Saturday, August 13, 2011

San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh Is A Head Coach, Not A Miracle Worker

Win or lose in the NFL preseason, the best thing to do is forget about the game. Luckily for the San Francisco 49ers, it will not be hard to forget about their loss to the New Orleans Saints on Friday night.

It is true that fans must immediately put the preseason out of their minds once the regular season begins. Last year, the 49ers went 4-0 during the preseason, then proceeded to lose their first five games of the regular season.

The preseason simply does not matter -- success or failure.

However, as new head coach Jim Harbaugh paced the sidelines on Friday night, you could not help but think that this was the beginning of a new era in 49ers football.

However, let's not jump the gun too quickly.

Harbaugh is good -- really good. He proved that at the University of San Diego and again at Stanford University. But the NFL is a different beast, and in order for a team to have success, there needs to be equal parts mastermind coaching and equal parts talented players.

The 49ers only have the mastermind coach, and even that is a stretch after the 24-3 loss to the Saints in Week 1 of the preseason.

The most disturbing part of the dismantling in New Orleans was the fact that the 49ers did not score a touchdown.

What was more disturbing was that San Francisco's first-string offense could not score against the Saints' second-string defense. Even worse, the 49ers' first-string defense could not stop the Saints' second-string offense.

It was only preseason, and I expect Alex Smith and the 49ers to be much-improved in their next game, but that game may stick in the minds of some for awhile.

However, if anyone can turn this team around, it is Harbaugh.

Evidently, he did not get the memo that the Saints were going to throw relentless blitzes and powerhouse running backs at them in Week 1 of the preseason. Even I was watching the game thinking that there was a hand-shake agreement in place in Week 1 where there was going to be little to no blitzes to secure the safety of the players.

I guess not.

It is a definite low for the 49ers because we expected so much more out of a seemingly revamped team with a seemingly revamped mind-set heading into this season.

What we got was much of the same we have been experiencing for almost a decade now.

Again, preseason does not matter and the safest thing to do is to put it out of the mind and forget it ever happened -- win or lose.

You will not have to tell that to 49er fans, though. They are used to forgetting games, since they have been trying to do it since 2002, the last time the 49ers made the playoffs.

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