INDIANAPOLIS – The significance of coaching the San Francisco 49ers has not been lost on Jim Harbaugh. In fact, he is reminded on an almost daily basis just why he decided to make the jump from Stanford to the 49ers.
“I’ve had no second thoughts about the decision. I’m extremely enthusiastic,” Harbaugh said today at the NFL scouting combine. “I walk through the doors of the San Francisco facility every single day, and when you walk through those doors you’re staring at five Lombardi trophies and pictures on the wall of the great players and the great coaches.
“You understand the legacy that Bill Walsh created, that George Seifert did. The bar is set high. And where else would you want it set?”
Some considered the 49ers the most-talented team in the NFC West last season – despite their 6-10 record – and Harbaugh has seen why in his short time on the job with the Seahawks’ division rival.
“We’re not looking to go 8-8. We’re looking to make the jump all the way to the Super Bowl, like every other team in the National Football League,” he said.
While at Stanford he “kind of looked through the keyhole,” as he put it. What he saw in the 49ers made him decide to leave Stanford and also decline a job offer from Michigan, his alma mater.
“It’s a talented football team,” he said. “There are guys that are marquee players. There are guys that have experience and have been there before. I’m extremely excited to work to with our football team and see how we can get that done.”
Harbaugh will renew his sideline rivalry with Pete Carroll, who coached at Pac-10 rival USC before becoming the Seahawks coach last year.
“Professional. No hostility. Competitive,” Harbaugh said when asked to describe his relationship with Carroll. “We coached against each other in college and I anticipate that it will be competitive as we go forward, playing each other twice a year. But generally respect for the job he does.
“But competitive, and you want to beat him.”