San Francisco 49ers: Jack Harbaugh

Nothing breaks up the monotony of training camp like a Harbaugh hoedown.

As expected, the Baltimore Ravens announced they will host the San Francisco 49ers for some scrimmages during training camp. The workouts between the former Super Bowl opponents appeared likely once the NFL announced earlier this month that the 49ers would open the preseason at Baltimore Aug. 7.

It is the first time the 49ers are playing on the East Coast in the preseason in nearly 20 years. The Harbaugh brothers -- John coaches the Ravens and Jim coaches the 49ers -- are going to take advantage of the long trip for the 49ers to get some extra competition time in.

NFL teams often do this in the offseason. This scenario is a bit different because the practices will be held after the game. John Harbaugh told reporters the two teams will practice at Baltimore’s M&T Stadium on Aug. 8. They will work at the Ravens’ practice facility for the next three days. The 49ers then host Denver the following weekend in their first game at Levi’s Stadium.

“We felt like the first two weeks, we needed to do our install process and all that kind of stuff and it would be better after the game,” John Harbaugh said. “It’s just going to be fantastic. I can’t wait to do it.”

In Harbaugh style, expect it to be a full family affair, including an appearance by the coaches' 74-year-old father, Jack.

“Dad is going to be out there,” John Harbaugh said. “He’s going to be the unofficial official. He’s going to be in charge of breaking up all fights. If we start rolling around on the field, Dad is going to have to jump in, I guess."

Just like old times.

Justin Smith leading defense

December, 4, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers defense has been playing at a high level most of the season. It's been dominant the past two weeks and they team has gotten back on the winning track.

A key to the high level of play has been venerable defensive lineman Justin Smith. 49ers' coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday that Smith got a game ball for his efforts against the St. Louis Rams just like he did the previous week against the Washington Redskins.

“It was just his usual good performance,” Harbaugh said of the 34-year-old Smith. “Probably in on nine, 10 tackles, four hurries. Excellent job in the run stopping. He’s playing very good football.”

In other 49ers’ notes:

Most opposing coaches are not sad to be making their final trip to Candlestick Park. It closes after this season. However, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he "loves it." Carroll, a former 49ers’ assistant, is a San Francisco native. He said he used to go to Candlestick Park early before Giants' baseball games as a youth to see Willie Mays warm up.

Harbaugh's high school coach, at nearby Palo Alto High, spent time visiting with Harbaugh and his father Jack prior to practice Wednesday.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Do you think it made Jim Harbaugh nervous to see his franchise tight end hurdle a St. Louis defender not once, but twice Sunday? Perhaps he will instruct Vernon Davis to stay grounded in the future?

Nah. Harbaugh is not one to get in the way of athletic freakiness.

“Did you tell Michael Jordan not to take off from the free-throw line?” Harbaugh said Monday. “I doubt Phil Jackson (Jordan’s coach in Chicago) ever had that conversation. These guys are pro football players. They do what they do. In some cases, they do only what they can do. It’s why we love watching them compete on Sundays.”

Excellent point, coach.

In other 49ers’ notes:

Harbaugh said Monday the film showed star receiver Michael Crabtree played well Sunday in his 2013 debut. He has been out since May with a torn Achilles.

“I thought he did a very good job,” Harbaugh said of Crabtree. “I think he was really into the game, wanted the ball and he got it and made some things happen. So, the big play the big conversion on third down. Did a lot of good things. Competed.”

Harbaugh jokes his father, Jack Harbaugh, gave him grief that the 49ers didn’t run the ball enough at the end of the 23-13 win over the Rams. “I get it from my dad, too,” Harbaugh said.