Harbaugh Wins, Tomsula Loses
by Glenn Dickey
Sep 28, 2015


Be careful what you wish for. Jim Tomsula was so eager to get the 49ers head coaching job that he apparently told owner Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke what they wanted to hear, basically that the problems the 49ers faced last year were primarily the fault of Jim Harbaugh. Obviously, I was not in those conversations but itís the only reason Tomsula would have been made the head coach. Maybe, just maybe, heís having second thoughts about that now.
The 49ers had some bad coaches between the time John York foolishly fired Steve Mariucci and the time his son hired Harbaugh. Dennis Erickson wasnít really a good coach, just a good college recruiter. Mike Nolan was most interested in being well dressed on the sidelines. Mike Singletary knew defense but didnít have a clue about offense.
But Singletary coached teams that played hard, on both offense and defense. Tomsulaís 49ers simply collapsed against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, offensively and defensively. And, he didnít have a clue what had happened.
Back in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh is undoubtedly enjoying the 49ers collapse, especially because he is once again showing his coaching chops by reviving the Michigan program. He didnít inherit a great team but you can bet heíll soon get the players to make the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry what it was when Harbaugh was quarterbacking the Wolverines. As a college coach, Harbaugh took over struggling programs, from San Diego to Stanford, and made them winners. Thereís no doubt heíll soon do the same at his alma mater.
Tomsula? He not only has no chance to succeed as the Ninersí head coach but has also virtually eliminated his chances of getting another head coaching job in the NFL. Heís exposed himself as just another good assistant.
Players can be very tough judges of coaches. They expect a head coach to come up with answers when games start to go the wrong way Ė or at least make some changes and try to stem the tide. Tomsula just stood there on the sidelines on Sunday, looking bewildered.
Head coaches are like generals: They donít make specific suggestions to individuals but they lay out a general plan for success. Whatís Tomsulaís plan? Wait a minuteÖIím thinking, Iím thinking.
Itís all a mess. The 49ers sent Kaepernick to Arizona in the offseason to work with Kurt Warner to make him more of a pocket passer.
Now, though, that plan seems to have been totally abandoned in favor of . . . chaos. Kaepernick looked like a deer in the headlights all through that dreadful game against the Cardinals.
And, would someone please show Jed York the film of Kaepernickís 90-yard run against the Chargers so he could see what actually happened: that it was in the last two minutes of the last game of the season and once he broke past the line of scrimmage, nobody tried to tackle him. No Charger was going to take a chance on an injury that heíd be nursing the whole offseason.
On the basis of that run, though, Jed wanted Kaepernick to run more this season. Baalke apparently wanted him to be a pocket passer. Tomsula wantedÖ.who knows?
What a mess. Harbaugh is probably quite happy he escaped it.

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