Why Davis believes Harbaugh can spark 49ers-like turnaround in LA

Former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis knows exactly what first-year Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh brings to the table after spending four years together in San Francisco.

During an interview on the “No Huddle Podcast” with Brian Renick and Al Sacco, Davis detailed exactly what makes Harbaugh such a special leader and why he believes his former coach can deliver a quick turnaround in his first season with the Chargers like he did after taking the 49ers job in 2011.

“Harbaugh has the ability to get guys to rally behind him,” Davis told Renick and Sacco. “His energy, his enthusiasm, everything that he brings — when he walks in in the morning, you know what you’re going to get. He’s always upbeat. He’s just the type of coach that knows how to get guys going. He just has an ability to be able to do that.

“He figured it out, and I think that’s how he’s been able to achieve the ample amount of success he’s been able to achieve in both college and the pros, because of who he is and what he stands for. His integrity, his character. Guys get that, they see it. He’s holding everybody accountable.

“He is that leader, he’s that piece that every team knows they need. If we don’t do what he says, he’s going to hold us accountable and they know that, and I think that’s what we had. As a team, we understood that, and we were able to come together and win some games. We had a coach that was the real deal.”

Davis experienced plenty of losing to begin his NFL career after being selected by San Francisco in the first round of the 2006 draft, with the 49ers posting a 33-47 record over his first five seasons in the league before Harbaugh’s arrival.

In Harbaugh’s first season, San Francisco went 13-3, and narrowly missed out on a Super Bowl berth after a heartbreaking overtime loss to the New York Giants in the 2011 NFC Championship Game.

Despite the tough ending, the 2011 49ers also provided one of the most memorable playoff moments in NFL history, capped off by an incredible game-winning touchdown reception by Davis to beat the New Orleans Saints.

San Francisco would go on to win 70 percent of their regular-season games under Harbaugh, making three consecutive NFC Championship Game appearances from 2011 to 2013.

With Harbaugh returning to an NFL sideline for the first time in a decade, the Chargers hope the beloved coach can offer their franchise the same lightning-rod effect he had when he arrived in the Bay Area in 2011.

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