My beef with Jim Harbaugh and his insufferable crew that runs around this board is well known, but I believe last night's game validated much of my opinions about his ability to coach.
Most of his proponents have conceded he is not schematically savvy, and have instead hung their worship on the premise that he prepares and motivates his team exceptionally well and that is why he is an elite coach.
Except he was woefully unprepared for the biggest game of his entire life. Not just unprepared, but he failed to properly utilize the myriad number of advantages in talent at his disposal, especially at the most crucial point in the entire game! Let me count the ways he showed his poor coaching:
1) On the 49ers opening drive, Terrell Suggs was positioned right outside the left tackle, reading Kaepernick's calls and audibles and relaying them to the other linebackers. The Ravens were fully aware of the run gaps to attack before the plays were even executed.
2) Penalties repeatedly gave the Ravens second chances and destroyed the 49ers momentum on the few pre-outage occasions they were able to gain any ground.This is a direct rebuke to preparedness and coaching.
3) The challenge of the first down call was ludicrous at that juncture of the game. Jim risked a timeout he would sorely need while down by 22 over a half yard on a second down call. Even though he won the challenge the ravens converted the third down anyways.
4) There is no point in running a read option if the quarterback does not keep the ball at some point. Kaepernick had one designed run the entire game, and it was one he audibled to. Against a linebacking corps that simply was not fast enough to chase Kaepernick, the 49ers refused to call designed plays for their best offensive weapon! The vast majority of the ground yardage he gained during the comeback was from scrambles!
5) The second half kickoff TD was a prime example of being completely unprepared, as the 49ers special teams assumed Jones would sit on a line drive kick and let him run it right up the middle for the touchdown. This is in spite of the longstanding adage that teams try to get a jolt from their opening second half plays in the Super Bowl (e.g. Sean Payton's onside kick.)
6) With time of the essence the 49ers still indulged Kaepernick's stupid habit of running the clock down and audibling to his second play almost every snap, directly resulting in them losing two precious timeouts. Say what you want about Kaepernick's physical skills but he has a lot to learn about running an offense.
7) Honestly, if the 49ers had been able to pull this game out it would have always carried an asterisk in my mind. They were given a full free hour to alter their gameplan by the mysteriously timed power outage. Let it be known that the 49ers gametime adjustments, such as they were, were gifted an extraordinary advantage.
8) Much of the "comeback" as it were was spearheaded by the Ravens as it was by anything the 49ers did. The Crabtree touchdown was caused by two Ravens defenders knocking each other off the tackle, Ray Rice coughed up a fumble that led to a field goal, and once Ngata went down the Ravens couldn't get the same pressure up the middle they needed to affect Kaepernick and hold down Gore's runs up the middle.
9) At the goal line, with the Super Bowl hanging in the balance, the 49ers called three pass plays to Michael Crabtree in a row. With one of the game's closest analogues to Cam Newton available to them. And one of the game's best offensive lines. And a winded, slow and old Ravens linebacking corps that had been giving up chunks of yardage repeatedly to Kaepernick. Say what you want about Rivera but when we're at the goal line Cam Newton is going to score that touchdown every goddamn time, and Ron has no qualms with putting it in his best player's hands when the situation calls for it.
10) The 49ers were completely unprepared for the Ravens intentional safety call. Embarrassingly unprepared. And Jim Harbaugh showed his ignorance after the game by complaining about the lack of a holding call. . .which would have resulted in a safety. You don't blow a play dead because of a holding penalty, and the Ravens would have kicked off from the 20 no matter what, so screaming about no flag is entirely irrelevant. You were caught with your pants down, Jim.
Finally, Jim's lack of grace and infantile outbursts were in full display after the game.
His response to his brother telling him he loved him?
Regarding the correct no-call of holding on the last play (both players were involved in contact, and the ball was uncatchable, Mike Peirera agrees, and view this breakdown to be certain: http://imgur.com/a/SGoSi#0)
"I really want to handle this with class, but there is no question in my mind that there was a pass interference and a hold on Crabtree on the last one."
Which is it? Pass interference, or holding? And no, Jim, there wasn't. And why are you wanting the refs to bail you out for PASSING THREE TIMES IN A ROW WHEN YOU HAVE KAEPERNICK 5 YARDS FROM PAYDIRT?!?!?!
Now, before people break out the "he just lost the Super Bowl, cut him some slack" excuse, why not see how a great coach handles this kind of disappointment: http://www.steelers....be-a31b58965ddc
Finally, let me make something EXPLICITLY CLEAR to some of you: it's not Harbaugh that I really detest, it's those of you who constantly praise him and slam Rivera, Jerry Richardson, and the Panthers organization with zero insight into how our team has far fewer advantages than what Harbaugh has enjoyed to this point, and yet you idiots expect the same results. But I'm sure some of you Harbaugh lovers will spin his woeful unpreparedness, pathological lies, and jackassedness into some sort of glowing review anyways.
If you're going to defend Harbaugh, someone give me one good reason they didn't use Kaepernick once at the goal line. Anyone?
Well guess what: I'm right, you're wrong, and I'll see you all at the draft.
You can point to any game and see be able to pick 10 negative moments or plays out of 160 or three hours of the game. The fact is they have made it to two NFC championships and one Super Bowl and came within 5 yards of winning it. Losing the SB doesn't take away from that accomplishment. Nor suddley not make him a great coach.