Harbaugh explains call to Morgan

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Harbaugh explains call to Morgan

SANTA CLARA -- When the 49ers took over with 9:57 remaining in the game, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-3, coach Jim Harbaugh pulled some of the starters.Colin Kaepernick stepped in for quarterback Alex Smith. Justin Peelle played tight end, as Vernon Davis' day was over. And Kyle Williams played the first seven snaps of the series while Joshua Morgan, Michael Crabtree and Ted Ginn remained on the sideline.But Morgan was summoned back on the field, along with Ginn, when the 49ers used a three-receiver formation on a third-and-8 play and, then, the fateful fourth and 3.Morgan caught a 19-yard pass for the first down. As cornerback Anthony Gaitor was holding on, Morgan's right foot got stuck underneath. Safety Corey Lynch came over and made the hit on Morgan, who sustained a broken right lower leg, just above the ankle.RATTO: Second-guessing of Morgan play misplaced
So why did Harbaugh decide to go for it on fourth down, rather than kick the field goal with a little more than four minutes remaining? And why did the 49ers call a pass play in that situation?Harbaugh said the intent was to get a first down and continue to run down the clock. Here's how Harbaugh explained the decision at his Monday press conference:"There is no second team on a 46-man roster, offense, defense and special teams, so if you kick the field goal, you expose the kicker," Harbaugh said. "You take a knee, the defense is back on the field and you don't want to put your defense back out there."Next option is throw a short pass, which we did, try to get the first down and then you're taking more time off the clock. Run the ball, it's been my experience, more times the offensive linemen are rolled up on on a run play than a pass play."Harbaugh concluded: "Really, you're trying to dodge bullets at that point. And the intent is to get the clock down to where you can take a knee. On this occasion, we didn't dodge it."

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.