Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Do 49ers need Harbaugh to loosen up?
By Tom Carpenter
A head coach is in a unique position in affecting the performance of his team, because he not only is responsible for the X's and O's and how the team prepares for a game, but his general attitude and vibe should permeate throughout the team. With that in mind, there have been debates for decades about whether a coach is strict enough or too strict with his players and, in turn, how that affects their on-field performance. Glenn Dickey wrote in the San Francisco Examiner Tuesday that he believes Jim Harbaugh must learn to loosen up if he wants his team to win the big game.
"[I]n the most recent Super Bowl, it was the 49ers’ coach who was uptight," he wrote. "The older Harbaugh was much more relaxed. As a result, the Ravens came out on an emotional high, while the 49ers were tight and unfocused for the first half, just as they had been for the NFC Championship Game. I understand that Jim Harbaugh is ubercompetitive, but no more so than his brother — or Walsh in the ’80s. He’s never going to win the biggest game if he keeps transmitting his uptight personality to his team."
Of course, it was Harbaugh's intense and competitive attitude that helped turn the franchise around so quickly after his arrival prior to the 2011 campaign, so perhaps beggars can't be choosers, as they say. On the other hand, if Harbaugh believes that loosening up a bit will help his team perform better, it's safe to assume his desire to win will lead him to change how he handles things.