Praise was wide-spread from 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh – it was for good reason.
A day after his team improved to 2-0 with a 27-19 win over the Detroit Lions, San Francisco’s head coach listed off all the positive performances in a hard-fought victory.
“Definitely thought it was an outstanding game,” Harbaugh said. “I go back to the way the guys played, the toughness.”
Harbaugh also stressed how impressed he was with the team’s wide receivers, who caught passes, blocked for teammates and converted key third downs late in the game.
“Nobody gets caught up in ‘the guy’ terminology,” Harbaugh said of San Francisco’s pass catchers.
In fact, “the guys,” Moss,
There were drops by a handful of 49ers players which cost the team points in the game, but nothing’s ever perfect two weeks into the season. The 49ers coach did say the 49ers can improve on “quite a few things.”
So while Moss didn’t play in two-receiver sets, the 49ers coach praised the veteran for drawing a pass interference penalty which helped set up
“He knows football,” Harbaugh said of Moss. “He knows the team that plays best is going to win the game. He’s been about that.”
All the 49ers have been about the team, including Crabtree, who led the way with six catches for 67 yards.
Harbaugh raved about how Crabtree “plucked” several first-down receptions, citing the San Francisco wideout’s hands to be like a frog’s tongue snatching things out of the air.
He also pointed out how Crabtree’s been a team-first player behind the scenes, encouraging teammates whenever he sees the need to do so.
“Michael’s a great leader in my opinion,” Harbaugh said. “The way he plays, you can tell he’s about us.”
Crabtree’s key first-down catches on the team’s final scoring drive might not have happened if not for key blocks by Manningham and Gore.
“Frank had a great block, so did Mario,” Harbaugh stressed on Crabtree’s 16-yard gain on a third-and-14 late in the fourth quarter.
In addition, Harbaugh raved about Manningham’s precise route-running that helped him catch three passes for 28 yards. The free agent addition also picked up a career-long, 29-yard carry on the team’s second offensive snap.
Drops were costly in Harbaugh’s mind, but it didn’t spoil an otherwise solid team performance, one that included Alex Smith’s 107.7 quarterback rating.
The 49ers are now 12-0 when Smith passes the 100.0 rating mark.
“He’s an expert in this system, to accomplish that in a year speaks volumes,” Harbaugh said of his quarterback, before pointing out the growth is throughout the offensive side of the ball. “I think we can (say that) with everybody on our squad – it wasn’t just Alex who didn’t have coordinators in successive years.”
The 49ers, however, committed a turnover in the first half when
Harbaugh offered perspective on the team’s nine-game run without losing a fumble.
“I can appreciate that,” he said. “That’s tough to do.”
“We all were really pleased with Aldon in this game,” said Harbaugh, before praising the play of safety
“Everyone had a good defensive game,” Harbaugh added.
Players will take Monday off to rest up for another road challenge, Sunday’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
But until the team meets Tuesday morning, players, and even Harbaugh himself, can take pride in the outcome of Sunday’s win against Detroit.
The 49ers coach also enjoyed having A-list actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crash the team’s postgame locker room speech.
“We like being around these extraordinary kind of guys,” Harbaugh explained.
The 49ers coach liked having the visit from the actors who were in town filming a movie, but also pointed out the number of special guests the team has had around the facility.
Harbaugh also made it known he’s hopeful Muhammad Ali would visit the team, like he did with his brother John’s Baltimore Ravens team last week.
“In the Harbaugh household, we all think Muhammad Ali is the greatest sports competitor the world has ever known,” the 49ers coach said.
Harbaugh also made it known he’s interested in having San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays make a visit to 4949 Centennial Blvd.
“I don’t want anything from him,” Harbaugh said. “I just want to go up to him, shake his hand and tell him that me and my dad think that he’s the greatest baseball player in the history of the game.”