No other assistant or head coach in the league has dropped back and examined an NFL defense more than Harbaugh, who ranks 46th in NFL history in pass attempts with 3,918. None of the other 45 quarterbacks ahead of him on the list is an NFL coach, assistant or otherwise. In fact, Harbaugh is the only NFL coach among the league’s top 75 in career pass attempts.
Chryst was Jim Harbaugh’s QBs coach/offensive coordinator in San Diego from 1999-2000. In 1999, Harbaugh, then 35, had the second-most yards (2,761) and completions (249) of his 15-year career as Chryst implemented the no-huddle offense.
By the time Roger Goodell announces the No. 1 overall pick, we’ll be able to pronounce Prince Amukamara, tick off Von Miller’s time in the three-cone drill and compute the average Wonderlic score of Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton and Pat Devlin faster than you can say “blue-chipper with a high-end motor and a huge ceiling.”
USC wide receivers coach John Morton, 41, will join Harbaugh’s coaching staff, presumably with the same job description. Morton and Harbaugh were assistants with the Raiders in 2002-03 and Morton worked under Harbaugh as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at the University of San Diego in 2005.
Given Jim Harbaugh’s reputation as the Quarterback Whisperer and Alex Smith’s reputation for occasional flashes of brilliance, a certain segment of Niners fans are still wondering: Could the Alex Smith Experiment be renewed for a seventh season?
But Baalke pointed to Davis’ late-season performance against a slew of Pro Bowlers – Green Bay’s Clay Matthews, Arizona’s Darnell Dockett and San Diego’s Shaun Phillips – in giving him high overall marks.
In last week’s blog (click here), I included some of Mortensen’s thoughts on the offense. But he said much more about playing in the system and playing for Harbaugh. It was good stuff — so good that I’ve included a transcript below featuring the highlights of the 30-minute conversation.
George Seifert, 70, who had a 98-30 record and won two Super Bowl titles in San Francisco, had Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman on his staff and coached Jim Harbaugh during his career-ending, three-year tenure in Carolina from 1999-2001.
The 49ers have announced three assistant coaches will follow Jim Harbaugh from Stanford to San Francisco: Vic Fangio (defensive coordinator), Greg Roman (offensive coordinator) and Tim Drevno (offensive line). According to multiple reports, Drevno will share offensive-line duties with Mike Solari.
Before Josh Johnson and before Andrew Luck, there was Todd Mortensen, Harbaugh’s first quarterback during his first season as a head coach.
Roman, 38, will become the 49ers’ ninth offensive coordinator since 2003 and the third in the past four months. Of course, there is reason to believe Roman might have a bit more staying power given his close and successful working relationship with Harbaugh, who is expected to be involved in play-calling.
In discussing Harbaugh’s greatest assets this week, Lamb said his ability to assemble an A-list coaching staff ranked near the top of the list. Lamb, who spent two years (2005-06) with Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, went so far as to say Harbaugh’s ability to identify great coaches – coupled with own coaching ability – would make him a success in the NBA or major leagues.
Johnson, 43, and Neuheisel were both assistants with the Baltimore Ravens from 2006-07. Johnson also has experience in the Pac-10 – he was a backup quarterback at Arizona State (1985-86) and began his coaching career as the wide receivers coach at Oregon State (1997-98).
With that — and Tollner’s 40-plus years of NFL and college coaching experience — as a backdrop, it was interesting to get his impressions of modern-day quarterback guru Jim Harbaugh this week.
But Davis’ excitement over the thought of teaming with the six-time Pro Bowler is understandable. During Davis’ five seasons in San Francisco, the Niners starting quarterbacks have included Hill, Alex Smith, Troy Smith, J.T. O’Sullivan, Trent Dilfer and Chris Weinke.
Despite never stepping on the field, Davis inspired plenty of buzz thanks to his powerful arm and his reportedly porous work habits. His flashes of brilliance during a preseason game against Minnesota on Aug. 22 inspired this from NBC’s Cris Collinsworth, “I don’t know what else you have to see out of Nate Davis. This young man … his feet are quick. His release is quick. He’s seeing the field. He’s not hesitating, and he’s got a rocket.”
Jim had this sign in his office at Stanford: STANFORD FOOTBALL IS HUSTLE. CONSTANT HUSTLE. HUSTLING ALL THE TIME. John liked it. He now has this sign up in his office: RAVENS FOOTBALL IS HUSTLE. CONSTANT HUSTLE. HUSTLING ALL THE TIME.
What if the 49ers didn’t draft a quarterback? What if they could avoid the risk of a first-round bust? What if they could trade for a promising, semi-proven, 6-foot-3, 218-pound quarterback well-versed in the West Coast Offense who would be entering his fifth NFL season?
Craig, a do-it-all running back in the West Coast Offense, was a revolutionary player in a pioneering system. In 1986, he became the first player to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. Faulk (1999) is the only other player to do so.
During the nearly 20-minute session, reporters wandered in and out of the scrum surrounding the Niners president and CEO. As a result, Jed York kept getting asked the same question: Do you feel vindicated?