INDIANAPOLIS -- San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh swatted down questions Thursday like J.J. Watt knocks down passes. He was so effective that his news conference ended four minutes early, a true rarity at the NFL Scouting Combine.
But the great thing about this setting is that you sometimes get to see a coach in a more natural setting after he gets off the podium. Harbaugh happily gobbled up any question asked in the hallway after his official session, almost seeming to enjoy the back-and-forth dialogue with reporters. He had some interesting words on linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who tore his ACL and MCL in the NFC Championship Game.
On Bowman's potential return: "Realistically, halfway through the season, something like that would be more realistic," Harbaugh said. "But I never underestimate NaVorro Bowman."
Harbaugh said a lot of people have commented that they were inspired by Bowman and the way the linebacker hung on to the ball during his season-ending injury. The coach's brother-in-law, Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, showed footage to his team.
Harbaugh also revealed that defensive tackle Tank Carradine underwent another surgery on his knee.