My letter to Coach Jim Harbaugh

Dear Coach Harbaugh,

Congratulations on your promotion to head coach an NFL team. You made the Cardinals of Stanford proud to be a competing team, and I know the greater San Francisco bay area is thankful to have you.

I realize that your plan is for your new 49er offense to study and learn a few plays every week. I heard that number is 5, and every week the offense would learn 5 new plays to incorporate into the offensive scheme you set aside. However, as a devoted fan that cowers under my blankets when I watch my red & gold in action on Sundays, I cringe at the redundancy of the playcalling. Could we not utilize Alex Smith’s arm strength, Vernon Davis’ playmaking ability, or some more out-of-the-box run calling styles? Are you deathly afraid that Smith will make another blunder that will tarnish your reputation as a quarterback coach and decision to keep him in San Francisco for one more year? Is it too impossible to learn a 6th page of your playbook, one that’s labeled “20 yard plays” and have the offense learn one or two? 

My real concern is that the 49ers are becoming overly predictable. Run for 3 yards, pass for 2 yards, run for 2 yards, punt. While this keeps Alex Smith “safe” from interceptions and horribly missed passes, it also keeps your team “safe” from winning football games, and ultimately your NFL debut entering the playoffs.

I applaud your defense’s first-half performances, defeating both the Seahawks and the Cowboys before halftime. However, their ability to contain both offenses in the second half is greatly lacking. While it was the luck and speed of Ted Ginn to save you in week one, you let Miles Austin run all over you in week 2. Even a broken-ribbed Tony Romo made your second-half defense look bad.

Please think about this in your next two weeks of practice:

  • More aggressive playcalling, not being afraid to take that 20-30 yard passing play
  • Get Kendall Hunter involved in the rushing game, and start going to the outside instead of short gains through the middle
  • Rotate your defense, or make sure a safety is in the secondary, to limit those big plays against your team in the 4th quarter
  • Hire Joe Montana as an offensive coach (optional =p)
Signed, 49er Faithful,
~ Jason

Author: Jason Zajdel

Learning as I go along. It's an awesome ride. =-)

2 thoughts on “My letter to Coach Jim Harbaugh”

  1. There are several things that I did like mainly that we were able to get into the end zone I believe that was the major focal point of last weeks practice.

  2. Question though would you not agree that what we saw this week was better than last week. Ignoring that we lost. The problem with rushing into a west coast offense and forcing players to learn to many plays to quickly is that it is a timing based offense. The ball is often thrown prior to the route being established. When that happens you see interceptions like the one Alex threw this weekend.