I’m obviously not in Mobile this week at the Senior Bowl, but here are some odds and ends while I rest up for the shuttle run at next month’s NFL Combine:
• General manager Trent Baalke had an interesting perspective on Jim Harbaugh’s ability to develop quarterbacks last week.
Baalke said Harbaugh knows how to maximize a quarterback’s talent because he did it himself as a player. In other words, the first quarterback Harbaugh developed was Jim Harbaugh, who parlayed average physical ability into a 15-year NFL career.
Harbaugh relied heavily on details such as film study and proper mechanics to succeed because he didn’t have a big arm to bail him out. And he’s used that experience to his benefit as a coach, Baalke said.
“I think if you look at how he got to where he was, I think he’d be the first one to admit it wasn’t all raw talent,” Baalke said. “He was a grinder. He willed himself into being who he was. When you have to work as hard as he worked at it to achieve the success he achieved at the NFL level, that’s a little different sometimes than the guy who physically had all the skills to work with. He had to do things a little bit different … He really maximized his talent. And that’s the art of coaching, right? To maximize the talent you have in each player.”
• Assistant offensive line coach Ray Brown took a similar position with the Panthers on Tuesday after Harbaugh announced last week that Brown would be retained from Mike Singletary’s staff.
Brown was slated to be one of three coaches working with the offensive line in San Francisco. He was expected to coach the tackles and tight ends. He will be one of two offensive line coaches with the Panthers.
Brown, 48, played 20 years in the NFL, including six seasons (1996-2001) with the 49ers. He was an assistant offensive line coach with the Bills from 2008-09.
Harbaugh had said the use of three offensive-line coaches was an example of what he called a “scorched-earth” approach to coaching. The Niners, presumably, will hire another coach to replace Brown.
• Former Niners linebackers coach Jason Tarver is the frontrunner to become Stanford’s next defensive coordinator, according to CSN Bay Area.
Tarver, 36, who had been the longest-tenured assistant on San Francisco’s staff, spent 10 seasons with the Niners and worked under five different head coaches (including interim Jim Tomsula).
Tarver would seem to be a natural fit at Stanford. He received his master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from UCLA. He also received the departmental prize for distinguished teaching in 1998 and 2000.
Tarver was born in Stanford. He attended Foothill High in Pleasanton and Santa Clara University.
• The 49ers officially announced the hiring of former Browns assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Brad Seely on Tuesday. Seely will have the same title in San Francisco.
• After working with a defensive-minded head coach in Singletary, new UCLA offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will be working under a former quarterback in Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel (story here), who will collaborate with Johnson on the play-calling.
Good thing Johnson has recent experience with wounded passing attacks. He will inherit an offense that ranked 118th out of 120 teams in the nation last year in passing efficiency. Johnson will also coach wide receivers.