes Harbaugh so good at his job.

Jim Harbaugh, 49ers Using the Honey Badger for Motivation (Video)

You didn’t think that LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu was the only honey badger in sports, did you? Turns out there are other teams playing off the viral video of the world’s most fearless animal.

Last month, Jim Harbaugh spliced some footage of the honey badger into highlights of the team’s season and it resonated with the players. Observe:

Harbaugh was recently asked about the characteristics the team shares with the honey badger.

“We showed it to them. I’m not sure what game it was. But, it resonated with them. Often, the guys will kid each other about that or kind of taken on some of the characteristics of the honey badger. Honey badger don’t care.”

Harbaugh better hope his team has a better showing in the postseason than LSU’s H. Badger. That guy was eaten alive by Bama like one of the cobras from the video.

via Fark

Jim Harbaugh Screamed at His O-Line so the Seahawks Would Expect a Run Play

Jim Harbaugh may not have the most traditional coaching methods, but they have worked almost to perfection this season.  The Niners are one of the year’s biggest surprises and are going to finish the year with a record no worse than 12-4.  If you say you saw that coming, you’re lying.  One of the keys to the Niners’ success this season has been tremendous coaching. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Harbaugh even did a little acting to give his team an edge during Saturday’s victory over Seattle.

Before the 49ers went for it on 4th-and-2 from Seattle’s 40-yard line on the opening drive of the third quarter Saturday, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh called a timeout, huddled his offense around him and did his best to earn the NFL’s version of an Academy Award.

Hoping to dupe the Seahawks into thinking the 49ers were preparing for some smash-mouth ball on 4th down, Harbaugh began screaming at his offensive linemen, as if firing them up for the challenge.

“It was a little bit of gamesmanship,” Harbaugh said. “I was trying to direct it to the offensive line, saying that we were going to run the ball, so let’s come off the ball, in case (the Seahawks were) looking. We had a play-action pass called.”

Who knows if Seattle fell for the acting job, but the play-action pass succeeded when Alex Smith completed a 16-yard pass to Vernon Davis.  The Niners went on to score a touchdown later in the drive.

Smith said nothing Harbaugh does surprises his players anymore.  Whether it be handing out blue collar shirts to send a message, saying Frank Gore deserves a statue, or calling Smith an elite quarterback, Harbaugh has figured out a successful formula in San Francisco.  Now we can add acting experience to his impressive 2011 resume.