hawknation2014 wrote:Dennis Erickson is a terrible coach . . . very similar to Sarkisian who I wish had been fired after his third year. He road Jimmy Johnson's coattails, much like Sarkisian did at SC under Carroll, and has been trash ever since while running programs into the ground.
The 49ers had FIVE Pro Bowlers in 2010 ( Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Justin Smith, Andy Lee, and Patrick Willis) and they continued to accrue high draft picks. Some of their talent was not recognized because of the horrible coaching, but it was already there when Harbaugh arrived, including the most talented collection of linebackers ever assembled on one team and a number of top offensive linemen.
Erickson was a very good college coach at Idaho, Miami, and OSU. Not as much in the NFL, though I was bummed when the Seahawks fired him, he had the team going in the right direction, albeit slowly. At SF he was a fall guy for a collapsing team.
SF had talent when Harbaugh took over, it wasn't anything like the mess Carroll got.
But he still added even more pro-bowlers and developed some elite players. Smith was one of the biggest and most damaging draft bust QBs of all time, and Harbaugh turned him into an efficient winner instantly. Would Kaepernick be starting in the NFL had he been drafted by most other teams? I doubt it. Before Harbaugh, the offensive line was not well regarded and had not earned a pro-bowler nod in some time. Staley was drafted in 2007, and made his first pro-bowl in 2011. Overnight, Harbaugh got elite production out of his run blocking and front seven play. And it happened because of how he schemes and coaches his players, not because he inherited a bunch of super-badasses that didn't really feel like trying under Singletary.
Per football outsiders, the NFC West has most of the worst division seasons in league history. For a while, the NFC West would own the record, and then break it the next year, this happened a few years in a row, while the Seahawks and Cardinals ruled the division. Even in the easiest division ever, the 49ers could not put together a winning season. The 49ers had a lot of high picks and a lot of good players, but put an average coach on that team in 2011 and I don't think they break through because so much of what made SF better related directly to how Harbaugh manages his OL, front seven, and QBs. The idea that Harbaugh inherited a SB team is mostly a myth that you rarely hear outside of our fanbase.
Don't really get why you had to bash Sark. I mean, he jumped ship for USC. Screw that guy. But in terms of his performance, he inherited one of the very worst teams in Pac-12 history and got them into the top ten nationally for yardage and scoring differentials in five years. I like Petersen, but I think it will be a while before he surpasses the 9 wins Sark had last year, despite inheriting a very nice defense and an offense with some good pieces.
Regarding Harbaugh at Stanford, you can't judge a college coach until he gets a few years in to get his guys. It's not like the NFL where you can turn over a roster in a couple years. By the time Harbaugh had his guys at Stanford, they were one of the best teams in the nation. Stanford was one of the Pac-12's worst teams when he got there. After he left, the team remained a powerhouse when given to his successor, Shaw. In the case of both Stanford and SF, both rose to prominence because of a dramatic improvement on the offensive and defensive lines. When it comes to building a team from the inside out, Harbaugh is one of the best in the business.