Skip to content

Harbaugh: “We will install the West Coast offense”

Discover Orange Bowl - Stanford v Virginia Tech Getty Images

At a press conference Friday night, the 49ers formally introduced Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach alongside new general manager Trent Baalke. After the formalities were over, the San Francisco media asked Harbaugh what sort of offense he’s bringing to the Bay Area.

“We will install the West Coast offense in San Francisco, birthplace of the West Coast offense,” he answered.

Harbaugh’s brand of offense was evident at Stanford in a system that involved a power running game spearheaded by Toby Gerhart, and frequent roll-out passes from quarterback Andrew Luck. The West Coast offense typically requires its passer to be athletic and accurate, and Luck fit the bill with a 70.7 completion rate last season and 453 rushing yards.

The Niners already have a power back in place in tackle-breaking runner Frank Gore, and 235-pound Anthony Dixon as a potential long-term backup. What Harbaugh doesn’t have is a quarterback. David Carr is the only option signed for 2011, and the 31-year-old seems likely to be cut due to a pricey $2.375 million salary.

Alex Smith and Troy Smith’s contracts will expire after the NFL playoffs.

Trade options Harbaugh and Baalke may consider include Green Bay backup Matt Flynn and Philadelphia No. 2 quarterback Kevin Kolb. Bucs backup Josh Johnson has also been heavily rumored as being on the trade block in previous years, and Harbaugh coached Johnson at the University of San Diego before leaving for Stanford.

The 49ers also hold the No. 7 overall pick, where athletic quarterbacks such as Cam Newton and Jake Locker may be available.

Permalink 47 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers, Sprint Football Live - Rumors
47 Responses to “Harbaugh: “We will install the West Coast offense””
  1. flyerscup2010 says: Jan 7, 2011 8:34 PM

    Pretty much eliminates every quarterback expected to go in the first round. I think Kevin Kolb would be a very likely trade candidate here, because it won’t be Newton and Locker isn’t a top 10 possibility.

  2. brasho says: Jan 7, 2011 8:35 PM

    I’ve been saying for days now that Josh Johnson will likely have a play made for him by Harbaugh.

    Considering Johnson played for Harbaugh longer than Andrew Luck did, and though at a lower level, was even more impressive for Harbaugh (43 TDs to 1 INT his senior year) and probably knows as much or more than Luck about Harbaugh’s offense.

    Harbaugh is familiar with him and those familiar with Johnson know that he can play QB in the NFL. I figure the 49ers might need to fork over a draft pick in the 2nd-3rd round pick range.

    Another interesting thing to note, if the 49ers pass on Jake Locker, perhaps he goes for a full-scale free fall. Playing against him in the Pac-10, there are no coaches in the NFL as familiar with Locker as Harbaugh.

  3. bluenoser12 says: Jan 7, 2011 8:38 PM

    Uh, Jim.

    The birthplace of the West Coast offense was in Cincinnati. Walsh brought it to SF with him.

  4. goldsteel says: Jan 7, 2011 8:53 PM

    I would keep Troy Smith as a back up. He could use more practice and study his own tendencies with the quarterbacks coach or Harbaugh to improve his play.
    The 49ers could do worse.

  5. dasmol says: Jan 7, 2011 8:54 PM

    Actually, San Diego was the birthplace of the West Coast Offense. Gillman to Coryell/Davis to Walsh and so on.

  6. phinfan says: Jan 7, 2011 8:54 PM

    Wow? I thought it was wco?

  7. teal379 says: Jan 7, 2011 8:55 PM

    Don’t see GB sending Flynn to SF. For what?

  8. spartyfi says: Jan 7, 2011 9:07 PM

    Um, bluenoser, the birthplace was a HS in California. I’d you’re going to correct someone at least be right!

  9. profootballtalker says: Jan 7, 2011 9:14 PM

    Uh, Jim.

    The birthplace of the West Coast offense was in Cincinnati. Walsh brought it to SF with him.

    It was perfected in SF under Bill Walsh. ;)

    Great Post brasho ^^^

  10. goldrush36 says: Jan 7, 2011 9:28 PM

    Doesn’t matter. Walsh mastered it in San Francisco. Simple formality

  11. jimmysee says: Jan 7, 2011 9:46 PM

    Flynn and the Packers second for the ‘Niner’s first.

  12. muskie51 says: Jan 7, 2011 9:56 PM

    “We will install the West Coast offense in San Francisco, birthplace of the West Coast offense,”

    Dr Z just had another stroke…

  13. thehighhat says: Jan 7, 2011 10:10 PM

    Harbaugh caused an earthquake at his press conference.

    Really, we had an 4.1 earthquake here in SF while he was being introduced!!!

  14. toddyarbroughjr says: Jan 7, 2011 10:22 PM

    Can you imagine Cam Newton coached by Jim Harbaugh? Ouch…

  15. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Jan 7, 2011 10:36 PM

    @muskie51: LOL

    (In all seriousness, Godspeed to Dr. Z.)

    Well, while the WCO may not have been “born” in San Fran, that’s where it became famous, and where “west coast offense” became part of professional football lexicon. I loved those 49er teams.

    When I moved to Tampa, I slowly adopted the Bucs, especially when the new owners came in that cared about winning. At around the same time, Eddie DeBartolo was ejected from the league and the 49ers became a franchise that lost direction and didn’t seem to care about winning. So I lost interest in them.

    If they really bring back the WCO and ownership shows they dedicated to winning again, well, hell, they can be my 2nd favorite team.

  16. polegojim says: Jan 7, 2011 10:41 PM

    Wow – Best Wishes Jim –

    Rebuilding and being a new NFL HC is no small task, ala Josh McDaniels.

    Let’s hope Jim is less full of himself.

  17. Deb says: Jan 7, 2011 10:46 PM

    Every time someone ballyhoos the “West Coast offense,” I think of Bill Parcells … and smile :)

  18. hawkapalooza says: Jan 7, 2011 11:03 PM

    Hurts to say it, but congrats Niner fans.

    Here’s to the NFC West no longer being the laughingstock in 2 years or so, (even though it has that NFC Championship thing over the last decade).

    With a coach with half a brain, Niners will be the team to beat next year in the division. Just need a decent QB.

  19. truefan2 says: Jan 7, 2011 11:12 PM

    bluenoser12, et. al.,
    I think you’re all wrong. Of course part of this is history, rumor, opinion..

    But I actually believe the person who originated the so called “west coast offense” (really just the ideas of using short passes to running backs to be another form of a run) before any of them was Jerry Burns.

    Originated and used it in the 70s with Chuck Foreman.

    http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=19869&view=previous

  20. backuppunter says: Jan 7, 2011 11:37 PM

    Actually in 1787 my greeeat…. grandma invented the west coast offense while knitting a scarf.

  21. halftermguv says: Jan 7, 2011 11:53 PM

    Why has Jim Harbaugh been annointed the NFC West crown already? No QB is a huge void to fill.

  22. toonsterwu says: Jan 8, 2011 12:13 AM

    Going after Kevin Kolb would be a great idea. If they can net him with their 2nd, then they could turn around and use the first on a DL talent (as it seems likely they are going 4-3).

  23. androk23 says: Jan 8, 2011 12:13 AM

    WCO-

    Born in Cincy

    Perfect in SD

    Made famous in SF

  24. raiderrob21 says: Jan 8, 2011 12:28 AM

    This all sounds great and now harbaugh is the greatest thing since sliced bread,,,,,BUT havent we heard all this before? Yes we have. The same hype and BS was presented to the whiner fans with the following HC hires. Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, and Mike Dingleberry. These whiner fans believe anything the media tells them. ROOKIE HC coming from college with no NFL Coordinator experience. Here we go again whiner fans. Cant win in the worst division in the NFL AGAIN! PATHETIC!

  25. mean13 says: Jan 8, 2011 1:21 AM

    As a Bucs’ fan we will gladly take a 3rd for JJ. We do not need him.

  26. smarterthana5thgrader says: Jan 8, 2011 2:57 AM

    Toddyarbroughjr- that’s what I’m saying! People think Luck was born a great QB when in fact Jim taught him how to be as effective as he is. If harbaugh had the chance to teach Newton that it could be lethal. Of course that’s just speculation..

  27. lawboy2000 says: Jan 8, 2011 3:06 AM

    Seriously, folks?

    Paul Brown and Otto Graham developed the basis of the West Coast Offense in Cincinnati while Bill Walsh was an assistant coach there. Walsh took that basis and built it into the modern West Coast Offense in SF.

    Sid Gillman innovated the deep passing offense.

  28. fasteddy415 says: Jan 8, 2011 3:07 AM

    Vernon Davis and Delani Walker all smiles today. See how Harbaugh uses his TE at stanford? Fleener 6 Cathes 173 Yards 3 TD’s – visions of VD when watching the Orange Bowl.

  29. nointerceptionsin5sb says: Jan 8, 2011 6:44 AM

    HAhahahahahahah…..

    you mortals are very entertaining when talking about my NINERS.

    the West Coast Offense was created in Oakland, as much as i hate saying that, it was.
    Walsh just perfected it.

  30. countyk66ers says: Jan 8, 2011 7:04 AM

    Roman Gabriel invented the west coast offense.

  31. tdk24 says: Jan 8, 2011 8:17 AM

    Has there ever been an offense that didn’t require an accurate qb?

  32. mswravens says: Jan 8, 2011 8:25 AM

    Good lord people – you can trace the roots of anything back as far as you like. I have no dog in this fight, but don’t you think it’s called the WEST COAST offense for a reason? I graduated more than a few years ago, but as I recall it, Cincinnatti isn’t on the WEST COAST!!!

    More importantly, I’m thrilled that the first brothers to coach in the NFL are of the classy Harbaugh clan, and the not of the fatass, obnoxious loud-mouthed Ryan clan!!!

  33. jmad34 says: Jan 8, 2011 8:40 AM

    So Luck or Newton?! This crap was dragged out longer than it should of….it felt like the Decision. (but a less important one)

    http://fanaticvice.com/the-jim-harbaugh-saga-comes-to-an-end/

  34. theytukrjobs says: Jan 8, 2011 9:05 AM

    Locker may be there in the second round, but he was very innaccurate last season and scouts are unsure if the ribs were all to blame for it. If Locker heals up and has an awesome showing for NFL scouts he could shoot up to top 5 pick as well. Remember this guy was a top 5 before playing this last injury plagued season.

    Cam Newton would fit the West Coast if he could get his accuracy better. He has even more misfiring problems than Locker but he’s just so athletic and is the best college player in the nation.

  35. donterrelli says: Jan 8, 2011 9:11 AM

    Didn’t he coach Trent Edwards? He could make a trade for him from Jacksonville.

  36. 0marooney says: Jan 8, 2011 9:23 AM

    I want to see the 9ers get back to their dominant ways of the 80s.

    I think they can start by acquiring Vince Young to operate the west coast offense.

  37. kupski says: Jan 8, 2011 9:28 AM

    Montana was not a big QB in stature, why not use Troy Smith ?

  38. thetooloftools says: Jan 8, 2011 9:32 AM

    He will regret leaving Stanford for the rest of his life. He will find the money doesn’t really matter.

  39. sdw2001 says: Jan 8, 2011 9:57 AM

    profootballtalker says:
    Jan 7, 2011 9:14 PM
    Uh, Jim.

    The birthplace of the West Coast offense was in Cincinnati. Walsh brought it to SF with him.

    It was perfected in SF under Bill Walsh.

    Great Post brasho ^^^

    —-Stupid point, actually. It became known in SF. Please. Bill Walsh developed it and perfected it. This is not even an argument.

  40. grogansheroes says: Jan 8, 2011 10:00 AM

    I believe, Bill Walsh, under Paul Brown, started the so called West Coast Offense. Think it was in Cinc, but it might have been Cleveland. Paul Brown invented almost everything about the modern Game, from using players to shuttle in plays, to screen passes etc. When Walsh went to SF, it really opened up because of the offensive talent he had.

  41. kingjoe1 says: Jan 8, 2011 10:56 AM

    Kolb is a great choice for SF, but they would have to give up at least their 2nd round pick and a player. However if Vick falls on his face in tomorrows PO game, the Eagles might be resigned to keep Kolb and make him the starter.

  42. jhorton83 says: Jan 8, 2011 11:18 AM

    donterrelli says:
    Jan 8, 2011 9:11 AM
    Didn’t he coach Trent Edwards? He could make a trade for him from Jacksonville.
    —————————————————-

    No, Trent’s last season at Stanford was that 1-11 disaster that preceded Harbaugh.

  43. Deb says: Jan 8, 2011 1:52 PM

    backuppunter says:

    Actually in 1787 my greeeat…. grandma invented the west coast offense while knitting a scarf.
    ————————————————-

    ROFL :lol:

  44. packrulzm says: Jan 8, 2011 2:53 PM

    No chance the Packers trade Flynn. Let’s settle down people. He played 1 good game. He certainly is a capable back up, but not a proven starter just yet. Besides, they have no one behind him except a developmental prospect. Don’t see Ted doing the deal unless it’s too good to pass up.

  45. lofatapoopoo says: Jan 8, 2011 5:08 PM

    omgzorz teh west coaster offence wuz built n uranus LOLOLOL

    As a 9ers fan, my excitement is halted. Don’t forget the PLAYERS CURSE: Harbaugh played QB for a Colts team that played Pittsburgh in the 94 or 95 AFC Championship game. And as we all know, being a decent player almost guarantees you’ll fail as a coach. The debate is over guyz. It’s like, science.

  46. sdw2001 says: Jan 9, 2011 12:37 PM

    lofatapoopoo says:
    Jan 8, 2011 5:08 PM
    omgzorz teh west coaster offence wuz built n uranus LOLOLOL

    As a 9ers fan, my excitement is halted. Don’t forget the PLAYERS CURSE: Harbaugh played QB for a Colts team that played Pittsburgh in the 94 or 95 AFC Championship game. And as we all know, being a decent player almost guarantees you’ll fail as a coach. The debate is over guyz. It’s like, science.

    —Don’t be a retard. Harbaugh has proven coaching ability. While he MAY not be successful at the NFL level, he’s not “just” a former player.

  47. chetbrooks31 says: Jan 9, 2011 5:39 PM

    The west coast offense may have been conceived elsewhere……. but it was born in SF, and delivered by Bill Walsh.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!