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Madden on Harbaugh: ‘One of the Greatest Coaching Jobs Ever’

Posted Jul 29, 2014

Niners Daily takes a look at John Madden's comments about Jim Harbaugh, Harbaugh's comments about himself, Eric Mangini's connection to Vernon Davis and more.

Each weekday morning, 49ers.com reviews the most newsworthy and engaging content from around the web involving the 49ers and the NFL. We seek it out, so you don't have to.

1. John Madden on Jim Harbaugh

John Madden spoke candidly about 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News. The Hall of Fame coach, ex-broadcaster, video game mogul, and NFL advisor to commissioner Roger Goodell wasn’t short on the topic. Here are the highlights of coach on coach.

Madden thinks Harbaugh is great

"He's done one of the great coaching jobs ever, especially with that first year and the lockout and how he couldn't work with the players and they went all the way to the (NFC) Championship.

"Great coaching job."

Madden doesn’t think Harbaugh needs a pep-talk

"He's done a lot of good things and won a lot of big games. The last thing he needs is counseling on that.

"The answer is you don't do anything. People get close and try to do something. They panic and screw everything up."

Madden thinks pressure to win a Super Bowl is unfair

"Sometimes you can be one of the best, but you don't accept that if you don't get the ring or win the Super Bowl.

“There's a lot of good teams between the Super Bowl winner and other teams. Once the Super Bowl is over, we lump everyone into the other 31, and that's not fair."

2. Jim Harbaugh on Jim Harbaugh

From behind the clutter of Harbaugh’s desk at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara, the head coach opened up in an exclusive interview with BleacherReport.com, talking about everything from Colin Kaepernick to former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis to his missionary work. As with everything we source in Niners Daily, the full interview is worth a read, but here are some of the most interesting nuggets.

Harbaugh isn't a betting man

Asked on if he is betting on himself this season, Harbaugh asserts he is not a gambling man. “I don’t bet. If I bet on anything, it’s for a chocolate milkshake. That’s the extent of the stakes I bet on.”

There are no limits to Kap’s potential

What is the ceiling? Why put a limitation on him? It's high. Expectations are high. By his talent, by his execution, by his effort he will be known, as all football players will. He is the highest level in all three of those.”

Harbaugh’s has passion for the game. A whole lot of passion.

“I thank God for the opportunity to go out to practice and be in the games, but there is letdown when it's over.

“Ann Arbor Junior Packers, nineteen hundred and seventy-three. I fell in the love of the game. August, third day of training camp, the first day we put on pads. I made my first tackle and I loved it. I absolutely loved it.”

To Harbaugh, the team is everything

“On my truck, I don't use ropes when I'm carrying things. I use those bungee cords to keep it together and then wedge everything right in there because a wedge is so much stronger than rope could be. It's the power of the wedge. It's the power of a team. And that, I know like my own name.”

Harbaugh has great anecdotes about one of his mentors, Al Davis

“One time, we lost two straight games and I was making some copies of a (practice) script and running down the hallway and he was at the door. He said,’How we doing Jim?’ I said, ‘We're doing good, Mr. Davis. How are you doing?’ He said, ;How the frick do you think I'm doing? We've lost two straight games. Frick.’”

>>Harbaugh ranked sixth on CBSSports.com’s 10 most intriguing coaches.

3. Mangenius

New 49ers tight end coach Eric Mangini does not need to brush up on the scouting report for his number one student. The coach dubbed with the nickname “Mangenius” was close to drafting tight end Vernon Davis while serving as the head coach of the New York Jets in 2006.

“Coming from New England, where we played a lot of split-safety defense, I knew the problems that good tight ends could (create), and Vernon was special in college." Mangini told The Sacramento Bee.

In the end, Mangini and the Jets drafted now three-time pro bowl offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and the 49ers selected tight end Vernon Davis. The rest is history.

>>This isn’t really relevant but I’m writing this roundup so I am going to include it. (Direct your anger towards me in the comments sections below. No profanity please.) Here is a clip of Coach Mangini making a cameo in the HBO series The Sopranos.

4. Less Travel Time

This season, the 49ers will travel only about half as many miles as they did last season.  Four of the last six games are at home, with one of those road matchups an easy bus-ride away up the 880 to Oakland. To keep track, here is a handy breakdown of every team’s travelthis season.

5. The Vault

Take a look back at the 49ers introducing new head coach Jim Harbaugh in January of 2011.