Why I Won’t Miss Jim Harbaugh

Just saw on the ESPN crawl that Jim Harbaugh is ‘torn’ about accepting the Michigan job. His friends and family are encouraging him to take it, but he says he’s curious about what is around in the NFL.  In other words, Jimbo is looking for more money. He’s going to play coy and see who writes the biggest check. I still think it’s going to be Michigan after all is said and done.

Frankly, I’m glad. Yeah, this regime of ineptitude could very hire another shitty coach and we go into the toilet again for 4 years, but I don’t see this team as it is currently constituted doing well if everything stays in place. Not that it could even come to pass, but Harbaugh has a habit of doing exactly what he’s doing here and that’s pissing off everyone around him. Not that this is a determining factor to keep a coach, but Harbaugh was handed the keys to a very talented but underachieving team. He basically rode the team by time and again leaning on the defense to make stops and keep the scores low.

For Harbaugh supposedly being an offensive coach, this was curious to me. There’s trying to be smashmouth and there’s constantly leaving points on the field. Whether Smith or Kaepernick was the QB, the offense was a lot like the previous offense. A whole lot of Gore and a whole lot of keeping the scores down. The offensive problems plaguing this team from day one of the Harbaugh era remain. No sense of urgency in getting plays off quickly, using up all of the play clock and more, red zone inefficiencies, and the inexplicable inability to make any kind of offensive adjustments on the fly.

This season it became insanely apparent as the 49ers were able to score pretty well in the first halfs of games, scoring an average of 13 points in the first half, and sucking down to an average of 5 points in the 2nd half of their games this season. This leads me to believe these coaches can game plan during the week pretty well, but when teams adjust things at the half, the 49ers don’t counter the changes they face, and end up fading as the defense ends up playing too much in the end. The 3 wins over NO, NYG, and Washington all followed this path, and the losses to Chi, AZ, Seattle, StL, and Oakland followed this deal.  Early leads given up in the 2nd half.

The defense has been able to keep these games close over the years, but not this year. This year’s offense seemed bound and determined to abandon the run completely, and the results are pretty obvious to see.  No continuity, massive substitutions and motion, all destined to use up play clock and stow down the offense. The same inane pass plays. Outs and fades. Nothing over the middle anymore. No screens, no slants, nothing to slow down the relentless pressure Kaepernick faced. To the tune of the most sacks in the league.

The game tomorrow? All I can hope for is no injuries as we play out the string.

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.500 or Bust ! ! ! !

The battle cry now is to not have a losing record. 9-7 is likely out, so 8-8 appears to be the goal. Problem is, both San Diego and AZ are playing for something, and we aren’t. So we’ll end up 7-9.

Might as well get the draft position at this point. Likely 13-16 is where we’ll end up. Near as I can tell at this point we have 9 draft picks coming up, so we can certainly help ourselves out.

Problem is, we likely have a lot of coaches who will be leaving. Baalke hasn’t shown a knack for drafting WRs, or even developing them. This may be an issue with the offense we currently run, but who knows? This team faced 5 years worth of line injuries and 10 years of front office bullshit. And that was before the season started.

Weird to be on the outside looking in, but hey, had we given Harbaugh his extension before the season started, we’d be tied to this crap-ass offense for another 5 years.  I have more faith in Kaepernick getting better with a different offense than I do this offense getting better with the current cash of characters.

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The beginning of the end?

And so it goes. I guess the Harbugh era ends not with a bang, but a whimper. I’m sure these guys will play hard for their last couple games, but we are injured, depleted, and out of sorts across the board. Questions abou d in every aspect of the team from Jed to the grounds crew. About the only thing to play for is to stop the losing streak, which is at 3. Another first for the Harbaugh era.  not sure what they have up their sleeves, but I highly doubt that Harbugh gets a deal after this season of everyone’s discontent.

lots of name are being floated out as possible successors but I’m sure they won’t go with any of them.  The oisser to me is we shouldn’t have to go through another regime change. All that needs to happen is for Harbaugh to get an OC whose passing game isn’t rooted in the 1970s. He seems determined to stick with his guns regarding GRoman. In my head, that’s worth his ticket out of here.  I know there’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s good enough for me. Then you have Baalke saying he doesn’t notice any problems with the offense. Right.  We’ll listen to what you say after Iimbo. Leaves he building. I’m sure the story will be different come that day.

I ain’t happy about this, but I don’t see any other way out.

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The Crossroads

Was Robert Johnson really selling his soul to the devil for fleeting fame and fortune at the crossroads of Highways 61 and 49, or was he just trying to get the hell of of Mississippi? I ask this question, because this pattern of instant success and then lingering animosity seems to be following Jim Harbaugh around like a tick hound after a convict.

He revived two college programs and the Niners through the force of his insatiable will and drive, yet has left people angry and confused with his balls to the wall 24/7 approach. This includes the front offices of the colleges, and especially 4949 Centennial Blvd. Abrasive, caustic, dismissive, arrogant are the terms usually used about Harbaugh. The success is fine, but is it worth the cost? Some say sure, as long as the big prize is won. The problem is, Jimbo has not hit the jackpot. Yes, he won the Orange Bowl in 2010. His biggest win as a head coach, Yet his 3 playoff losses have been marked by bad breaks, a few gut wrenching fumbles, some terrible officiating, and a very mistimed timeout which apparently changed the last 3 pays of the 2012 season.

So, what’s the plan going forward? This week was one of a lot of damage control. The Niners reached their nadir in PR relations after the Raider loss, and who could really blame them?  A team that had given up 52 points to the lowly Rams (and scored ZERO) suddenly looked like the monsters of the midway. Kaepernick was terse with the media, Harbaugh was his usual prickly self, and all the talk circled around the new head coach and where Harbaugh would land. There’s even talk the trade with the Raiders would happen after this upcoming game. And how weird would it be for the Raiders to trade for the guy they just beat?

All the talk is of a massacre not seen since the likes of Custer and Little Bighorn. I’m sure this next loss will come to pass, but I think this team has actually helped itself with some actual communication going on. If Harbaugh has any pull left with these players, this is their last stand. Win, and their flickering playoff hopes are still alive. Lose, and they are staring at a possible 0-5 run to close out the Harbaugh era, and a 7-9 record.

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Clueless in Seattle

Here we are at the game many circled to be the biggest one of the season instead looks to be one I just may have to turn off by half time. The team could not be more ripe for an absolute ass kicking than right now. The owner is actively undermining the head coach. The head coach is lying through his teeth while the team just crumbles around them. The new stadium is a corporate nightmare of little excitement and people networking in the through half time and most of the 3rd quarter.

Frankly, I think we have about a 2% chance of winning this game. I don’t see any way that the Niners can pull out of this tailspin. There are just way too many things stacked against them. Least of all the fact that Seattle is getting healthy and is establishing themselves as the best team in the league. If we can get shut down by the Raiders, what do we look to get against the Seattle.  They are in hyper-kill mode here. Carroll has a bunch of crow waiting for ol’ Jimbo. I think he’ll be eating a lot of it.

 

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A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In yet another epic fail in a season rapidly filling up with fails, the 49ers laid a stinking turd in their own back yard by losing in miserable fashion to the lowly Oakland Raiders. Who would think that the Raiders, winners of 2 of their last 3 games, would completely dominate the now docile Niners? Losers of 2 out of their last 3.

It it had the feeling of doom when Kaepernick threw his first pass for a pick. It stayed through most of the game as the Niner offense sputtered and stalled time and time again. The difference today was our vaunted defense was toasted repeatedly with passes over the middle to their TEs. Something Seattle showed and we didn’t correct.

Other than that, the Niners had one nice drive and took the rest of the day off.  The missed FG just was the diarrhea icing on the shit cake. I’m completely at a loss to figure out what the problem is, so I blame everyone. From Jed on down. I still blink Kaepernick can return to his former self. Harbaugh has worn out his welcome.

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Meanwhile, back on the field . . .

For a team that’s 1-11, you’d think the Raiders would be the team with all the turmoil surrounding it. Well, not this year. The 7-5 Niners are still in the playoff race, needing a little help from whoever plays Seattle, Dallas, or Detroit. Seattle looks to have a battle on their hands, facing a strong 9-3 Philly team in their house, something Seattle struggles with at times. They seem to be getting healthyed up at the right time, though.

So I think our best shot is to hope for Dallas and Deetroit to fade down the stretch. Something very common for the inglorious bastard Tony Romo. Mr. October may just yet blow another playoff shot as they play Philly, Indy, and Washington. Detroit? Well, they look like a shoo-in with TB, Minn, and Chicago on their feastables, and GB to close it out.

The Niners? well, they need to take care of the Raiders, and then win in Seattle. If either of these don’t happen, well, it’s sure looking like the coaching staff will be a different one next year. So, their chances at this point are slim and none, and slim just hit the road.

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