The San Francisco 49ers came away from New York this past weekend (September 30) with a convincing victory over the New York Jets, 34-0. Not only did the win provide the 49ers with a 3-1 start to the season, it provided a much needed bounce-back game after their surprising loss to the Minnesota Vikings -- who may not be as bad as I assumed, as they now have a 3-1 record and sit atop the NFC North.
Upon the 49ers' return to the Bay Area, more specifically their Santa Clara training facility, Jim Harbaugh gave a press conference highlighting some keys to the victory and answering questions from the media. Let's take a look at some of my favorite moments from the press conference and how his statements reflect on his coaching philosophies (or at least how I think they do):
Media: When you look at the offensive tape though, what bothers you? You can maybe point out third down conversions, still rather low. Maybe some points still left on the field. Is there anything that bothers you about that game offensively?
Jim Harbaugh: "Well, first and foremost very happy about the game. And across the board I thought our guys played extremely well. Thought our special teams units did a fine job. You point out the job that [P] Andy Lee did. Two punts pinned down inside the 5-yard line. Cover units were really good. Return units came up with some plays. I thought it was good. Just about every drive that we had, there was some production there. Moving the football, gaining field position, scoring points, finishing drives. There were a lot of positives there."
Reaction: Jim Harbaugh is a very positive person. Well, maybe I should say a very positive head coach, I'm not too sure if he is the same way in his personal life -- although I would like to think that he is. In any regard, Harbaugh takes a question with a negative connotation and turns it on its head. Instead of talking about what bothered him, he stated what he was happy with and all of the positives that came from the 49ers' victory over the Jets. His response to the reporter's question proves that Harbaugh wants to keep his team in a positive frame of mind and continue to get better week-after-week.
M: Could you have done that in your second year in the league? (Referring to Colin Kaepernick falling down after achieving a first down to seal the game instead of running for a touchdown.)
JH: "Yeah, think so. Oh, well, I don't know if I could have executed it as well as Colin did. He's a pretty dynamic runner. Could I have gone down after making the first down? Yes, I could have done that."
Reaction: It's always fun as a fan to catch glimpses of Jim Harbaugh's sense of humor, because whether he knows it or not, he's really quite funny. It's the end of Harbaugh's answer that we catch a bit of his humor, but more importantly we catch a glimpse of what Harbaugh thinks of Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick certainly impressed me this weekend with his ability to add a new wrinkle to the 49ers' offense. And despite his pass attempt into triple coverage to Randy Moss that was broken up, I thought Kaepernick did well under center for the 49ers. Prior, I failed to see why fans of Kaepernick were so high on this kid and while I may not be on the Kaepernick bandwagon just yet, I saw just enough for him to gain some of my respect as an NFL quarterback.
M: LB Larry Grant on the blocked punt said he was able to go to his special teams coach and tell him he saw something earlier that allowed him to get through. What has he brought to special teams, what kind of knowledge does Larry bring that might be unique?
JH: "Well, he's an experienced player, a talented player, another guy that loves to contribute. You like hearing a story like that. You like when that happens on the field with the communication. A player seeing something on the field and talking with his coach about it and then having a real positive outcome because of it. That's good."
Reaction: Jim Harbaugh trusts his players and so too does Harbaugh's coaching staff. It's nice to know that Harbaugh does not employ a dictatorship with his football team. He leads his team and his team follows because they believe in his message, which oddly enough is that he believes in them. Larry Grant is a veteran player who contributed big time in 2011 and will look to do the same in 2012. This is just one of the many ways that Grant can contribute and one of the ways in which Harbaugh and his staff shows their trust in their players.
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions -- all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
49ers.com. Coach's Notebook:October 1. NFL 2012.
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