Jim Harbaugh’s job description does not include being nice

This is my Thursday column on the Jim Harbaugh rumors.

This Monday, as the 49ers started to prepare for the Rams, Jim Harbaugh told the media, please, don’t ask the players if they like him.

“That’s not their job to defend the head coach,” Harbaugh said. “Their job is to do their jobs – to play football, have each other’s backs, and that’s what I’ve always seen out of them. Love each other – that’s their job as well. So, hopefully, you can let them do that.”

Harbaugh had to address the rumors emanating from Santa Clara that he’d lost his locker room, some players dislike him and some members of the 49ers’ front office dislike him, too. No one in the organization has said that stuff publicly, but Deion Sanders, now a reporter for NFL Network, says all of it is true, says sources in the organization spilled the beans to him. And Fox reporter Jay Glazer said on Sunday he doesn’t see a scenario where Harbaugh coaches the 49ers next season.

The whole discussion is preposterous. Let’s talk.

Rumor No. 1: Harbaugh lost the locker room and players don’t want to play for him anymore.

Demonstrably untrue. The 49ers are 3-2. They just beat the Eagles and the Chiefs, two teams that made the playoffs last season. Not many teams are better than the 49ers right now and not many teams are as tough.

Harbaugh is a genius at making his players play harder than the opponent. That’s Harbaugh’s gift, his best quality as a head coach. Harbaugh makes his players play like bullies.

Rumor No. 2: Some players don’t like Harbaugh.

Who asked them? They are paid to hit and be hit and be hard and cruel sometimes. A coach who is fierce might be better for them, might be more appropriate for the sport they play. It is not badminton for Pete’s sake.

It is not a requirement to like the coach. It could be a deficit. If a football player drops a pass, a football coach shouldn’t hold his hand on the sideline and ask, “Are your feelings hurt?” A football coach should say, “If you can’t do it, I will get someone else who can.” A player may not like it, but he will play for that coach.

The whole “liking” concept diminishes what really is going on. This is not a domestic issue. These are not friends who are intimate and go to movies and talk things out. This is a hard world. They’re paid millions to know that.

All that matters is bringing the team together and winning. Bill Walsh once said you can bring a team together in their dislike for the head coach. Players will play to prove they don’t need the coach or to prove he’s wrong about them.

You don’t have to like a leader. You have to follow him.

Rumor No. 3: Some people in the 49ers’ front office don’t like Harbaugh anymore. Rumor is Harbaugh ticked them off by coaching a rookie minicamp during the ribbon cutting for Levi’s Stadium.

Who does Harbaugh think he is, a coach?

Another rumor is the 49ers’ front office didn’t appreciate Harbaugh showing up to the Super Bowl media day wearing khakis and a sweater, dressed like a coach.

Maybe the front office wanted him to wear a tuxedo or a tutu or dancing slippers. Maybe the 49ers should have hired a ballerina to be the coach. It seems the front office’s main problem with Harbaugh, if there is one, is he’s too much of a coach.

Mike Singletary wasn’t too much of a coach. He was more of a motivational speaker. And he dressed well. Maybe the 49ers should bring him back.

Didn’t the 49ers do research when they hired Harbaugh? The Niners hired a hard-nosed football coach, not Sigmund Freud. Harbaugh hasn’t changed. He was the same hard-nosed coach when he coached at Stanford, 15 miles up Highway 101. He’s a disciple of other hard-nosed coaches, Mike Ditka and Bo Schembechler.

Harbaugh is such a coach he wears one-inch cleats during games, like he wants to run in the huddle with his players and tackle someone. Isn’t that a good thing?

Harbaugh may not be nice, but he was nice to ownership. He was a standup guy, took bullets for them. How many times did Harbaugh stand in front of the media and answer questions about grass and Ray McDonald?

Harbaugh became a spokesman for grass and due process. And he was a good sport about it. He answered those questions day after day after day, and they weren’t his questions to answer. He’s just a coach. The CEO and the General Manager, Jed York and Trent Baalke, should have answered those questions. Each guy answered them only once. Harbaugh was the one who showed character and courage. Aren’t those qualities you want in a coach?

York can get rid of Harbaugh if he wants, it’s his team. But York better replace Harbaugh with someone better.

Better? Like who?

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

This article has 185 Comments

    1. WOW!

      Did Grant REALLY write this article?

      You’re putting me on right?

      Best Piece Of Writing I’ve ever read from him if he did write it. It completely dismantled the White Noise coming from the Media & cut thru Absurdness of it all with…….

      Common Sense.

      Well Done Sir….Well Done.

  1. Are you talking about me or the “supposed writer” of this column since Grants writing is usually breaking down what the niners did wrong that week or what they should’ve done that he already suggested? I’m a long time reader of pressdemo. Especially the comment section but I don’t comment much myself.

  2. checklist:
    khaki pants – check
    1-inch cleats – check
    can of dip – check
    Lombardi trophy #6 – __________?

    If on February 2, 2015, the last item is missing
    then guess what? Coach Harbaw has become
    a hard-nosed losing football coach. Stay tuned.
    (No word yet from Jed York on a contract renewal…)

  3. Ask the players who played for Vince Lombardi if they liked him. Ask the men who fought under General Patton if they liked him. Respect is what is required, not affection….

  4. Exactly. Who? Who is better than Harbaugh at his craft? It’s like Steve Mariucci all over again. Firing Mooch shuttled in the worst stretch in 49ers history. Getting rid of Harbaugh will be worse.

    1. I don’t care about Harbaugh not wanting to be nice, but confronting the media, bringing out the worse in his QB that can’t pass or lead like an Andrew Luck did tonight, and then running the ball is going to be the worse yet Monday Night Football for the 49ers. There’s no way any fan, not just the Niner and Ram, but the nationwide fans want to see a boring football game between a team that only runs the ball vs. a team that has no QB. Divisional games are boring on nationwide TV.

      1. Oh Short Bus ..

        “… ’tis better for others to think you the fool..
        than to open your mouth, and remove all doubt ..”

        Just how many times must you post the same drivel ?

        You’re beginning to sound like the 8 year old boy
        who throws a tantrum because mommie won’t buy
        you a Barbie doll ..

        Ya ever thought about changing your tune ? … or
        better yet … go find a team that meets with your approval ..
        (you have 31 other ones to choose from)

        1. Shrimp Boy, ever listen to that device called the radio? Ever listen to a 49er show, a talk show that I won’t name for some hosts you might find are too annoying? Ever watched something called other shows like American Idol, Got Talent, the Voice, Survivor? Where am I going? Well see, they have something called an opinion just like you got an opinion and I got an opinion. Right now, as Dr. Phil would say, you are acting like a child, not engaging in conversation with your fellow fan and not addressing issues that are on the 49ers.

          In short:
          I don’t like Harbaugh coaches
          I don’t like how CK is playing
          Don’t like making Gore run with the ball. Per the fear of injury to CK if he ran with the ball, Gore has the same risk, if not, higher. HE’s a shoulder, wrist, arm, leg, knee, ankle, or foot injury with his name on it waiting to happen the more we run Gore. Remember who we lost on RB last year. Be lucky it was the backup RBs. You lose Gore or if he gets fatigued, that’s it.

          All the 49ers have to do is get a coach that will bring out the best in his QB. We can not and will not win a Superbowl with this run and no pass attack.

          Now then, you don’t like it, please kindly do not respond to the OPINION.

          1. I have yet seen you engage with the regulars here,
            in a meaningful and intelligent manner..

            All you do is post your distaste for a run first team..
            over and over .. (and over) again ..
            ad nauseam …

            And if you can look at all your rants..(objectively)
            you just may understand ..why
            the New Webster’s Dictionary has your picture ..
            next to the word … “troll”

            1. Because MW you act like a child, you get treated like a child. I try to keep the explanations brief. CK has no patience to stand in the pocket and wait for the play to happen. It’s too easy to spot right at the snap of the ball. CK wants to go to his player rather then the next player IF his player is covered. That’s not how it works.

          2. @Mora

            I’m going give you a Take out of your own mouth several years ago & use it against you…..

            Jim Mora responding to a question from his Local Media…..

            “You don’t know what we do here on a weekly basis…..You think you know but you don’t….. And you….. NEVER will”

  5. Best piece I’ve read from you yet. Been saying these same things to people who ask me about Harbaugh. If you can’t play for a guy who has your back all the time and only cares about winning , then they should take thier millions and go play for some loser

    1. “If you can’t play for a guy who has your back all the time and only cares about winning , then they should take thier millions and go play for some loser”

      Some have.

    1. Prime Time – You are an IDIOT. Bill Cowher’s wife was dying of cancer at the time that he decided that he had to spend time with her and his daughters. Have a stinking clue before you go on line and utter your stinking drivel!!!!!! What an idiot!!!

  6. Agree 100%. All the “lost the locker room” nonsense is driving me nuts.

    “replace Harbaugh with someone better. Like who?” Mooch was fired impulsively. Replaced him with Dennis Erickson. That went really well.

    What Harbaugh does best is build coaching staffs. He’s a magnet for some of the best football teachers of the game. If York wants to get rid of Harbaugh, he better lock down as many coaches as possible.

    If Harbaugh won the lotto today and decided to retire, I’d pick Tomsula as HC.

    1. I think Tomsula would be a colossal mistake. If you want Kaepernick and the offense to keep ascending, you’d better bring in an offensive mind. There’s no way in hell I’d get rid of Harbaugh, but if York was foolish enough to do just that, he’d look less foolish if he brought in someone like Gase in Denver. If Fangio leaves I believe Donatell is in line for that job, although I’d hate to lose him too….

        1. I thought you left? that’s what you said you were going to do in no uncertain terms. Why are you still here then? Just curious…

      1. Keep Ascending??? I just them to stop sucking. This offense with all the talent it has is vastly under performing, granted a lot of this can be tied to the struggles of the offensive line however this has long been a trend where this team held in games by the defense, with the offense struggling to stay on the field.

        1. That’s why I feel if the opposition ever got their act together, they can beat the 49ers. Maybe it’s not like the old days of bad coaching, but I still feel a suspect Secondary and constant running and ignoring the needs of our WR can eventually make the 49ers start losing. They think this stance with McDonald, what they say about Harbaugh, is going to motivate the team. But the last 2 wins, no QB performance and both times, Phil/KC can not stop the run with a questionable defense and both teams gave the game to the 49ers. WE get an opposition that doesn’t stop messing around, the 49ers could go down like the Dow Jones.

  7. The only coach I think would be a good replacement would be Chucky…. With him still being in the x’s and O’s I think he would still have some good wrinkles in Offensive scheme’s. Holmgren, Cohwer, or another college coach would be a big mistake with this roster. IMO

  8. Hey Iggy!
    .
    Just wondering why it took you until now to come to these conclusions about Harbaugh.
    .
    Or have you felt this way all along and are just now getting around to writing about it…?
    .
    .
    .
    *ALOHA*

  9. Darrell Bevell

    Nice piece, Grant. I don’t think Jed is stupid, and I DO think he talks to Eddie. From what I’ve read, the cancer in the organization, IF there is one, is Baalke, not Harbaugh. He is described as fastidious to a fault, and if that translates to oversensitivity, then he might be leaking stuff about Harbaugh.

    1. E- You might be right. I do think that his personality might be capable of that. I believe in his mind his personal agenda would supersede the teams. But then I have to admit I am a bit biased when it comes to TB. I try to keep it objective but it just seems with him I tend to see the negative. Probably because his character flaws are less obvious and harder for most to see.

      1. Probably because his character flaws are less obvious and harder for most to see.

        Thank God we have someone without training or experience to show us the way.

    2. I agree with you E … Baalke may be the cause of the tension in the organization. I listened to him on the radio a few days ago (The Game, Damon Bruce). It sure sounds like he has a big ego and can rub people the wrong way.

      If it comes down to it, the 49ers should get rid of the suit (aka Baalke) and keep the coach …

      1. Nah..I disagree Nick..Winning starts at the top..Good ownership..good gm..Now I know Good coaches don’t grow on trees..but a good gm and owner can select the right coach more often than not..Coaching philosophy changes from coach to coach…so a good gm..can get any coach the tools and personnel to implement that coach’s philosophy..I trust and have more faith in Baalke with the front office..more than I do Harbaugh on the field..So maybe that might influence my opinion a lil bit..But winning starts at the top..

  10. The situation across the bay makes this discussion very interesting………… would the 49ers trade him next year? What would it take? What if Harbaugh asks for $10 million and the Yorks balk but Mark Davis says sure?

    I think Bevell will be a hot item. For the Raiders, I would look at Fangio too since the defense is in shambles.

    1. No way, hiring Fangio for the Raiders is a bigger disaster then having old Tony Boy from Miami attempting to prevent the Raiders from going 0 and 16. I’d put money up that Harbaugh might be the Raiders next coach next year. No way Jed York is opening his wallet, and if York were to maybe fire Baalke, you bet the Raiders might snatch him up and fire that GB nobody they got.

      1. I think TB would more suited to the Raiders than the 49er’s. He probably would be a great hire for them. He is at better building up a team from the bottom than taking a team that final step. He darn sure wouldn’t be trading first round picks for over the hill vets. He would do it for more draft choices.

  11. “Better? Like who?”

    Words to live by. Grant, great analysis.

    I’m newly 81, and have followed the 49ers since 1946. If they dump Harbaugh, I might kick the bucket out of overwhelming depression.

    Meanwhile, enjoy!

  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlIq_kYuhI0

    Best description ever of Harbaugh since he doesn’t want to be nice, that’s fine by me because Mr. Harbaugh and the lower expectation today 49er fans have set themselves up on the SUperbowl ladder. Lose in any playoff round, lose the SUperbowl itself, no more Harbaugh. I will be the happiest 49er fan to see him go because I am sick and tired of his dog and pony show, or rather his run and no pass show.

    Thursday Night Football was great.

    1. Grant asks:
      “….York can get rid of Harbaugh if he wants, it’s his team. But York better replace Harbaugh with someone better.
      Better? Like who?

      Good question, Grant … but I’ve got the perfect answer for ya ..

      The Short Bus ^^

      1. Since somebody I won’t name gave a childish response, coaches that are way better and can get along with our media:
        Mike Holmgren
        Jon Gruden
        David Shaw (But I don’t like that one, too much harbaugh like Stanford coaching)
        Seattle’s OC (Read his name on Bleacher)

        1. You do remember Holmgren’s last seasons right? 72-56 (56.3%) regular-season record and a 3-4 (42.9%) in Seattle.
          Regular season 161–111 (.592)
          Postseason 13–11 (.542)
          Career record 174–122 (.588)
          Super Bowl wins 1996 (XXXI)
          Championships won NFC (1996, 1997, 2005)

          And you do remember two reasons for Gruden winning the SB.
          Regular season 95–81 (.540)
          Postseason 5–4 (.556)
          Career record 100-85 (.541)
          Super Bowl wins Super Bowl XXXVII

          He knew every play of the Raiders playbook and won with Dungy’s team that he built. In Holmgren’s hey day he was great, way better probably not.

          Harbaugh’s current records for comparison to these way better coaches.

          Regular season 39–13–1 (.745)
          Postseason 5–3 (.625)
          Career record 44–16-1 (.730)

              1. Gore? How can any self resepcting niner fan, not like gore? oh wait i answered my own question…smh

  13. Here’s a question: Did the Niners overachieve in 2011? Did they suddenly discover talent they didn’t know they had because of Harbaugh?
    In 2012 and 2013, did they underachieve? All of a sudden they have one of the deepest rosters in the league? Or did the miscalculate the talent they had.
    What role does Harbaugh play? Did he get the team to play beyond their level, and then we’re asking too much?
    When you make it to the SB, you have to finish because you don’t know when you’ll get back. If they don’t make it this year, they will have to scrape and start over with a new coaching staff with new ideas.

    1. I think it was both. They also rode a perfect storm. Everything fell into place for them that season. Even a really good team, more often than not, needs that to go all the way. They were good, but not as good as the euphoria of the fans made them out to be.

    1. I agree with Fan77’s analogy of the 49ers. It seems the team is flat, and now they’re into panic mode in running the ball no matter what. I think it’s totally unfair that Harbaugh’s job will be determined by running Gore into the ground and risking injury to him and the other RBs. Remember last year, lost 2 RBs? Games are won by passing the ball. Games are won if the QB passes and leads. When I watched the NO/TB game after I felt Drew Brees was playing of the week in voting for him (and ignoring any 49er if they were on there), I saw a man get punished by TB and rallied his team to win the game. I don’t see that from CK. All I see is run the ball over and over. That’s high school like, not NFL. The 49ers seem to copy other teams in calling out plays.

      1. We came from behind to win with Philly. You like Fan see what you want and your predetermined dislike of Harbaugh, Kap and the running game shows every time. I don’t agree with you and would rather see wins than great fantasy scores.

        1. I’ll take a 33 to 28 win over a 22 to 17 win when I saw a QB leading his team vs. a QB underachieving his team and handing the ball off. I’ll take an exciting game like that one last night over the game that’s coming up on Monday, which I’ll be watching Monday Night Raw and ignoring what CK won’t be able to do. you want to take a win that’s boring and the QB did nothing, that’s your right. Go see the 10 dollar flop of a movie. I’ll be seeing the well made movie if it ever happens.

        2. Why don’t you offer a counter argument based on facts instead of yet another critique of my personal preferences of either the QB or the coach. Do you think the team is underachieving? How was the staff able to get the most out of the team in 2011. They went far in both 2012 and 2013. But this year is more of the same from last year. Same inconsistent offense, same “QB is improving even if it doesn’t seem like it.” Same reliance on the running game, much like Singletary. There is nothing imaginative with the current offense with all these weapons.
          We keep hearing the QB can’t handle it. Yet you watch Andrew Luck last night and that dude looks like a 5 year pro.
          Maybe I’m being too tough on Kaep because in reality he’s really just not that good. So should I lower my standards, so I can enjoy these little itty bitty baby steps?

          1. Fan:

            But this year is more of the same from last year.

            You mean when the team went 12-4 and came this close to going to the Super Bowl? Yeah, what a miserable failure of a season.

            You’ve drifted from voicing legitimate, realistic concerns about Kaepernick towards Darren-level irrational style-over-substance complaints. Your criticisms are not that far removed from bay’s complaints in 2011 and 2012. Do you really want to go down that road?

            You don’t have to lower your standards to enjoy the 49ers’ success. You just have to put your priorities in proper order. Winning games is more important than passing for 300 yards.

            1. Claudey Ball,
              I think winning games is always the most important. It’s not about stats. It’s that while we were 12-4 last year, Seattle was 13-3. So we are now chasing a team that is better. So everyone has to raise their game.

              1. And who, in your opinion, hasn’t raised his game? You’ve already acknowledged Kaepernick’s improvement.

              2. On this we agree Fan as I think the other rational posters here do as well. Kap has to improve on some of his short comings to beat the Hawks. Really one play as you point out in the 4th quarter would have changed things. Seeing an open Patton rather than going to a covered Crabtree is the difference. The seasons not a failure but its not what we want either. I would love for him to improve in the 4th quarter.

                I also think its fair that our secondary in Whitner and Rogers should share some of the blame for that loss too. Man they allowed that long pass on 3rd down that set up a TD. Had that one play been prevented the game would have been different as well.

              3. Not necessarily better Fan. Playing better at the moment but none of this debating whether Seattle is better than SF right now is fair, only because they have not played each other. We are a completely different team than last year, Seattle is very much the same and if it wasn’t for home field advantage, these 2 teams are very equal.
                Sure Wilson is playing at a more efficient level, but he is very containable. Teams they have played have not been disciplined in containing him the pocket and have let Lynch beat them. Take away the run and force Wilson to play in the pocket and they very beatable.

              4. FDM,
                The argument I’m making is that the Niners Offense needs to raise its game. There’s still 11 games to play. There’s a lot of room for improvement. It starts with the QB. it always will. Let’s not lower the bar but raise it. Let’s not compare Kaep to Alex, but to his rival. End of the day it’s about results. As harsh as I am, I’m a glass half full, so long as we acknowledge we need more water in the glass. You can’t get better if you think you already think this is good enough is my point.

              5. Pretty sure Kaepernick knows he needs to play better, but so do a whole bunch of guys. It will always start with the QB, but before that the QB and the offensive line need to get on the same page. There seems to be a lot of disconnect there and that’s probbaly due to a new centre, new right tackle, and Boone’s absence for all of camp.

          2. That’s the problem when you talk to other 49er fans. No matter what you see, or say, it’s all about the W. Never mind the W was bad. Never mind there were things in it that were not like a standard NFL game where the QB did something great and exciting. It’s all about the W where you ran your RB with risk of injuring him, not passing the ball and making your Wr happy, it’s all about the W.

            I hate asking the 49ers to lose, but if a team were to lose, that means something was wrong with the game plan. Maybe running Gore into the ground was a bad idea. The coach called for too many obvious run plays.

            I’m not lowering my standard and accepting what the 49ers are doing. It’s like you order some food, you get something not advertised. I would send it back until they get the order right.

            I honestly gave Harbaugh a chance. Maybe it doesn’t show up since I don’t post often enough, but the dog and pony show they got going with him, York, CK, the antics, Gore, lack of WR production, McDonald playing, this is a crummy way to get a win and get a SUperbowl.

  14. I’m offended by your article: Sigmund Freud might have worn suits and looked professional but I wouldn’t say he was warm and fuzzy!

    Thanks for the curveball article. Hope it gets you on espn to comment about your thoughts on the topic

  15. big shoes to fill if coach harbaugh is gone! im banking on him staying cause if he walks or the FO lets him walk that would be a huge mistake to this franchise! to start all back over from scratch (new playbook) is not and should not be the answer! change is good “sometimes” but to change this coaching staff would be terrible! yeah i understand this coaching staff hasnt won the superbowl but im happy where our team is! i wouldnt mind “replacing OC” G-RO with our former OC’s mike shanahan or norv turner! that would be the on change id make and keep everythinh the same!!!

    1. If he does stay, I expect Baalke might go, and that’ll be an epic disaster on the 49ers that’ll wind up drafting poorly.

      1. Draft Poorly. Please define that? Would it be something like having an entire draft class no longer on the roster after 3 seasons? Baalke right now, is like the golfer that hits eagles and double bogies but never gets par.
        He is just as much a question mark as Kaep is… there is greatness there but its not consistantly so.

  16. It really boggles my mind how some of you entertain these trolls by giving them even one response. It just makes me have to scroll longer. :-/

  17. I think we should be able to see the flaws and criticize a player/coach/front office person while also still recognizing that they still might might be the best available person for the job. Every one has their strengths and weaknesses. It is up to us to realistically evaluate the trade off between the two. Perfect isn’t available except in our imaginations.

  18. Beats by Dre . . . Bose . . .
    Ya coulda spent the $10K on a hotel room.
    Sit in front of the TV and watch Andrew Luck.
    Colts vs Texas….. 370 total yards passing
    (223 by one receiver; + five others in double figures)
    When you do that, we forgive you for the other stuff
    (1 interception, 1 fumble and 3 sacks). Otherwise,
    the boo-boos may cost you. (Turn down the volume;
    that music may be distracting you, young man.)

  19. Nice article. I would add that Harbaugh also has done a good job developing QBs. Obviously Kaep isn’t perfect, but I think it’s clear that Harbaugh has made him better. Alex Smith’s best QB rating seasons were under Harbaugh. Luck developed into a fantastic QB under Harbaugh at Stanford.

  20. After watching the Colts/Houston game last night, it’s obvious that Colin isn’t anywhere near the QB Luck is. He’s not even in the same county let alone ballpark. And it makes his ridiculous outfits, headphones and dumbass attitude even more grating.

      1. There you go again ripping the O-Line. You are a troll and you don’t support the team. Why don’t yo go back to the webzine? Oh yeah, KC has a WORSE O-line.

        Wow you get up early.

    1. Just call him a “thug” while you’re at ghost. I hate to say it but Richard Sherman rightly defined that term. Now on to what matters, did you see how much time Luck had to throw? Did you see how clean Luck’s “pocket” was? One last thing, when was the last time Luck reached a divison championship game?

      1. Luck is asked to do way more in the passing game than Kaepernick is.

        Luck has thrown the ball at least 30 times in 35 of his 41 career starts including playoffs. He is 21-14 in those starts, and 6-0 when throwing less than 30 passes.

        Kaepernick has thrown the ball at least 30 times in 10 of his 34 starts including playoffs. He is 5-5 in those starts, and 19-5 when throwing less than 30 passes.

        1. I’m not arguing facts, never have. I know we are more successful when we run. So why ask him to do more.

          As of this yr, his stats have improved. His o-line is not great at pass blocking which you demonstrated in your gifs. Luck had more than 3-4 seconds plenty of times last night to throw the ball.

          Last but not least, Kaep’s headphones and clothing have zero to do with his play on the field. I’m will to say 90% of the people on the blog would wear those “ugly” headphones if they were paid to. They would also continue to wear them if they were fined to do so and the sponsor took care of the fine. If people want to argue about Kaep’s play, fine. When you start to say his tattoos, clothes, head phones, etc plays a part in his performance on the field, I’d repsect you more if you just say what you really want to say.

          1. “His o-line is not great at pass blocking which you demonstrated in your gifs.”

            I was asked to show what is causing their struggles so I documented it, just as I documented Kaepernick’s role in them.

            Kaepernick has an average of 4.21 seconds before taking a sack this year, and 3.07 seconds before a throw.

            Luck has an average of 3.48 seconds before taking a sack, and 2.78 seconds before a throw.

            I couldn’t care less about the headphones, tattoos, etc either so I agree with you there.

            1. Where does their release times rank them. Luck’s surely is at the or near top. Kap has a lot more time before he takes a sack. Is that his mobility, line. Its interesting, good stuff Jack.

              1. Kaepernick’s time to throw is 32nd longest out of 34 QB’s with at least 25% of snaps. Luck is 28th and Wilson 34th.

                PFF defines it this way: The number represents the average time a quarterback has as a passer (the point until he attempts a pass, is sacked or scrambles past the line of scrimmage)

                Each of these guys is very athletic and good at moving around so I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

            2. He just asked a follow up question that I would ask. Is his extra time bought buy his legs or by the line?

              I realize Kaep’s struggles. I’m okay with them. Kaep didn’t have the luxury of an NFL QB dad, nor has he has he had the luxury of spending 4yrs under Harbaugh’s tutelage. So, while I agree Luck is better now, I’m still taking Kaep due to his upside.

              1. “Kaep didn’t have the luxury of an NFL QB dad, nor has he has he had the luxury of spending 4yrs under Harbaugh’s tutelage.”

                Actually Kaepernick has now had more time under Harbaugh than Luck did. Luck only played 3 seasons under Harbaugh at Stanford, (redshirt ’08, played in ’09 and ’10) while Kaepernick is now on year 4 (’11-’14).

              2. … nor has he has he had the luxury of spending 4yrs under Harbaugh’s tutelage.

                You might want to rethink that one. This is Kaepernick’s 4th year under Harbaugh.

              3. I will admit the comment about Harbaugh I was iffy about. But having a father to show you the ropes growing up, is a factor.

                GEEZ I hate to sound like I’m making excuses for Kaep. Dude is alright. I’m sure he will continue to improve.

          2. That’s another gray area of CK other then pass/leadership. He looks like he comes from a prison. He looks like pro wrestler Dave Batista in wearing shades. Ear phones, bicep kissing, lying about swearing, CK has a long ways to call himself a Qb.

            No, I’d never wear ugly earphones such as that. I rarely wear ear phones anyway.

    2. Exactly. That was a great game last night, a game CK should be throwing, should take risks, but it won’t happen and we give him a fat pay check for mediocre performances that make me sick as a 49er fan. goes back, hands the ball to Gore, to Hyde, tries to run with it. He should go back to pass. Andrew Luck gave a huge A game, even the mistakes overwrite it. CK, makes me frustrated to see him not giving an effort like other QBs and ranks next to last.

        1. Is that 17th out of 32 QBs? That doesn’t even put him near the SF Chronicle’s top 10 Qbs as 17 doesn’t make it, neither does having low WRs.

          1. But lets review, you said he was “next to last meaning” you have no idea what you are talking about. We do agree on one thing. He’s in the middle because of the scheme he’s in. They are a run first team limiting his attempts. Our WR’s are fine for the scheme they are in.

            1. Next to last means I was guessing he ranked 20 out of 32 QBs and also bear in mind, you got the Bye Weeks, so instead of 32 teams out there, you got like 24, or 26, so you can’t really base a number if 32 teams are not playing. IN the words of Triple H, Ck would be a great C plus player next to B Plus Daniel Bryan (which that I disagree).

              Tell me this, you get a game, you run the ball, you’re behind by 10. By the time you pass the ball, CK can’t get it going. What then? Oline< CK, WR can't get open, defense figures out CK, what would make CK not able to get his passes going? Another answer is because he had no rhythm for he ran the ball way too many times with Gore, Hyde, and himself and threw too much to the obvious player instead of player 2 and 3.

              1. See last weeks win vs. Chiefs. Came from behind, controlled the clock won the game with a running attack.

                Lots of gibberish and facts are wasted on you. Have a great day keep us posted on your fantasy scores.

          2. You did see who’s ranked 18 right? Tom Brady, Mr. Pass future HOF’er. And he’s ahead of Dalton, Wilson, Smith and Newton to name a few big names on the list.

            1. Because Brady’s Oline is more problematic then our OLine, and that stinker vs. KC, yeah his numbers would drop if he could not get it going. The others got problems from scheduling, Oline, WR issues, injury, game calling. The 49ers fall in the line of bad game planning. I still say if the opposition was smart, and not dumb, stack the line and make CK pass. Take out Gore by stopping the run.

            2. You mentioned earlier that I see what I want to see. Do you think you also see what you want to see? You keep pulling up stats and info in support of Kaep’s current play.

              Put those stats aside for a sec.

              Last year we accepted that Colin was still learning, and still on his X start. And he didn’t have Crabtree and he didn’t have enough weapons. This year the results are almost the same. He passing has improve a little bit, but the inconsistency is still there and we’re still kicking FGs. We still have not scored a 4th quarter TD.

              Does he need even more time to grow. Or maybe this is just who he is.

              1. Fan, not gonna fight. Kap’s passing game is average as the stats show. His ability to run and be a dual threat is top 3. I am not pretending to see something that’s not there. I see him and agree that he should make more strides. I don’t dislike him for it though.

              2. Wilson,
                We’re not fighting, just having a healthy debate. If you check, there’s only two people on the blog that I get into it, but they get into it with everyone on here.

              3. What I meant was I am not going to escalate into name calling and telling you what you think or any of those sort of things. Rather I am clarifying on what we do agree on. I am not as exasperated with Kap as you are yet. Maybe we’ll all be there soon and then you can gloat for being right. Right now I see enough improvement for hope. Winning changes everything and losing as well. If we miss the playoffs man things will get sour around here.

  21. If the decision comes down to choosing between Harbaugh and Baalke, the choice is easy – it’s Harbaugh hands down.

    You can replace a suit, but you can’t replace a great a coach.

  22. What other QBs do out there, which is more then what CK does, doesn’t that create excitement, or are you 49er fans that interested in seeing paint dry when CK takes the field and does nothing. Crabtree, 1 catch vs. KC, 1 catch, and yet he’s this team player that doesn’t whine or call out his QB, but I’m sure deep inside, Crabtree can’t wait to bail out on the team he wanted to play for. It’s very easy to see on the NFL site how CK is doing and he’s not doing a thing for fantasy players. I’m sure the lead QB has done a lot more then CK.

    1. So what you’re saying is that you’d prefer Matthew Stafford or Jay Cutler who throws for 4000-5000yds and ends up with a losing record because its exciting to watch and makes your fantasy scores great?

      Check out what Mike Sando says about the 49ers and explosive plays. Despite what you are saying you the 49ers are exciting to watch.

      http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11670190

        1. Yes it is when I can take Alex Smith and turn him all pro and CK in the game wouldn’t achieve anything. Too bad Madden doesn’t make stuff for the DS system, really easier to operate then to pay for a PS 4.

      1. How is playing like a high school team exciting? You may as well move the 49ers to the high school division if they don’t want to follow NFL standards to make a team exciting. I would take a QB that throws 4000-5000 yards over what we have. With losing as you say that could happen with a Det team, that’s excitement from a NO team that could rise up and take their division. Same thing with GB, they could rise up and go to the playoffs in their division. With risk as you say there is with a high passing QB, there’s reward. Per one team that could miss the playoff, another one can get into the playoff. Are you saying the high passer has no place in the NFL and this is CK’s legacy? I’ll have you know if CK keeps this up and he doesn’t win a SUperbowl, he’ll never ever get into the hall of fame unless he takes the stuff Barry Bonds was taking.

        I never liked Sando’s blog anyway. Too much 49er praise, and he lives in Seattle and ignores his own football team. I think Sando is in another division anyway, he doesn’t do NFC West I heard.

        1. Stafford and Cutler aren’t going to the HOF. NO’s is terrible this year. Bree’s has to throw because they are so far behind and they’ll lose the division to Falcon’s or Panthers. You can dismiss Sando but are you dismissing the facts that the 49ers have 38 plays over 10 yds by far more than anyone else in the NFL? Everyone on the ESPN boards says the opposite of you, Sando is a Hawks homer. That should tell us all something.

          So you are saying you’d take 4000-5000 passing yards and a losing record with great fantasy scores over NFC championship appearances. Fans care about winning more than gaudy stats but its is how fantasy football and Madden are changing the way people view the game. Virtual success over real success is jacked up.

          1. 49er play calling to me is like building a house. Sure to you, the house looks great. But eventually, great houses fall apart. It could be the structure. It could be underestimating. It could be unexpected things. That’s what the 49er season is like. Sure vs. a bad Eagle team, KC, Rams, yeah, you probably will win and get drawn into the false hope that this stuff being said on Harbaugh motivated the 49ers. It has not because CK still won’t pass the ball. You get to the playoffs vs. to me the Giants of the E, Saints of the S (I got no faith in the Falcons, they will not win, I don’t like the coach they got and I hate their defense), or perhaps the Packers (in Green Bay), they will lose. Even if you say they could beat the Packers, I would say no because they won’t let CK dictate the game again like they have. I feel very strongly in the playoffs, somebody will beat them. If not, Seattle will win. Carroll is starting to turn it around for Seattle.

            1. You’re 100% wrong as usual. I am a 49er fan. So what if I don’t like Harbaugh, Ck, and Gore? Didn’t Grant just say Harbaugh was not hired to be liked? So as a 49er fan, I got to accept garbage?

              1. jim Mora, you are like all those wrestling fans that love to see a bunch of high flying off the ropes and turnbuckles like Chris Jericho does just like you like QBs who throw for a bunch of yards. looks pretty but you don’t win that way. I am my own kind of fan to so i like to see wrestlers that are mean and lots of tattoos that win by staying on the mat. you like qbs that fall down when barley touched and cry for a flag just like Jericho does when he cries when the Wyatts pound him. Frank Gore is like Bray Wyatt on the ground. he is a man not a girly-boy like your favorite wrestlers and qbs.

              1. Agree with Nick that is. Its almost fun until you realize how much time and energy it can suck away. Kinda like a bug light, draws you in and then burns you.

              2. Yeah, I agree as well. I rather talk to fans that feel CK can be a better Qb then those that accept CK and love not having a huge game. That’s such a Debbie Downer to have a boring game.

  23. The stance on McDonald is poorly done. McDonald should be benched. This is another black eye if the 49ers won a Superbowl. It’s hard to accept that fans would want this kind of Superbowl win from a team that has a disrespected coach, players, and bad game calling.

    1. you must really be Chris Jericho, ha ha. stick to Fozzy because you a better singer than wrestler. the Wyatts own you so go cry and hide behind you band like always and stay away from WWE

  24. Finally read Grant’s article.
    End of the day it’s about results. Close only counts for so much. Doesn’t matter if Harbaugh took answers for grass or MacDonald. You only get so many chances with a roster. In 2012 the Niners kept saying they should have beat the Giants, it was their trophy. But they didn’t. In the SB, they were already talking like they won the game against the Ravens before it started. it was the Harbaugh Bowl. But they didn’t. In fact that was the first loss by a Niner team in the big game. And for one half they looked like they didn’t even belong on the field.
    Last year it was going to be the year, because Colin was our starter, we are going to be such an explosive offense. But then we muddle through the year relying on the defense and Gore, and then Seattle snuck past us and won it all. Yeah, a division rival.
    And this year we look even farther behind the best team in the league, with the same stuck in neutral offense. Blame Roman, blame Gore. Cut Colin some slack because he’s still learning. All valid excuses but end of the day they are excuses.

    The best way to keep selling those seats at Levis is to win it all. If Harbaugh can’t do it. Get a coach who has done before and put it on him.

    1. I read the article and I’m still convinced Harbaugh has to go. I’ll try to keep it brief:
      He is confrontational with media. I know some coaches are challenged by the media, but it’s not by a weekly basis. Harbaugh clearly is uncomfortable with the media. He’s not answering the clear questions.
      Rather then bring out the best in his QB, he’s bringing out either the worse ‘game management’, but it’s not to make CK into a better QB. CK is more like the C Plus player to a lower grade player. WRs are not getting the ball like other WRS get the ball: 8 times, 12 times, 15 times, when has a 49er done that, and by a weekly basis and as a go to WR?
      The play calling of Harbaugh is too Stanford like. Cal was willing to go all out to win in their game. you had 2 QBs throwing 1300 yards combined! Harbaugh keeps running the ball to make Gore happy. Gore should be trying to catch screen passes or passes in general.
      The rumor addressing of what and how the 49ers are falling apart: It’s best to deny rumors rather then get into what ‘he says’ on the media. Harbaugh, York, the players are all being drawn a line in the sand and they keep crossing it like 5 year olds. I’d question if there is talk with Harbaugh/York, why not just resign Harbaugh and quit playing these games with the fans? Or is there something you don’t want to talk about in ‘the elephant’ in the room?
      Finally, I feel Harbaugh is a Marty Schotenheimer type coach. Regardless of what the former Charger coach did, he took the team to the playoffs multiple times, lost, and eventually got fired. Maybe that is what is coming out that there is a tiresome feeling of not making the next hurdle. To make the superbowl to me, every aspect of the team must click, and if your QB can’t click, the WRs can’t click, the opposition is stopping your run and pass, or limiting the pass, you can’t win.

      1. you are like Chris Jericho running away from the Wyatts. stop crying Chris, be a rock star or game show host. something you are good at which isn’t wrestling for real men not girly-boys

    1. He’s the 7th receiver, I don’t think he’ll be much of a distraction. He didn’t play well in the preseason with a ton of drops. He’ll get some air time but he seems to be better at waiting his turn than LMJ. All those guys in front of him are better than he is currently.

        1. True and fairly easily dismissed by fans and is revealing when the media can only comment on a guy who can’t even make the starting 46. It shows their great reach for something to report on.

  25. This is a fun take on Kap’s fine for the beats by Dre.

    I don’t really care about headphones, but put that figure into context. Earlier in the week, the NFL fined Broncos tight end Julius Thomas $8,268 for his illegal chop block on Calais Campbell,3 who will miss the next three weeks with an injured MCL. It would have somehow been just a tiny bit worse for Thomas to bring a pair of unapproved headphones onto the field and smack Campbell with them.

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nfl-week-6-picks/

  26. I never called Colin a thug. He’s too much of a wimp to be a thug. His pressers — what other QB brings another guy along and then smirks and makes rude, pointless answers? That’s baloney.

    If the team was 5-zippo it would be one thing. But they’ve barely won three and lost to two mediocre teams Seems to me – -and some of you can certainly disagree — that a little humility would be in order.

    And last, some of you twerps call anyone and everyone a troll if they disagree with your lockstep opinions. Razor, Jack, Brodie Claude and a few other guys – you know who you are – write fine posts with intelligent comments. Some of you could benefit by emulating them…

    1. You should try listening to yourself. The fact that you base your beliefs of Kaeps humility on interviews shows your ignorance. Do you know him personally? If you have no clue if he’s humble or not

    1. Jack, I wonder which 49er player past or present owns the record for being released and then resigned? Osgood has to be close to having the record.

  27. anyone else see how many dropped interceptions Luck had last night? i hope the colt fans can live with that from their qb or they better find a new one haha

  28. Grant,

    This is the first Pro 49ers article I have read from you. You have brightened my day. I have been so frustrated with the Deon/Glazer report.

    And i agree with you. Why would you let him go?????

    God Bless

  29. Only just got to read this article, busy day yesterday. Maybe its just that I’m liking seeing an article that isn’t about slamming the 49ers, or maybe its just because I agree with what you wrote, but I thought this was a well written and interesting read Grant. You kept it focused on key points and made them well without hyperbole and strange metaphors. Good stuff.

  30. I liked the piece but I don’t think it’s something new for Grant. His Thursday pieces usually are good write ups. They just rarely echo how we all feel about our team. He takes some criticism for that, but we are all here every day reading what is read.
    Thank you for a good piece. I hope someone at NFL.com republishes your article. I think it’s about time the front office gets called out.

  31. Great piece! The 49ers were stupid with what they did with Mariucci. I keep thinking that may happen with Harbaugh. I hope he gets a good job if he’s let go, which I’m sure he will. Many other teams would gladly trade places to have a coach take the team to the Super Bowl even if he wasn’t dressed right. Glazier or Dilfer didn’t seem to have much more inside knowledge than those of us watching at home. I thought most of the nonverbal from the team and Harbaugh had been good from what I saw. There was one thing were Harbaugh had an unhappy look after seeing Balke, but who knows what that was about.

  32. Great Mf-ing article Grant. I appreciate reading this, which mirrors my feelings on the matter, after hearing all the national media bull-ony for the past few weeks, and having to explain to bandwagon lamewads what the actual situation is. Its that, in the NFL winning is everything, and Harbaugh is winning. So if they do fire him for some reason as pathetically trivial as “we don’t like him” then there will be a revolution.

  33. This is really fascinating, You are an overly professional blogger.

    I have joined your feed and look forward to in search of more of your great post.
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