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Harbaugh Views Offseason Optimistically

Posted by Taylor Price on June 15, 2011 – 10:51 AM

With player-organized workouts garnering much of the local media’s attention last week, Jim Harbaugh was asked to comment on the subject Wednesday morning in a radio interview with the KNBR-680 Morning Show.

The 49ers coach first spoke about the bonds being formed within his own coaching staff before commenting on the reports of players convening at San Jose State for a four-day minicamp.

“The coaches have built trust being around each other every day, just getting to know each other,” Harbaugh told host Brian Murphy. “That’s been real positive.”

Harbaugh would later address the reports of free-agent-to-be quarterback Alex Smith organizing workouts for him and his 49ers teammates, offering a positive opinion of the news.

“What a neat thing that is, where character guys can really get a leg up on some of the competition,” Harbaugh said.

Just like the team’s Faithful fans, the coach has been learning about his players meeting on their own accord through various media outlets.

“I think that could really bode well for us,” he added.

The sacrifices made by the players was what really struck a chord with Harbaugh.

“That’s a lot of guys making plans, changing their schedules and making the effort to be there,” he said. “I think it’s a sign of character guys, winning is important and being prepared is important.

“When it comes to winning, that’s a key component, thinking your way to success and figuring out how to win.”

And while Harbaugh is glad his players are figuring things out on their own with the playbook he was able to hand out during a brief window in late April, the ultimate evaluations will take place once the NFL’s work stoppage is resolved.

“When it comes to performing on the field, that will be determined when we get all our players in here and we start practicing and playing games and we find out who our best players are,” Harbaugh said. “We don’t know who our best players are… we’ll figure that out when they get in here and start practicing.”

But that doesn’t mean Harbaugh isn’t encouraged by the current state of the team’s roster.

“I think all of our players from the guys I’ve watched on tape to the guys we’ve drafted, I’m excited to watch them compete,” he said. “There won’t be any politics about who plays and who starts and all that. Who’s playing better? Who’s practicing better? Those will be the guys who are out there in the starting 11. Just to sum it up, we don’t know who our best players are yet. We’ll find out when we throw the balls out there.”

Posted in Announcements | 39 Comments »

39 Responses to “Harbaugh Views Offseason Optimistically”

  1. By Derrick M on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Jim Harbaugh is the best thing to happen to the 9ers in a while. I’ve been a fan for going on 28 yrs now and I’m ready for the glory days of the red and gold to come again. We have good offensive talent and Harbaugh will only make it better. We’ve been so close to being a good team in last few years but our offense (other than Frank Gore and Vernon Davis) has been average at best. I think Crabtree has the potential to be a pro- bowl caliber receiver if he would get rid of his “Diva” mindset play some damn football. I know Alex could have been doing a better job of getting him the ball but now with an ex- QB head coach, and our promising rookie QB Colin Kaepernic working beside Smith, I think we will see a new Alex Smith this season. Give the guy some credit, he has had to learn a new play book every year since he’s been in the NFL!!! Plus our last few offensive coordinators have been old school ” run the ball and play defense” type guys so he is only asked to be a game manager instead of a true, play- making QB. Nobody could excel in those conditions!! PLEASE JIM HARBAUGH- SHOW EVERYONE WHY ALEX WAS TAKEN #1 OVERALL AND RESTORE THE 49ERS TO AN OFFENSIVE POWERHOUSE AGAIN!!!!!!
    P.S.- hire back Singletary as a Defensive Coordinator or something b/c we need that guy in our locker room to lead our defense. Just think; Mike Singletary working 1on 1 with the best linebacker in the NFL- Patrick Willis… Wow! We could be unstoppable!!!!!!

  2. By Oh no..no no on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Noooo dont get the Alex Smith pom poms out ….. please!!! The 49ers picked the wrong guy hes nota west coast QB he likes a spread offense and not being under center. Hes to awkward at the line and his reads and accuracy are atrocious. He consistantly throws behind guys…and that has nothing to do with coordianators or playbooks or hurt feelings or the millions the 49ers gave him to sit on the bench. Not everyone can be a NFL QB and hes one of em if he amounts to anything it will be a Jeff Garcia type who can put stats in a book but will never win anything of consequence. Its too bad we have to suffer another year of him not getting it done. I will root for the rest of our team all the way but not a money pit called Alex Smith.

  3. By cbj on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Oh no, You claim: “I will root for the rest of our team all the way but not a money pit called Alex Smith.”
    BUT, you are not what you think you are, a football genus. You are just plain arrogant.

  4. By Ronnie on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    im sooo sick of this alex smith this alex smith that. why cant the next coach see what happened to the last coach who want to keep this alex thang going. dump him across the bay already to the fakers ohh my bad raiders alex iz a scrub & so he needs to go to a scrub team like the raiders

  5. By We Cut Who? on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Hire Singletary back? Really? OMG. Seriously, that’s the worst idea I’ve heard all day… Yes, start Smith or we’ll be watching a rookie QB get ruined. Colin was a gimick in Nevada and didn’t play under center either. If he can ride pine for a season or two, get bigger (the guy is super lanky) then maybe he’ll pan out. But if he plays this season, his rookie year may be his last.

  6. By Roger on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    I think with Haraugh taking over the organization as head coach, Alex Smith can be an adequate quarterback. we have weapons Micheal Crabtree, Frank Gore, and Vernon Davis. this year will be it

  7. By JC on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Kaepernick is not a “lanky” kid. The guy is 6’4″ and 233 lbs

  8. By Joe on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    I have absolutely no doubt that Coach Harbaugh is doing the best he can under the circumstances. That Alex Smith has stepped up to the plate and has done what he has done speaks of his character and willingness to do what needs to be done. Under normal circumstances, Alex would probably have signed with another teem by now and the niners might have 3 or 4 QBs on the roster. However, these are not normal circumstances. I am looking forward to the season and what will transpire after everything has been said and done.

  9. By Mike Cink on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    I like harbaugh, I think he can reunite us with the glory days. By the way niner fans, alex smith will be the starting quarterback this year, and harbaugh will coach him up, and alex will have the best year of his career. I know we all want to move on to somebody else but have a little faith in the guy. We’ve all seen glimpses of what he could be if he stays consistent.

  10. By Mike Cink on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    why are u calling alex smith a money pit? the guy did take a pay cut.

  11. By JR Baca in New Mexico on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Exciting times are ahead for our 49er team and fans, I believe that we are going to have a winning season with our new coaching staff. All the Alex Smith haters need to go find another team to support, or support our whole team, including Alex Smith, not just a few team members. I believe that Alex has grown up and is ready to take us to the Superbowl in 2012. Alex could have left our team but he didn’t. God had a plan for him to stay with our team. Now is our time, we are headed to the BIG dance called the Superbowl.


    GO 49ers>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  12. By JR Baca in New Mexico on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    Exciting times are ahead for our 49er team and fans, I believe that we are going to have a winning season with our new coaching staff. All the Alex Smith haters need to go find another team to support, or support our whole team, including Alex Smith, not just a few team members. I believe that Alex has grown up and is ready to take us to the Superbowl in 2012. Alex could have left our team but he didn’t. God had a plan for him to stay with our team. Now is our time, we are headed to the BIG dance called the Superbowl.


    GO 49ers>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  13. By Tru49erfan on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply

    football is a team sport, so all you alex haters need to find a new team. Tru fans support their team, thats all the players on the roster. Alex Smikth never had a chance his whole career, no o-line, no receivers, then the last couple years the predictable play calling by the coaches. Please how can you blame one player for all the troubles the niner’s had over the last 6 years. Tru fans support their team and want to be fans talk crap, so I still think tru fans out number the want to be fans so we will stick together and booo all fake fans.

  14. By Wickedirish on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    You people need to open your eyes up and stop making excuses for alex smith. Hes been in the league for 5 years regardless of who his coaching staff has been or has had a playbook under. I’m a huge true die hard 49er fan but even i know when its time for a QB to pack up and leave and that times is now for Alex smith. I’m tired of watching our seasons fall apart because of this kids bad time management on the clock or poor decisions he makes on the field. I’v nearly thrown my controller watching this kid play and I give him promps for putting his whole heart out there on the field and keeping his head high but thats not enough for me. 5 seasons have been hell and im done with it. He needs to go if he hasnt picked up his skill level in the league after 5 years. Theres nothing else to say about Alex Smith other then replace him and start new with a QB who can handle the ropes. He’s a good leader off the field but on the field hes not mentaly prepared for the NFL and never will be and you people just keep giving him chance after chance well im done with giving him a chance. I want to start seeing a winning season come from the 49ers so Alex Smith PLEASE GO!

  15. By Here we go on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Ok first off Go niners….looking at coaches and positions we look pretty good. Our team has great drive and will to win. That being said …believeing is Alex still is well ok i guess if you dont like your hair. For those of you who think he will do better if everyone else onthe team are all pro and can do no wrong, that is just hog wash. We have all seen the games so no confusion there…I mean after him being here 6 years everyone is still ..”oh the falcon game the falcon game” what ever. You say oh he needs to have consistent coaching and playbooks and new shoes every game geeze this is football not American Idol people. If they do re-sign him he will be in a rookie situation ounce more trying to learn plays and schemes and what to do with a ball when he has it in his hands…oh wait he should all ready know that…. every coach he has had… has used the west coast offense and he still dont get it. Saying he never had a chance please I would love to know where you work…after 6 years you complain your work is no good because your boss has been different for 6 years…PLEASE…. he got 65 million dollars people 65 million dollars…..6 years and he barely gets a 8-8. Yes it is on him hes the QB if the line was full of Betty Whites and he was throwing to a 10 year old with a limp….I would still expect him to get it done. Its his job to read the defense adjust and throw the ball or hand it off …understand what the defense is trying to do to him and adjust. He has been playing the game in highschool and college and now 6 years in the NfL. You would think he would take some of the blame yet …no …cry his line is no good …cry Vernon wont try and catch my miss thrown balls…cry Norv Turner left ….cry my coaches hate me …man im soo sorry sorry for that…maybe if i had a consistent typing teacher i would not be doing so many run-on sentences. I blame my keyboard It couldn’t possibly be my fault. Oh wait geeze run-on sentences are a basic english problem. Well so much for bright ideas…wait what was i doing oh yeah thats right…throwing interceptions. Go into freeagency Alex so the day dreamers can root for yet another rainbow.

  16. By say it aint so on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you Harbaugh for comeing to our team and bringing hope and great coaching and leadership. Can’t wait to see the team improve even more than they have position wise. I hope the QB situation is handled accordingly by at least attempting to get one if we have a off season for free agency. If you do gamble with Alex I Would love to see Alex try and compete with a real veteran QB. Our team is looking pretty well as far as going after the division, a QB would set us up nice to take it. Oh and yes I would like to see Alex try to go to another team first if anyone will take him. Would be nice to start fresh with out the tainted QB position over our heads. We have not payed a lot of attention to that spot for some time. Well we paid for him a lot of millions its time to move on.

  17. By facedagree on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    go niners!!!!!

  18. By NREK49 on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Lets just get this started Niners will have an awsome season

  19. By Andrew O on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Although it would be awesome to have singletary as a defensive coach, we’ve burned that bridge. There is no coming back for him. I wish Jerry Rice would come back and coach our WRs…just his presence in the locker room can make people play like champions.

  20. By NREK49 on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Alex Smiths best season was under OC Norv Turner now the head coach of the Chargers and look at how good Phillip Rivers is. Unfortanitly it was only for a year. Alex is a good QB for us, Harbaugh will build his confidence back and we will be in the post season and we will finish. Maybe Alex will let a little bit of emotional motivation set being that Aarron Rodgers got a ring first, personally I think Aarron is no better than Alex. LETS DO THIS NINERS

  21. By Ryan on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    ok… Ive been a niners fan my whole life practically… and ive experienced the Montana days, Young, Garcia briefly… those who criticize Alex… lets think Aaron Rodgers whose a beast now waited almost 3 years learning behind a legendary QB… Brett Farve… the playbook… how to play the game from the QB position… who did Alex get that from???? Nobody… do u think Aaron would have the same success he’s having if he started from day 1??? Alex 6 yrs= 6 different playbooks… Manning 14 yrs= 1 playbook… Brady 10 yrs= 1 playbook… Rodgers 6 yrs, 3 behind Farve= 1 playbook… see a pattern yet??

  22. By JR Baca in New Mexico on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Alex is going to lead our team to the next Superbowl, you wait and see Alex haters, your all going to jump on the Alex Smith bandwagon. All the Alex haters will be wearing his jersey by mid season.

    GO 49ERS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SUPERBOWL BOUND>>>>>>>>>>>>

  23. By PETERD on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Reality check: Alex is here. He will play QB. Colin willl learn. Coach will coach. The team will learn and get better. All the ranting and raving about what COULD or SHOULD be is pointless. If there had not been a lockout, who knows, but with no transactions, trades, etc. possible. the coaching staff must work with what it has. Maybe some lucky moves with whatever window exists between the end of the lockout and the start of the season, but don’t count on it.

  24. By JR Baca in New Mexico on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Wickedirish you can go find another team to cry about, we don’t care to hear your negativeness, it means nothing to us “TRUE” 49er fans. Alex Smith will start and will take our team all the way to the next Superbowl.


  25. By JD708 on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    Ryan: I see your point and I do see the pattern. Problem: If Alex Smith played better we would not have gone through so many coordinators. Coaching staffs change because they are unsuccessful. 6 OC with Alex Smith is because none of them can get him to play well enough.

    Being a 9er fan doesn’t mean you have to lose all common sense. I love my 9ers but we are not going to be good this year. The lockout screws us more then any other team in the NFL. Our team has not improved at all this offseason, in fact we are probably worst because nobody on off or def knows what the hell they are doing (no contact with coaches). This will be a process and our team will play hard. thats enough to get excited about for now.

  26. By SHORTY AVILA on Jun 16, 2011 | Reply

    damn this might be a dream come true .Niners back on the map.tTHANK GOD

  27. By chip hill on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    Attention 49er Faithful: I too have been discouraged by the play of Alex Smith< However. Right tool For the Right Job. At this point there is no telling that Colin or Alex, Hell..even the only guy under contract David Carr will fail of flourish under Harbaugh's system. Despite a growing wealth of talent on the offensive side of the ball. the handicap of a truncated off season spells only more questions than answers. Most niner faithful are quick to throw alex under the bus. Did you not notice that Alex was operating in a system that ran the ball against 8 and 9 man fronts? or that alex's injury issues may be in direct result to protection break downs all across the board? if watch and Know the game of football, you would know Alex's mistakes at Qb pale in comparison to the mistakes made by the team and coaching staff as a whole. Would Tom Brady or Payton Manning Survive in a singletary or Nolan run club? If your answer is Yes or No, then you DON"T know football because nobody knows. The 49ers have been one win away from reaching the playoffs the last two years. and this current situation looks familiar, with one glimmering hope: Maybe with little luck, we can find the Right Tool for the Right job who ever that may be.
    P.S I dont mean Andrew Luck….My Best to all the FAITHFUL,

  28. By Bret on Jun 17, 2011 | Reply

    time to get over it – Alex is the starter. JH would not have given him a playbook if he wasn’t gonna be the guy. Alex has proven over and over again that he is a good guy with great character. What is to bad is – that doesnt win football games. Yea he has got a raw deal – but, look at who he has had; Turner/Martz are just two examples of some of the best football minds out there. He was not good: Alex has lost his job to; JT/Hill/T.Smith/Dilfer. 2010 – first 4 games = 914 yards total/only 3 touchdowns/SEVEN interceptions (avg. 2/game) 66.1 rating thru first 4 weeks. Maybe it is time to look at 6 years of failure and realize Nolan made a mistake. He picked him over Rodgers because he agreed to play a game of two-square (that AR did not) this was just the egomania that MN had. The niners have made mistakes at QB picking for years – do we remeber when Bill Walsh advised the team to take Jake Plummer, they didn’t listen and took Jim Drunkenmiller (who?). The front office needs to admit they have made several mistakes and move forward. AS has a great running back. incredible tight end, a good reciever in Crabs, had a draft that addressed the Oline (not that they are great), he has been given so many opportunities to succeed and he has not. Sure the coaching has sucked, yes he got injured, yes he has had several OC, but come-on man he just doesn’t have it. How quickly we all forget watching him miss a TD throw to a wide open Norris 10 yards away, or scrambling and simply dropping the ball, or the constant staring at the outlet reciever without checking off down field. JH has put together what appears to be a great staff, he is taking a huge risk in backing AS (I don’t know why-forced due to lock out?) I want him to succeed but it’s hard at this point to see it happening – six years in the NFL no matter the circumstances is long enough to prove you have it or not. With AS it’s – or not. I’m not being a hater – just being real. I think with his intelligence and character, he will probably be a good coach someday – he is just not a player. On another note: people please stop with the Diva thing with MC. He is a priss and appears to not be very tough. But, he does not have a rep of doing bad things off the fiend or running around with an entourage. In fact if you listen to most people who know him or have interviewed him thay all say- he is very quiet and you have to really engage him to get him to talk and when he does he is nice, polite and respectful. He needs to show up to camp and play in the preseason (no question) but, he has not proved to be a diva or TO like cancer in the locker room. That is all of you buying into the media BS – he is young and needs to mature. We have been down this road before – anybody remember VD a couple years ago (now look). Give MC a chance before we throw him to far under the bus. Oh yeah, Sing has a job – so we can let that go too. And we did have him working with the best LB in football for years and we were not unstoppable.
    This team has great talent and potential – lets all hope that this new ‘dreamteam’ staff can bring it out in them. They have been thru alot as a team and I think they are ready to prove they belong in the elite of the NFL once again.
    Get a real QB, shore up the defensive backfield (go after NO), hope Aldon gets some pressure on the QB, get back to the real WC offense, have some creativity with play calling, Get a WR that has hands and can stretch the field, keep watching those old films of Bill Walsh (nice work coaches), play with some flare and have some fun out there. See it’s just that easy;)
    No matter who they put on the field, I do believe JH and staff will pick the best 11 to put out there in every situation – and I will as a fan back whatever they decide (even AS). Keep the faith and go niners. excited to see how this season unfolds.

  29. By Mike on Jun 18, 2011 | Reply

    I hope Alex starts and proves what he can do. I have faith. Im so excited about this coaching staff and team. We have the talent to be in the playoffs for sure. With this talent we have; Gore, Vernon, Crab, Willis, Spikes, etc. etc. we need to win the west. Go 9ers!

  30. By elroy on Jun 18, 2011 | Reply

    alex smith should atleast start the first 8 games of the season because collen kaepernick doesnt know the play book yet and to so who does better start kaepernick for the last 8 games that way the rookie could prove hiself as a starter in the NFL

  31. By brian on Jun 19, 2011 | Reply

    hey we have new head coach this season can’t you let him run the team no one on this wed site ever ran a team and i sure would not want to see that ever so hold on let the coach do his job because we sure would have a loosing season if you guys and gals ran the team tired of the fans acting like they know so much you don’t know crap or you would have the job

  32. By Bret on Jun 19, 2011 | Reply

    Brian – if you read the posts it looks like most people are supporting the new staff. This is a Fan Site – thus all fans are entitled to their opinon (right or wrong) I don’t think i have read any post by any fan who says they can run the team better than the staff we have in place now. Without the fans there is no football – there would be no money for these guys to argue about. We as fans support the league and our teams by purchasing merchandise, tickets, watching games, paying for the NFL ticket, etc..etc… so with that every fan is entitled to their opinon. Also every fan who lives and dies with their team every week has the right to speak up if the product they are seeing put on the field is not cutting it – or winning games. When you give your time, money and support to a team – you are allowed to have an opinon. Again without the fans there would be no money to pay these guys – no one to watch them – no NFL. So, all you fans out there speak youur minds – you earned it. And Brian i think most of us realize this is just a fun way to share your love of your team – none of us are playing and we know that – but, we as fans can have as much fun as we want sharing our opinons with other fans of the game. Try to remember it’s a game – and it brings alot of people and families together on a Sunday to enjoy the sport we all love. The posts are harmless and fun – get over yourself. You are just a fan too (who should proof read your posts) and I’m pretty sure you are no more educated about the game than the people you are trying to rip.

  33. By Juanito on Jun 20, 2011 | Reply

    Look guys, Like someone stated earlier. These are not normal circumstances. The lockout is looming and we cannot sign free agent quarter backs. What else would you have Harbaugh do. Keeping Alex at this point is our best shot for a decent season. He has a hand up on the playbook and is teaching it to his teamates. Just think, if we were to not signt Alex again and get a free agent veteran quarterback he would have to learn an entire new playbook AFTER the lockout and who knows how long that will take. I know some fans believe its time for a change but beggers cant be choosers at this point.

  34. By chittering monkey on Jun 20, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t think Singletary could come back if he even wanted to. I believe Minnesota hired him to be their linebacker’s coach.

  35. By Micah Notz on Jun 20, 2011 | Reply

    Wow lets just look at the talent on our beloved niners. Its crazy and Colin was a great pick. Someone said he was to lanky are you serious did you see Tom Brady at the combine that was lanky and look at him now. Singeltary would be a great linebacker coach but our new coach has put together an amazing staff and I predict a good year. Im not screaming superbowl but major improvement yes and each year after will get better. Keeping Alex Smith is a very good idea. Jim will work with him and bring out the number 1 talent. Let Colin sit behind him this year learn the playbook get chemistry with the team and in 2 maybe 3 years we will be in the playoffs fighting for our 6th title. Go Niners

  36. By Derek M. Herbert on Jun 21, 2011 | Reply

    I am and have been a Niners fan since when Grogan was the QB. I am tired of folks believing that if you have been in a system for any length of time, that warrants you the right to be the starter. If anything, it is clear evidence that you can’t handle the spotlight and the added pressure of being the starter. Alex had his best years at Utah period. If he was a true NFL QB, we would have seen it by now. I hate the fact that the lockout is taking away our ability to sign a good veteran QB and now we have to live with this slacker. My Niners need a REAL QB NOW!!!

  37. By Gamebreaker76 on Jun 21, 2011 | Reply

    Time with the change and don’t forget the lockout! We need to look to the future bring the niners back to the promise land and a super bowl championship. The new coach has alot on his plate and he is going to make tough choice’s. Even though they want to keep alex smith around. But I don’t agree but that’s not my choice. But hopefully the coach can pull his head out of his rear end lol. Bring the pashion back to the niners!!! Bring the glory!!! Show us why we are niners fans!!!! My self I am a fan for life!!!!

  38. By kingj on Jun 22, 2011 | Reply

    how to people call themselves 49ers fans with all the negative comments most of these fake fans cant even play football! lol at the end of the day you have to wait and see what happends

  39. By STAN 78 on Jun 24, 2011 | Reply

    Here:is a suggestion pick up Donovan McNab in free agency sign to a 2/3yr contract say adios to Alex.McNab played the west coast offence his whole career under Andy Ried he could give Kaepernick time to learn the speed and intricacies of playing in the NFL, much like the Packers did with Farve and Aaron Rogers.I also have another suggestion we get Nnamdi Asomugha from the Faiders and cut Clements high paying back loaded contact.

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