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Patrick Willis on Jim Harbaugh: “He is crazy, but he’s a good crazy”

Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Willis AP

San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis thinks his coach is nuts, but there’s a method to his madness.

Willis said on ESPN Radio today that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh acts a little crazy around the team, but it’s a craziness rooted in his loyalty to the players — and that’s something the players love.

“He is crazy, but he’s a good crazy,” Willis said. “He’s the kind of crazy that there is not a player on that team that would not go to war with him. And when I say go to war with him I mean, he’s crazy — but most people would say, ‘How could somebody be crazy but it’s good?’ He’s crazy in that if he had to lay himself on the line to make sure that you’d live, the guy beside him would keep fighting, he would do that. That’s crazy, but he’s that type of coach for us and he has that with us.”

Harbaugh showed in his first season as an NFL head coach that his methods are just crazy enough to work.

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51 Responses to “Patrick Willis on Jim Harbaugh: “He is crazy, but he’s a good crazy””
  1. ownbay says: Apr 4, 2012 3:54 PM

    JH will win multiple super bowls with the niners.

  2. 1phd says: Apr 4, 2012 3:54 PM

    He’s also crazy strong at handshaking and back slapping.

  3. waxthat says: Apr 4, 2012 3:57 PM

    I love this. Thanks PFT

  4. machester52 says: Apr 4, 2012 3:57 PM

    P-Will is a beast. Harbaugh is a good coach.

  5. biz518 says: Apr 4, 2012 3:58 PM

    I hope both of these men stay on the course they are on for a long long time..Theres a reason that Willis is the only defensive player left in the madden cover vote and im just glad that harbaugh was able to lead the team to the year they had, i think it showed the league just how damn good P-Willis is

  6. slumdog66 says: Apr 4, 2012 4:00 PM

    And here comes the stupid hairbow comments. Whatever the hell that means….

  7. pjrhc says: Apr 4, 2012 4:00 PM

    Proof’s been in the pudding – good coach.

  8. rcampore says: Apr 4, 2012 4:02 PM

    He’s also the kind of crazy that apparently thinks that no flag against his team is ever correct and he puts on the biggest drama cry baby show on the sidelines.

  9. kodakinvegas says: Apr 4, 2012 4:04 PM

    This is one coach to watch in the next few years and so ar the 49ers as a team if they stay together. If Smith don’t make the grade, he will quickly replace him. He’s showing some real talent (hardball) and young enough to run instead of walk through a program. I don’t think they’re far from the old glory days with Montana.

  10. melikefootball says: Apr 4, 2012 4:06 PM

    Hairbaugh is also a crazy whiner, especially if all calls don’t go his way.

  11. klunge says: Apr 4, 2012 4:07 PM

    Harbaugh is crazy. He might just slap you on the back, or he might stab you. Never can tell with a crazy person.
    And is it just me, or does Patrick sound a little crazy himself…

  12. whatnojets says: Apr 4, 2012 4:07 PM

    Just wondeting, is Jim Harbaugh related to Rex Ryan?

  13. tformation says: Apr 4, 2012 4:08 PM

    Can’t say I’ve ever cared for the 49ers, but the Bears fan in me can’t help but love Harbaugh. Love to see the 49ers on Hard Knocks this year just for Harbaugh (Moss too).

    DO IT, HBO.

  14. time2speakup says: Apr 4, 2012 4:12 PM

    Those of us fortunate to live within the immediate sphere of the Niners do get a tad more ‘day-to-day” tid bits. What PWilly is saying is really the tip of a very large ice berg as far as Coach and his relationship to the players.
    What we pick up thru passed on interaction, various forms of media, etc., has us all in a very, very comfortable place mentally as to what this leadership and this team is capable of. If you were impressed with last year – well, “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet” – trust me.

    ps: other than the Blue Shirts, and Coach riding in back with the players when the team travels, check around and see how many other NFL teams do with their Practice Squad what Coach
    insists on with ours. Amazing!

  15. jgedgar70 says: Apr 4, 2012 4:13 PM

    Any coach whose team knocks the Saints out of the playoffs is good with me!

  16. rcunningham says: Apr 4, 2012 4:23 PM

    rcampore says:
    Apr 4, 2012 4:02 PM
    He’s also the kind of crazy that apparently thinks that no flag against his team is ever correct and he puts on the biggest drama cry baby show on the sidelines.

    Cry me a river. I’d kick and scream too if it meant any call was going to benefit my team. Arm chair analysts who have NO IDEA what goes on in the trenches like you are the worst.

  17. phonymcringring says: Apr 4, 2012 4:26 PM

    His shtick will quickly get old a la Rex Ryan and the Niners’ bandwagon fans will disappear again into the ether.

  18. sixjak says: Apr 4, 2012 4:29 PM

    Yeah he shakes your hand crazy hard when you run smack and yell expletives at him from a gross the field and then lose. You deserve a hard handshake and pat on the back with a little too much mustard. As though Harbaugh is the 1st coach to ever constantly question the refs. Oh no’s thats a terrible thing-the worst thing ever. You must be too young to remember Madden. Maybe your kids will be playing Harbaugh 2030 I’d rather my coach be in the ref’s ear all game pointing out blown calls than just takin it up the tailpipe.

  19. 4gone says: Apr 4, 2012 4:31 PM

    Only something that can be said about another guy…All women are crazy, and not “good crazy”.

  20. thehighhat says: Apr 4, 2012 4:32 PM

    Crazy good!

  21. sbxxix says: Apr 4, 2012 4:33 PM

    If he wins a few Super Bowls I can see him being this decade’s Bill Bellichick. Their styles are pretty similar in the way that their players want to play for them, they stay humble, business minded and they know how to get the most out their players. I know I’m jumping the gun saying that but you just get that feeling from JH from a fans point of view

  22. mjkelly77 says: Apr 4, 2012 4:33 PM

    “He’s the kind of crazy that there is not a player on that team that would not go to war with him.”
    _______________________

    Hairbow would be a victim of friendly fire.

    He’s a crybaby that expects every call to go his way and pouts when it doesn’t. Most real warriors would tire of that crap very quickly.

  23. nineroutsider says: Apr 4, 2012 4:37 PM

    One story that exemplifies why Harbaugh is loved by his players:

    Seattle game in Seattle. Kyle Williams falls to his knees and then is absolutely crushed by two Seahawks; his helmet shoots into the air and he falls straight down to the ground and isn’t moving. The ball is fumbled (although he was down), Seahawks are diving at the ball creating a pile. Harbaugh sees his guy go down hard and is motionless, he runs out during the pile up and starts grabbing Seahawks by the collar and ripping them out of the pile and yelling, “get away from him, get away from him”. The look on some of the Seahawks faces when they realized it was Harbaugh…priceless.

    Harbaugh will do anything for his guys and they do the same for him. Oh, and he has a exceptional football mind.

  24. jakek2 says: Apr 4, 2012 4:42 PM

    I’ve never seen the word “crazy” printed so much in one post.

  25. crackills says: Apr 4, 2012 4:44 PM

    I guess Singletary was ‘Bad’ crazy then.

  26. zoogleea says: Apr 4, 2012 4:58 PM

    He’s crazy alright – as in mentally unbalanced. No wonder Peyton Manning didn’t want to go to SF.

  27. time2speakup says: Apr 4, 2012 5:04 PM

    No, Singletary was a multitude of negative things, but “crazy” was not one of them. Try misguided, in too deep, clueless and easily the most pig-headed, stubborn and dogmatic micro-manager to ever be placed in charge in the history of all sport.

  28. killitandeatit says: Apr 4, 2012 5:13 PM

    Harbaugh is the Genghis Khan of current NFL head coaches and he’s crazy. I grew up watching John Madden on the side lines. Madden didn’t see a flag thrown on the silver and black he ever liked. I loved watching Madden on any penalty , classic . Madden was a fantastic winning coach.After watching the last three 49er H.C.’s, prior to Harbaugh, and the entire 49er franchise, if he’s crazy ,it’s a beautiful crazy.

  29. forty9asty says: Apr 4, 2012 5:19 PM

    mjkelly77 says:
    Apr 4, 2012 4:33 PM
    “He’s the kind of crazy that there is not a player on that team that would not go to war with him.”
    _______________________

    Hairbow would be a victim of friendly fire.

    He’s a crybaby that expects every call to go his way and pouts when it doesn’t. Most real warriors would tire of that crap very quickly.

    ————————————————–
    wow, mjkelly. you post on everything related to the 9ers but you seem to hate them. also, you put in your obligatory “Hairbow” comment, (brilliant by the way) but where did your usual “a$$clown” comment that follows it go to?

  30. cliffordc05 says: Apr 4, 2012 5:20 PM

    Its hard to be critical of a coach who turns around two college programs and takes his first professional team to the NFC Championship. Harbaugh comes across as a little rough around the edges but he is just super competitive. I look forward to the Seattle – San Francisco rivalry over the next few years. The December game in Seattle was great.

  31. LoCoSu@%s says: Apr 4, 2012 5:32 PM

    time2speakup says:
    Apr 4, 2012 5:04 PM
    No, Singletary was a multitude of negative things, but “crazy” was not one of them. Try misguided, in too deep, clueless and easily the most pig-headed, stubborn and dogmatic micro-manager to ever be placed in charge in the history of all sport.

    ————-

    Mostly right. Except he wasnt a micromanager. He could never grasp the details – this is what Maiocco (I believe) reported

  32. kungfubillysims says: Apr 4, 2012 5:32 PM

    If by crazy he means a total d bag then I would agree

  33. bennyblanco99 says: Apr 4, 2012 5:40 PM

    1st season our team goes 13-3 and kicked the crapolla out of other teams. We might have lost but we were never out hit or out hustled.

    You should see Harbaugh during the open TC practices… dude is the same way. The most hands coach I’ve ever seen. Crazy Harbaugh All Day Everyday!!! GO NINERS!!!

  34. asthebeaver says: Apr 4, 2012 5:40 PM

    He’s “fly across the country to punch Jim Kelley in the face crazy.”

  35. cali49er707 says: Apr 4, 2012 5:45 PM

    give credit where credit is due folks, all the guy does is WIN games wherever he goes SDU,STANFORD,& the 9ERS he took a young hungry team that had talent but nobody to lead them in the right direction & is making them a contender for years to come!!! i know the haters say 1 year fluke & so on & so on but, fluke teams dont stumble into 13&3 seasons,& overtime nail biter losses to eventual superbowl champions by accident!!

  36. truthhurtstoo says: Apr 4, 2012 5:46 PM

    so… he’s crazy. Did I get that right?

  37. mjkelly77 says: Apr 4, 2012 6:03 PM

    forty9asty says:Apr 4, 2012 5:19 PM

    wow, mjkelly. you post on everything related to the 9ers but you seem to hate them. also, you put in your obligatory “Hairbow” comment, (brilliant by the way) but where did your usual “a$$clown” comment that follows it go to?
    ____________________

    I don’t post on everything related to the 9ers. I am a fan and have been for years. I was a fan of John Brodie. Nobody was better than Ronnie and and Jerry Rice. Joe Montana and Dwight Clark brought us the “Catch”. Steve Young had big shoes to fill but he did a good job. I’ve enjoyed watching them all over the years.

    But Hairbow is a phony. He’s no Bill Walsh or George Seifert, that’s for sure. He’s lucky he has a quarterback. He’d throw any player under the bus and eventually the players will realize what he really is, an A$$ clown ( I figured you wanted to see this in print.)

  38. zerocool62 says: Apr 4, 2012 6:30 PM

    love the comments hating on my coach for being passionate and wearing his emotions on his sleeve. BUT what i love SO much more is the keyboard jokeys on here who want to talk about warriors, watchin a show on spike tv dont make u a military expert most if not all great commanders are prima donas Gen. Patton the greatest general thr US ever had even admitted he was a prima dona and not at all happy when things didnt go his way.

  39. qtownchawk says: Apr 4, 2012 6:44 PM

    Ninera fans are a hoot. You have one good year (in a lockout and with a last place schedule) out of the past 10 and clowns like the first poster claim theyre all of a sudden on the way to mutiple super bowls. A real hoot.

  40. mblade says: Apr 4, 2012 6:45 PM

    What is all this crybaby stuff? You must have him confused with Jim Schwartz.

  41. qtownchawk says: Apr 4, 2012 6:57 PM

    ppl make jh seem like this all world coach. SF was only good because of their defense, which happened to be singletarys creation, not jh. Their offense was dink and dunk slant routes, no red zone scoring , amd multiple field goals.

  42. gosuhgo says: Apr 4, 2012 7:00 PM

    I’d watch a payperview of Harbaugh-Schwartz in the octagon.

  43. rcampore says: Apr 4, 2012 7:05 PM

    cunningham says: Apr 4, 2012 4:23 PM

    rcampore says:
    Apr 4, 2012 4:02 PM
    He’s also the kind of crazy that apparently thinks that no flag against his team is ever correct and he puts on the biggest drama cry baby show on the sidelines.

    Cry me a river. I’d kick and scream too if it meant any call was going to benefit my team. Arm chair analysts who have NO IDEA what goes on in the trenches like you are the worst.

    ___________________________________
    You are an idiot. How the hell am I an Arm Chair analyst?? I commented on a public forum with my opinion of the way he acts. I didn’t analyze anything. He does whine on every play. It’s pretty obvious. Did I say he was a bad coach?? No. Even his players call him crazy. He’s a little crazy especially with the complaining. He’s obviously a good coach, just annoying to watch. Get over yourself buddy cause guess what, you have no idea what goes on in the trenches either!!

  44. bennyblanco99 says: Apr 4, 2012 7:41 PM

    Really qtownchalk?!?
    “ppl make jh seem like this all world coach. SF was only good because of their defense, which happened to be singletarys creation, not jh. Their offense was dink and dunk slant routes, no red zone scoring , amd multiple field goals.”

    Let’s see…
    Sings D had – A.Franklin, Manny Lawson, T.Spikes, N.Clements, S.Spencer and Reggie Smith/Taylor Mays

    Harbaugh’s – Isaac Sopoaga, ALdon Smith, Navarro Bowman, Carlos Rodgers and Donte Whitner

    Go back to school kiddo!!!

  45. mikeinsanfran says: Apr 4, 2012 7:49 PM

    qtownchawk – Then why didn’t Singletary win with essentially the same roster?

  46. mikeinsanfran says: Apr 4, 2012 7:51 PM

    qtownchawk – Keep up the “last place scheudle B.S.” The Niners were 5-2 against playoff teams last year. But you are right, they are totally a one hit wonder team. They will be terrible this year.

  47. alldonesmith says: Apr 4, 2012 8:51 PM

    All these whiny losers whose teams got STOMPED by the 49ers last year show up in every single 49er thread, spewing nothing but venom, because they’re STILL so angry they got beat by a superior team that they have to come to PFT and vent. Talk. About. Pathetic.

    Unfounded and unearned hate from Saints, Lions and NFC West fans does nothing but get 49er fans fired up about watching Harbaugh lead this team to a few more Super Bowl titles to overtake Pittsburgh again. 49ers fans who have been paying attention know how special this coach is and how much talent is on this roster. The haters have an unpleasant decade ahead of them.

  48. qtownchawk says: Apr 4, 2012 8:52 PM

    Mike im not saying harbaugh isnt a good coach, nor that the niners didnt do well or even wont do well again- im just saying one good season doesnt make a team with as many holes as San Fran has super bowl dynasty. It Also doesnt mean you have the next bill Walsh. it could happen, im just saying People are just getting carried away a little prematurely. Its good that your team is at the top. as a fellow nfc west fan who follows the whole division,(you guys spanked my team twice so I cant say much) I actually give sf props.but staying there is the hard part. Lets give it one or two seasons before the dynasty talk. a lot of the People who were ashamed to rep your team years ago now puff their chests out and are the #1 niners fans. And we all know why singletay didnt do well, hes better suited as a coordinator. He was way in over head.

  49. scalfor3 says: Apr 5, 2012 1:25 AM

    pats fan here. harbaughs the real deal. fluke seasons are normally 10-6, 11-5, sneak into the postseason. niners went 13-3 and beat some legit teams on the way. you could see the players buying in with every win. they wont win a super bowl until they get a legit qb, but the fact that they challenged this year with alex fricken smith speaks volumes.

  50. discosucs2005 says: Apr 5, 2012 5:55 AM

    @qtownchawk

    You’ll have to forgive 49ers fans for not taking your cliche anti-Niner rhetoric too seriously.

    Obviously some people go overboard after only a season. But I don’t think the majority of 49ers fans would tell you “Harbaugh is definitely the next Walsh.”

    But GOD FORBID we be optimistic about our team after being an overtime fumble away from the Super Bowl.

    You said the 49ers have holes, where? And compared to what NFC West teams? At QB? The best QB in the division probably belongs to the Rams. Flynn and Kolb both might be good, but their chances aren’t that much higher than Smith having more success next year. We returned 11 starters on defense, losing only a few 2nd string players (most of whom had replacements ready before the draft even). On offense, we’ve definitely upgraded or maintained at every position except right guard, and that position was a liability last year anyway (so easily could see an improvement, but unlikely that there will be a huge drop).

    So where are these holes you speak of?

    And as far as your implication that Harbaugh just walked into a great defense (which he did) and that’s the only reason the 49ers were good here’s a stat for you:

    The 49ers were a top 10 offense. So Harbaugh’s “dink and dunk” offense sure did work well when you consider the talent he got on offense.

    Your Seahawks were 23rd btw. The Cards were 24th and the Rams were last.

    So when you say it will be hard for the 49ers to stay on top of the division, I have to disagree with you. I think the hard part would be betting on anyone else to take it from them.

  51. bubba9er says: Apr 5, 2012 2:31 PM

    As opposed to Greg Williams crazy…

    I’ll take Jim’s crazy, loyal enthusiasm every day of the week.

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