Harbaugh implements 49ers' newold system


Harbaugh implements 49ers' newold system

Editor's note: This is the final part of a three-part series taking a look at Jim Harbaugh's first month as 49ers' head coach.Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comBill Walsh's so-called "West Coast offense" made a brief return to the 49ers in 2005 when coach Mike Nolan hired offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy.But McCarthy was gone after one season, leaving to eventually become a Super Bowl-winning coach of the Green Bay Packers. Now, after a five-year absence, coach Jim Harbaugh is bringing back the offensive system to its NFL birthplace.Walsh endorsed Harbaugh as Stanford coach in 2007, and the men spent time together before Walsh's death later that year. Harbaugh has followed the same career path as Walsh, who left Stanford for the 49ers in 1979.REWIND: 49ers get their man -- Harbaugh hired
Harbaugh was busy hiring coaches and evaluating his 49ers' roster during his first month in office. When things slow down a bit, Harbaugh is eager watch video of Walsh, mostly from the 1980s, installing the offense and holding team meetings.The 49ers recently received a shipment of tapes and DVDs from NFL Films that contains videos of Walsh and some of his offensive coordinators through the years installing the offense. The 49ers' library of videos at the team's offices in Santa Clara had been decimated through the years with numerous coaches "borrowing" the resources and failing to return them.RELATED: 49ers 2011 coaching staff at a glance
But through the years, NFL Films backed up many of the tapes. The 49ers taped all meetings during Walsh's time with the club. The 49ers are currently cataloging the contents of the box, and soon Harbaugh and his staff will have a chance to view the videos."We're all very excited about that," Harbaugh told Comcast SportsNet. "(Receivers coach) John Morton, myself, (quarterbacks coach) Geep Chryst, we're all kind of champing at the bit to get our hands on that."Harbaugh spent a lot of time during his first month on the job watching more recent video. He has viewed every snap of the 49ers' 2010 season, familiarizing himself with the talent he inherits from a team that went 6-10 and missed the playoffs for an eighth consecutive time.NEWS: NFL 2010 season final standings
"It's never really completed," Harbaugh said of the film study. "I watched all the games, broken it up into run game, pass game, offense, defense, special teams. I've looked at a good amount."I think we got talent. We got experienced guys. We got guys who have been there before. It's exciting to work with this group."Harbaugh said he has spoken to the vast majority of the players on the team. One player told CSN he felt Harbaugh was "picking his brain" for what the team was lacking in the locker room from a year ago."I've had 10, 20 minute conversations here and there, and I've gotten to know people," Harbaugh said. "I'm impressed with the guys, the character on the team, the competitiveness, what their vision is for the football team and this year. They're hungry. That comes across in just about everybody I've talked to."RELATED: 49ers roster
Harbaugh was the only college coach pursued for an NFL head-coaching job this offseason in large part because of how he accomplished success at Stanford. While rolling to a 12-1 record, including a victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, Stanford was one of the few college programs that ran pro-style offenses and defenses.But don't expect Harbaugh's 49ers to be an exact replica of Harbaugh's Cardinal."There are definitely things that carry over, but I'd say more like the vision we have for this football team: physical, smart, disciplined football team," Harbaugh said. "Those things are always what we're striving for."As it relates to scheme -- offensively, defensively and special teams -- there are core beliefs there and there are schematic things where we put the players in the best positions to be successful that may or may not carry over."Harbaugh will devote most of his time to offense, of course, while defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and special-teams coordinator Brad Seely, and their staffs, will have autonomy over those units."I get involved, but he (Fangio) is the expert," Harbaugh said. "I don't know if anybody would be an effective head coach by being the overriding voice -- and having autonomy -- in every phase of the game."As the Harbaugh begins his second month as head coach, he and his coaches are continuing to implement their offensive and defensive plans. Offensively, that means the coaches are starting at the beginning, devising the mechanics of the huddle. They are creating and naming their different formations and motions while piecing together all aspects of the playbook."This is the nuts and bolts of everything we do schematically," Harbaugh said.Harbaugh has already mapped out the team's offseason schedule, beginning with the workouts scheduled to begin in March, along with minicamps -- both mandatory and voluntary. Of course, all this is contingent on the owners and players' union agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement to ensure a normal offseason."Everything is planned to go as if there will not be any interruption or work stoppage," Harbaugh said. "I think that's the only way to do it. And then we'll just have to adjust if there is one."

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ biggest free-agent acquisition on defense and one of the team’s first-round draft picks play the same position.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he is holding off on thinking about how everything is going to play out this season at the linebacker position.

“I really try not to envision it too hard because I see a lot of good players there,” Shanahan said Tuesday during the 49ers’ first week of organized team activities.

The 49ers awarded weakside linebacker Malcolm Smith guaranteed money as an unrestricted free agent totaling approximately $12 million. Then, on the first day of the draft, the 49ers’ No. 3 rated prospect experienced a free fall, and the club traded into the back end of the first round to select him.

While Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster has been sidelined through the offseason program as he recovers from shoulder injury, he figures to compete with Smith for the starting job. Foster will also learn middle linebacker, where NaVorro Bowman has earned first-team All-Pro honors in four seasons.

Bowman looks to be nearly all the way back from a torn Achilles that limited him to just four games last season.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Shanahan said. “Seeing Bow out here and how healthy he’s been, knowing we’ve added some good free agents, and the way the draft worked out, having a linebacker we had ranked very highly fall to us at the end of the first round. We got a lot better pretty fast.

“When you ask me how it’s going to play out, I’m not sure. It’s a good problem to have. It’s something you’d like to have any every position. There’s going to be a very good player who’s not out there all the time. That’s not a bad thing. That makes the two guys who are out there go a lot harder and play better. It makes special teams better and it allowed you to survive injuries, which almost always happen.”

Bowman’s vision for the upcoming season includes him retaining his role in the middle of the 49ers’ defense.

"I won't be on the sideline, I'll tell you that right now,” Bowman said.

Bowman said he was not fazed with the 49ers selected Foster in the first round. Foster is likely considered the heir apparent to Bowman.

Shanahan called Bowman after the selection of Foster was made, but Bowman said he did not need to speak with the coach about why the selection was made.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Bowman said of the phone call, “but it was good to hear from him, to see that he had something to say or an idea of what he wanted to get across to me.

“But we haven’t talked about it. I did that on purpose. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll compete with anyone, whether he’s 21 or 35. It doesn’t matter. I’m a guy who’s going to give my best effort and have full confidence in my abilities to play this game. I know how much I study this game. I know how good I am and that’s what was going to bring back here.

“It’s always a competition. There’s always someone trying to take your spot. As a player, if you keep that in mind, you’ll always put the work in that’s needed.”

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

SANTA CLARA -- For the first time since Bryant Young retired following the 2007 season, the 49ers have placed his old number back into service.

Linebacker Dekoda Watson was issued No. 97 for the team’s organized team activities this week.

Young was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time winner of the Len Eshmont Award as the 49ers’ most inspirational and courageous player. No 49ers player has worn No. 97 in the past nine seasons or offseasons.

Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is now wearing No. 94 after being issued No. 96 for the rookie minicamp. Linebacker Reuben Foster is wearing No. 56.

Rookie defensive tackle D.J. Jones now wearing No. 96. Cornerback Rashard Robinson switched back to No. 33 after an earlier change to No. 26. Running back Kapri Bibbs is now 26. Rookie running back Joe Williams is No. 32 after wearing No. 33 at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles over the weekend. Veteran running back Tim Hightower is wearing No. 22.