SANTA CLARA – I’d like to refer back to a blog I posted earlier this afternoon about the way Jim Harbaugh prepared the 49ers for the Super Bowl. I asked him the questions and he answered as honestly as he could and I’ve been thinking about his responses.
I asked if he had his offense practice two-point conversion plays against Zero Coverage and press corners. He said, “We didn’t say this was a two-point play, zero coverage, press corners. We didn’t say that, but we did practice that area.”
In other words, he did not do it. If he had, he would have told his team, “Here are the two-point plays we will utilize,” and then script them against the anticipated blitz coverage the Ravens have shown, and then practice them.
Instead, the 49ers did not pick up the Ravens’ blitz on the two-point conversion attempt and Kaepernick threw a wild pass over Randy Moss’ head before he’d run a route.
The same thing happened on the 49ers’ final offensive play, except it was from the five yard line and the pass was intended for Michael Crabtree. The Ravens showed Zero coverage – they rushed six guys – and the Niners did not pick it up.
Every veteran NFL coach has his offensive unit practice five or six last-play scenarios. On the call sheet you see NFL coaches carry on the sidelines, there actually is a category blocked off as “Last Play.” They have five or six plays listed, including the distance from which they are going to call each one. Did Harbaugh have that?
Also, Harbaugh said his special teams unit did not work against the Ravens taking a safety during the two weeks of preparation for the biggest game of the year.
Obviously, Harbaugh is a very good coach. But he needs an older, more experienced veteran coach, like his dad, to serve as a consultant and assist him in game management and situational preparation. These are the areas that cost Harbaugh and his team the ball game Sunday night.
It’s a shame if those talented 49ers players lost a game of that magnitude because of a lack of situational preparation from their coaches.