Jim Harbaugh was a teammate of Marvin Harrison’s for two years. He was an assistant coach on a Raiders team that had Jerry Rice and Tim Brown. He was a contemporary of Steve Largent and Cris Carter. As a boy who loved football he surely grew up watching Fred Biletnikoff and Lynn Swann. He’s no doubt watched NFL Films footage of Raymond Berry. In his first year as the 49ers’ head coach his team played against Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson. He’s seen many great wide receivers with great hands.
And apparently he’s had a bad case of amnesia that made him forget all of that.
That’s the only possible explanation for the statement Harbaugh made about his own receiver on the 49ers, Michael Crabtree, who according to Harbaugh has better hands than any of those receivers, or any other receiver he has ever watched play in a lifetime around the game of football.
“Crab’s got the best hands I’ve ever seen on a wide receiver,” Harbaugh said on KNBR-680, via CSNBayArea.com.
Sure, Crabtree is a talented receiver who had his best season yet last year with 72 catches, but saying Crabtree has the best hands he’s ever seen just sounds crazy, not to mention a little insulting to the many great receivers Harbaugh has seen in person through the years. Perhaps Harbaugh just wants to show Crabtree that his coach is confident in him, and he’s willing to go a little overboard to express that confidence.
That’s the explanation I’ll go with when Harbaugh says Alex Smith has the best arm he’s ever seen.