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.

Jim Harbaugh Believes Alex Smith is 49ers’ Long-term Answer at Quarterback

Jim Harbaugh has proven everywhere he’s been that he’s a great coach. He won at USD, Stanford, and now he’s winning in his first year in San Francisco. He’s not just winning, either; he has the 49ers tied for the second-best record in the league. He’s maximized the defensive talent the team already had, but what’s been most impressive is the success he’s had with Alex Smith.

Smith, the former No. 1 overall pick in the draft, looked like a complete bust his first five seasons. I’ve ripped him up and down every chance I’ve had. But Smith is playing well this year and making me look bad. He has the best record, completion percentage, and touchdown/interception ratio of his career. He has fewer turnovers through 14 games than he had in any previous season, and that includes ones where he played 7 and 11 games.

Harbaugh backed Smith before the season began, called him an “elite quarterback” last month, and now he’s saying he believes Smith is the team’s long-term answer at quarterback. I don’t know if Harbaugh truly means that, or if he’s just trying to continue supporting his QB. People have said part of the reason Smith is playing so well is because Jim has given him a psychological boost with the support.

Harbaugh knows a heck of a lot more about football than I do, and he’s a fantastic coach. If he thinks Alex Smith is the franchise’s long-term answer at quarterback, then he must really believe in him. But I still disagree. Smith has played well this year, but he needs a stellar defense to consistently win. I also can’t envision him repeating this performance next season.

Jim Harbaugh: Frank Gore Deserves a Statue for Breaking Niners Rushing Record

All is well in San Francisco at the moment. With four games remaining in the season, the Niners have already clinched a division title. They are well on their way to a first-round playoff bye and have arguably the best defense in the NFC. When healthy, they also have one of the best running backs in the league — a seventh-year player who just became the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. For that, head coach Jim Harbaugh believes Frank Gore deserves to be enshrined.

“There should be a statue to Frank,” Harbaugh said according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Maybe with the new stadium … A life-size statue of him in one of those cool positions he gets in – about 6 inches off the ground, or a leg going one way, and the other going the other, twisting and turning. It’s just so cool. It’s just so cool to slow the tape down and watch what he does.”

Nothing against Frank, but his franchise record has to be one of the most underwhelming of all time.  Being the franchise leader in anything is an accomplishment to be proud of, but I don’t think I’d go giving a guy a statue when he has 7,396 career rushing yards.  Then again, the coach making those comments was the same one who called Alex Smith an elite quarterback.  Taking it to the next level with player praise is nothing new for Harbaugh.  With a record of 10-2 and an NFC West crown after Week 13, who are we to question his style?

Jim Harbaugh Says Alex Smith is an Elite NFL Quarterback

Through the halfway point of the 2011 NFL season, the 49ers have to be the most surprising team in the league.  They play in by far the weakest division in football but have only faced one opponent from that division.  Despite some tough games against teams like the Bengals, Bucs, Eagles, and Lions, San Francisco has the second-best record in football behind only the defending Super Bowl champions.  You may have picked them to win the NFC West, but no one called 7-1 after eight games.

Believe it or not, Alex Smith has been a huge part of their success. To his credit, Jim Harbaugh has stuck with Smith since he took over.  Many believe it is Harbaugh’s confidence that has led to Smith’s success, which is a definite possibility.  In any event, Harbaugh obviously thinks very, very highly of his quarterback after eight games.

“I think people that know football and understand the game appreciate Alex Smith as a very talented quarterback,” the 49ers coach said according to CBSSports.com. “He’s every bit the elite quarterback as there is playing in the game right now.”

It doesn’t take a genius — even a disgruntled Niners fan — to know that Smith is not one of the best quarterbacks in football.  He’s on pace to throw for less than 3,000 yards and has only 10 touchdown passes through eight games.  The most important statistic is his two interceptions.  Harbaugh has found a way to perfectly utilize the former first overall pick, and Smith is rewarding him with great results.  In reality, Smith probably isn’t even in the top-10 quarterbacks in the NFL.  But if Harbaugh calling him one of the best signal-callers in the league has led to a 7-1 record, who can blame him?