Last year, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t even meet his new team until six weeks before the first regular-season game.
It all worked out pretty well.
And so it should come as no surprise that Harbaugh is, unlike most of his peers, regarding the voluntary offseason workouts as truly voluntary.
Randy Moss isn’t there, and the team is fine with it. As pointed out in the Saturday one-liners, Harbaugh recently told KNBR radio that other veterans, like running back Frank Gore and kicker David Akers and center Jonathan Goodwin, aren’t there, either. Harbaugh explained that the absent players live out of the area and have family commitments.
Assuming Harbaugh wasn’t biting his tongue to the point where blood trickled down his chin when explaining the situation, it’s a refreshing attitude toward voluntary workouts. How many other NFL coaches would be that nonchalant about players who choose not to attend and participate?
Maybe Harbaugh knows that the real work starts at training camp, that the stuff that happens now doesn’t mean anything as long as guys keep themselves in shape, and that players perhaps will be better prepared for the seven-month grind if they actually have meaningful time for themselves, and their families, in the offseason.
If the 49ers continued to succeed, Harbaugh will continue to regard the offseason program as truly voluntary, which will attract more players who have options to the 49ers.
Which could lead to more coaches regarding voluntary workouts as truly voluntary.