Originally posted by outside4949:
Harbaugh has to be the best evaluator of qb talent in the nation. At certain times in his career he has chosen luck smith and kap. The fact that these qbs have success after harbaugh says a lot. I wonder if we could parlay this skill into draft picks? What would other teams give for harbaughs qb advice? a second round pick maybe?
WAY over-stated IMO.
Andrew Luck was the top-rated high school QB in the nation. He chose Stanford for academics as well as for football. He wanted a top-notch education as well as football. IIRC, he earned two degrees in his time there. Stanford, at the urging of alumni, had demanded the university renew emphasis on football to attract the many very bright students who are also very good athletes rather than allowing them to go all over the nation to schools that do not have such an outstanding academic appeal. School admin responded and top scholar/athletes in turn have come to Stanford. Harbaugh, though admittedly having some reputation as a former player, was fortunate to be in charge when Luck came out of HS. I would argue that Luck, whose father was also an NFL QB, was pretty well polished when he arrived at Stanford. He played well in Harbaugh's power running scheme and continued under David Shaw. While he certainly learned more about playing the game, he played very well right from the start. It is worth noting that he also improved under Bruce Arians last year.
Alex Smith began to show markedly better QB play when Mike Johnson replaced Jimmy Raye. Harbaugh, to his credit, recognized that Smith was by far the best option available to the 49ers so he kept him, and Smith responded by taking the team to the NFCCG. Now, Smith, playing in Reid's WCO, a system much different than Harbaugh's power run-based game, just put up his best season capped by a spectacular playoff performance. Though a lot of East Coast writers like to give Harbaugh all the credit, a closer examination shows Harbaugh did not do all that much.
Now we come to Kaepernick and I, among others, believe that if Harbaugh was The Great Quarterback Whisperer Colin Kaepernick would be a much more polished game manager and all-around QB if Harbaugh was really that great. Kaepernick still appears to be getting by on superior athletic ability rather than learned skills and game management ability.
In the meantime, we can look at Josh Johnson, who many point to as some great Harbaugh prodigy, who can't even get a backup job in the NFL.
Sorry. I obviously disagree that Harbaugh is something great in talent evaluation. He may be good but he isn't great. Until I see Colin Kaepernick consistently performing at an elite level, I will not be a huge believer in Harbaugh as The Great Quarterback Whisperer. CK still needs a lot of work. He has been here three years now and his touch still lacks quality. He still has flaws in his footwork. I'll just stop there for now.