Originally posted by dj43:
Yes, coaching had a great deal to do with the success. By just not screwing anything up like Singletary did, the talent on the team was able to play. Harbaugh did bring some tricks that helped them win that first year but by year two those no longer worked. The offense became mired in the same old stew and remains there now. Harbaugh was great compared to Singletary but still has the same game and time management issues, still ultra conservative offense, etc.
Second, Harbaugh benefitted by the timing of his arrival. Vernon Davis had matured due to Singletary's handling and was ready to break out. Patrick Willis had become a star. Other key players had a reached a maturity level as well. He did little to develop much of the core of the team.
In short, all he had to do was not screw up the talent that was already here. He has done that, but the team continues to struggle on the same hurdle it did the first year he was here. It is hard to say this team has gotten better since that first year, particularly on offense. Holding serve is not a great achievement.
This is extremely cynical and completely unfair.
The 49ers came within one play of winning the Superbowl last year, and came within one play in two other years from reaching the Super Bowl. I don't care how talented a team is, there's no way you maintain that level of success without having great coaching at the top. There is an immense amount of gameplanning and preparation that takes place. It's more than just the players. To try to assert that Harbaugh as a coach is the equivalent of the cliche "game manager" quarterback is just ridiculous!
There is a reason that the success of this team skyrocketed once Harbaugh got here. We went from a losing, mediocre team to an absolute juggernaut. To try to discredit Harbaugh for that is completely unreasonable.
If the coaching was so inept, we wouldn't be fretting over bad calls at the end of the game. We'd be upset that our team was absolutely decimated and didn't stand a chance from the second the game started. Even in these title games we've lost, we've been highly competitive. That is indicative of good coaching, because deep into the playoffs you should be completely out-classed by the coaches you're facing if you don't know what you're doing.
[ Edited by theduke85 on Jan 24, 2014 at 9:31 AM ]