What the safety may tell us about Jim Harbaugh as a coach

Who in the world, other than the 49ers’ coaching staff, did not think the Ravens were going to take a safety with 11 seconds left in the game?

The Ravens’ alternative was to risk a blocked punt or a punt that the Niners could catch around mid-field. They would have clock time remaining to throw a couple of Hail Marys. Bad option for Baltimore.

The 49ers punt rush played a “hold up” scheme. They did not have anybody coming off the edge to force the punt. That allowed the Ravens to run at least seven seconds off the clock before stepping out of the end zone for the safety.

By taking the safety, John Harbaugh knew that it was a better gamble to take the free kick from his own 20-yard line because the punter was going to hit it at least to the Niners 20-yard line (actually it went to the 18-yard line), and Niners would not have a threat to score from that field position.

One final point. Bill Belichick is known for integrating situations into practice time rather than just running plays and drives in practice.

Obviously, Jim Harbaugh needs to adjust his coaching style and take time during practice to place his offense, defense and special teams in specific situations.

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