Seahawks Insider

49ers not content with breakout season

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 23, 2012 at 11:10 am with 8 Comments »
February 23, 2012 11:13 am
San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh at NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. (Eric Williams/TNT)

Even though San Francisco finished 13-3 in Jim Harbaugh’s first season with the 49ers, winning the NFC West, advancing to the NFC championship game and finishing with a winning record for the first time since 2002, the head coach believes his team can make a significant jump from year one to year two.

“I’ve always felt like the most improvement you can make is from year one to year two,” Harbaugh said. “It’s like a college freshman, who the most improvement he can make in an entire career of college football is from his freshman year to his sophomore year. Or like a pro football player, going from his rookie season to his second season.

“There’s a window there that will never come again, that you have a chance to make your biggest strides.”

Similar to Harbaugh, San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said his team isn’t resting on it laurels.

“Last year’s success doesn’t mean anything moving forward,” Baalke said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. I feel very good about the systems that we have in place, and the coaching staff now having a full offseason to really work with these guys, and to take the systems and the schemes to a new level, and the understanding of those schemes to a new level.

“But there’s a lot of work to do. The locker room isn’t going to be the same. There are going to be new faces. Guys are going to have to come together. Every year you’re trying to bring in that group of guys that can come together the way last year’s group did. And there’s no guarantees. But we’re going to work very hard at it.

“We’re going to the same thing we’ve done in the past, the same thing we ask our players to do – come to work every day with the mindset of getting better.”

The Niners have several soon-to-be free agents to address, including quarterback Alex Smith, cornerback Carlos Rogers, receiver Josh Morgan and safety Dashon Goldson.

Harbaugh left little down he wants Smith back.

“Alex is our guy,” Harbaugh said. “That’s well-documented. He had a tremendous season. Definitely as a coach you worry about a lot of things. And when your quarterback is not signed and is a free agent,that leads to some lost sleep.”

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Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Dukeshire says:

    It’s hard to imagine they’d tag Smith, but if he’s really their guy, and they can’t come to an agreement, they almost have to. They then run the risk of losing one of their very best players: Goldson. They’ve got some work to do.

  2. I hope they use the Tag on Smith, it would be a waste of a tag and giving Smith average of top 5 QB money is laughable. I have a buddy in the bay area and the census down there is to win the superbowl means improving the QB position to a game changer not a game manager. SF can’t rely on their defense to be as good again, they were one of the least injury teams last year.

  3. RDPoulsbo says:

    Goldson and Rogers seem to be more likely tag candidates. While I think the 49ers are pretty much stuck trying to keep him, Smith isn’t going to get much interest as he may think he’ll get on the market. The long history of mediocrity playing for one OC after another is well documented. That’s not a lot to hang your hat on trying to find another OC to work under after finally striking gold by playing in a system that stresses ball security. I sure hope they sign Smith before free agency starts because the 49ers will probably be able to sign him for a lower price if he does test the market.

  4. Wish list for the coming season:

    !. Hawks advancing in playoffs

    2. Never seeing Harbaugh smile

  5. Roughly similar teams, it is going to be an interesting rivalry for a few more years.

  6. Barf. Good coach. I still hate him.

  7. Southendzone says:

    Of all the teams out there, SF should be pulling out all the stops to land Manning. If he’s healthy he puts as a top 3 contender for SB next year.

    You can’t look at last year’s results and say Smith got them there. Their new coach and defense got them there and Smith was along for the ride. Probably half the QBs in the league could have done that for them (including our own TJ!).

    Hate to say it but SF has a good window to get it done here and they should go all out to do it.

  8. Harbaugh makes me sick. Didn’t like him as a player either!

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