It’s been almost six days and Aldon Smith has not been arrested, stabbed, sued, blackmailed, or injured while hang gliding. Way to go, big guy! Only 21 more days on your own that you can screw up before falling under the watchful eyes of the 49er coaching staff once again.
Jim Harbaugh certainly made an impression his first year in the NFL. The rookie bossman not only was voted Coach of the Year, but many people in the league would have voted him Jerk of the Year, too, if an actual award existed. Some of these sentiments are undoubtedly stalk envy, but clearly tact and graciousness are of little concern to Harbaugh.
Of greater concern, to the other coaches in the league, is the possibility that Harbaugh can take his’n beat yourn and take yourn and beat his’n.
All eyes will be on Jim in his second year. Rival coaches are hoping last year was more blind luck than skill, with Harbaugh being in the right place at the right time to ride the coattails of a team ready to bust out. 49er fans are hoping both the team and its coach are ready to take the league by storm.
Should the latter fantasy prove true, or close to true, the 49ers will not be a team any other team wants to see on its schedule. They’ll have the ability to not only beat you, but to embarrass you. Last I looked, the only HC that sent bouquets to another coach for giving him the red ass/red face doubleton was Mike Singletary. The team rolled its eyes and promptly shanked out a 6-10 season.
Pete Carroll was the recipient of Singletary’s gratitude after that opening day butt kicking Seattle laid on the 49ers in 2010. In 2011, Pete went 0-2 against Harbaugh and probably wishes his team had fumbled that 2010 game, skipped the playoffs, and kept Singletary employed for another year or two in San Francisco. If Carroll goes goose eggs against Harbaugh this year, the ugly word nemesis will creep into the vocabulary of the Seattle blogosphere.
Another coach looking to redeem his image versus Harbaugh will bring his Detroit team to Candlestick on the second weekend in 2011 — Jim Schwartz. Schwartz really was voted Jerk of the Year recently by a national publication that escapes my memory. Harbaugh was runner up in this vote.
The order of presidence was reversed last year, as Harbaugh’s boys defeated Schwartz’s. After the game is when the fun began, as Harbaugh’s handshake ragdolled Schwartz, sending him into a frenzy of undignified indignity. Schwartz would love to get even this year, but if his Lions get steamrolled in game two, there’ll be two coaches battling the nemesis label.
This could be fun, guys. How many coaches can Harbaugh infuriate? Will it approach the number accumulated by Bill Belichick? Are we really looking at the Next Great Coach in the NFL? Or will Harbaugh plunge to earth in his sophomore season?