Harbaugh's first month in office a juggling act

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Harbaugh's first month in office a juggling act

Feb. 7, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOEditor's Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series taking a look at Jim Harbaugh's first month as 49ers' head coach. This installment looks at how he prioritized his time during his first 31 days on the job.Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comAs Jim Harbaugh prepared Stanford for Pac-10 Conference games in October, there was a fad quietly sweeping through professional football.Harbaugh, who has held the title of 49ers head coach for a month, is just now discovering for himself what he missed last season in the NFL.
"There was a pass play that was making its way around the league from Week 4 through 8," Harbaugh said. "Several teams hit it for a big play. It was a bootleg throwback. It was interesting to see. I saw six or seven teams that used it. They saw it from another team and then used it."And what happened later in the season?"It got covered," Harbaugh said, laughing. "After about Week 10, it made its way through and people were defensing it."Harbaugh officially left his job at Stanford on Jan. 7 to accept a five-year, 25 million contract with the 49ers. And he's had no problem keeping busy during his first month on the job, he told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.REWIND: 49ers get their man -- Harbaugh hired
There has been so much to accomplish in such a short period of time that Harbaugh has been forced to perfect the art of multitasking. He has often worked on multiple projects at the same time. Case in point: He is discovering league-wide trends while simultaneously evaluating the crop of prospective NFL free agents through his film research.
During his first 31 days in office, Harbaugh put together most of his coaching staff. He has watched every 49ers game from the 2010 season and evaluated the roster he inherits. He has also engaged in lengthy conversations with nearly every member of the team.Harbaugh is also getting familiar with the rest of the NFL. He is completing his evaluation of prospective free agents. And he is spending plenty of time on X's and O's, too, as the 49ers' coaching staff has started piecing together its playbooks for the coming season.The work is only just beginning. Harbaugh has not spent much time evaluating draft prospects, he said. But he still has more than 11 weeks to prepare for the draft, which is scheduled for April 28-30. The 49ers own the No. 7 overall pick.RELATED: Matt Maiocco's 2011 NFL mock draft
During his first month on the job, Harbaugh could set his own pace. But his second month will feature a lot of uncertainty.With the league's collective bargaining agreement set to expire March 3, the owners and players appear to be bracing for a work stoppage and possible postponement of the usual openings of free agency and trading.But that has not kept Harbaugh from making sure he is prepared for the possibility that player movement will commence March 4, as if it were a normal NFL offseason."We're going about it and leaving no stone unturned," Harbaugh said. "Anybody who's an unrestricted free agent, I want to make sure that I've looked at him and familiarized myself with him and understand what's available and how that relates to our own football team."When asked if he expects the 49ers to be active once the gates of free agency swing open, Harbaugh answered, "I'm not really going to get into too much of that. Sometimes you have to keep your cards close to your vest."Harbaugh's cards have been scattered since taking over as 49ers' head coach, as his skills at multitasking have been challenged.While he watches film of players who might be available to help the 49ers, whether by free agency or potential trades, Harbaugh also is watching the big picture to analyze the teams his 49ers will face next season.Thus, he was able to recognize some of the trends around the league, such as the pass play that was copied with great success for several weeks last season before defenses began adjusting. In fact, Harbaugh has organized film cut-ups of such observations on a tape labeled, "Trends."Harbaugh spent most of his first month grinding away for hours at the team's offices at 4949 Centennial Boulevard in Santa Clara. He did not travel to Mobile, Ala., for the three days of padded practices last month at the Senior Bowl -- a gathering that has turned into a quasi-convention for NFL coaches and out-of-work coaches.RELATED: Q&A -- What 49ers coaches are missing at Senior Bowl
Harbaugh traveled to North Texas on Friday for a weekend at the Super Bowl. There, he caught up with his brother, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, for the first time in more than a year.It was a rare luxury for Harbaugh, who found it difficult to escape during his first month on the job because he had so much work waiting for him in the office.His first priority was putting together his support staff. Harbaugh hired 13 members to his coaching staff and retained 49ers position coaches Tom Rathman (running backs), Mike Solari (offensive line) and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who served one game as interim head coach after Mike Singletary was fired.RELATED: 49ers 2011 coaching staff at a glance
Harbaugh hired five individuals from Stanford, including defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Harbaugh said his staff is nearing completion, as he still plans to hire a defensive backs coach to assist Ed Donatell."I really feel good about the coaches we've hired and the staff we've put together," Harbaugh said. "Since doing that, we've been able to work on a number of things, including schemes -- both offensively, defensively and special teams."On this particular morning, Harbaugh worked with his offensive staff on devising the run game that will be installed once the team is back together. Offseason workouts are scheduled to begin in March -- if there is no work stoppage.In the afternoon, more film study of prospective free agents was scheduled. Harbaugh said he expects to have all the free agents fully evaluated within the next two weeks."You got to picture this as doing a lot of things," Harbaugh said. "The day can be broken up into sections. Sometimes you're doing two or three things at once. So we're doing as much as we can do in the course of the day." In Part 2 of the three-part series, Jim Harbaugh gets to know Alex Smith, as he forms his own opinion about the 49ers' quarterback situation.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

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