Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Dressed for success: Harbaugh's formula

By Mike Sando

PHOENIX -- The old Jim Harbaugh was back Wednesday and recognizable in his trademark khaki pants and black sweatshirt.

The new Jim Harbaugh was recently retired.

"I tried to wear jeans and a polo shirt, and it didn't work," a relaxed and affable Harbaugh said Wednesday from the NFL owners meeting. "So, now I'm back to the khakis and black shirt. I tried it the other way. I tried the new way. It didn't work. I wasn't comfortable."

Why mess with a good thing?

"Mainly wife-driven," Harbaugh said. "[She was] tired of me wearing the same thing."

It must be easy to pack, a reporter pointed out. Harbaugh laughed as though he appreciated the support.

"There are so many benefits," he said.

Harbaugh addressed more than wardrobe combinations during the NFC head coaches' media breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore. He also shared what he considers to be two formulas for winning championships, borrowed from his defensive coordinator.

"Vic Fangio has this philosophy which I really think nails it," Harbaugh said. "You want a great defense and a good quarterback, or a great quarterback and a good defense and a kicker that can make field goals. You really need those three things to win championships."

And the 49ers have ... what?

"We've got all those things," Harbaugh said.

The coach's quick delivery invited laughter from others at the table. Harbaugh then turned more serious.

"I really feel good about that formula," Harbaugh said. "We're covered, I think."

The 49ers recently signed kicker Phil Dawson, coming off two outstanding seasons in Cleveland. They have quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been better in Total QBR through his first 10 starts than any quarterback over the past five years. They have a defense that has been formidable over most of the past two seasons.

A reporter started to ask another question when Harbaugh seemed to sense Fredrick P. Soft sidling up to the table. Soft is the fictitious character Harbaugh warned against in 2011, the one eager to soften up a football team by telling players how good they are.

"And it's early," Harbaugh said, interrupting the reporter. "What do you have? You gotta remember, this is all going to be a totally new thing when you start up again. It is every season. Nothing is taken for granted."

Nothing is taken for granted except for those khakis and the black sweatshirt. They're here to stay.