Exactly 30 years ago, coach Bill Walsh transformed a perennially mediocre-at-best 49ers franchise into a juggernaut that would capture five Super Bowl titles in 14 seasons.
After 17 years without a return to the NFL title game, one of the key members of Walsh’s 49ers predicts a return to glory under coach Jim Harbaugh.
“I see these guys doing some wonderful things this decade — I think Jim will do great job of creating another dynasty and winning some Super Bowls,” Craig recently told the San Francisco Chronicle, via NFL.com. “I foresee us winning some Super Bowls in the next decade, if not this year then in the years ahead. Wherever he goes, he wins. He has the secret sauce, and I’m loving his flavor.”
(Look, it would be way too easy to make a juvenile remark at this point, including but not limited to “that’s what she said.” Instead, I’ll just sit here and wonder how close Craig came to calling back Eric Branch of the Chronicle and begging him to pull that last sentence.)
“Jim Harbaugh is an amazing guy, an innovator, amazing coach, a leader,” Craig added. “When you get players to buy into your system the way he has, you’re going to have success.”
Amen to that. We thought Harbaugh would make enough of a difference to win the NFC West, but we never dreamed he’d take the team to a 14-3 record and a berth in the NFC title game, especially since he had only seven weeks to get his team ready.
Some think that Jeff Fisher avoided the Dolphins for fear of competing directly with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. In the end, Fisher may have wished he picked Belichick as his arch-rival instead of Harbaugh and the 49ers.