Friday, January 7, 2011
Highlights from Harbaugh news conference
By Mike Sando
Thoughts and highlights from the San Francisco 49ers' news conference to introduce Jim Harbaugh as head coach:
- General manager Trent Baalke and Harbaugh both said Baalke would have final say on personnel decisions, including oversight of the 53-man roster. Former coach Mike Singletary had control over the 53-man roster coming out of training camp.
- Harbaugh was the dominant personality in the room, far and away. The head coach should be the face of the franchise and that will certainly be the case with Harbaugh. Baalke, like former GM Scot McCloughan, is most comfortable in the background. He's a scout, not a commencement speaker. For example, Baalke used the phrase "without further to-do" when introducing Harbaugh.
- Harbaugh said he plans to install a version of the West Coast offense very similar to what he ran at Stanford. Those three words -- West Coast offense -- resonate with York and 49ers fans.
- Harbaugh repeatedly used the phrase "with great humility" in describing himself. He said he's looking forward to the "level playing field" the NFL offers. He spoke of wanting to compete at the highest level.
- Harbaugh said he's looking forward to coaching against his brother, John, when the 49ers face the Baltimore Ravens.
- Harbaugh didn't flinch when asked about past failures by coaches making the transition from college to the NFL. "I hope to be very underestimated," he said, citing the "wonderful competitive advantage" that goes along with it.
- Harbaugh seems to have star quality. He'll need to have the right people around him. He appears in position to surround himself with an NFL-quality staff. He'll need help from his front office in handling day-to-day NFL business. Do the 49ers have the right people in those places? Harbaugh will find out. Baalke said the team would make some changes to its personnel department, including an addition to the staff "at some point" along with "some movement."
All for now. Big day for the 49ers and the NFC West.