One of the better Jim Harbaugh moments from a year ago: Just months into the job, the San Francisco 49ers coach spurred on his players by screening footage of nature's angry honey badger. In essence, some unsuspecting A/V guy inside the organization was asked to splice together team highlights with footage of the beast ripping across the badlands.
Result: The team went 13-3.
"It's fun. He's a little crazy. He do things different than, I would say, a normal head coach," cornerback Carlos Rogers told WQXI-AM this week, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "You'll see the guy holding field goals for (David) Akers, taking snaps at quarterback, throwing the ball to the receivers when they're going over their routes, over there talking to DBs like he really knows what's going on, and just having fun throughout the whole practice. He has fun and he interacts with every position."
Rogers played for Joe Gibbs and into-the-abyss assistant Gregg Williams in Washington. Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan, too. Different styles, different schemes -- old-school figures among them -- but Harbaugh has proven he can do more than preview animal films to the roster.
"Long practices, long meetings," Rogers said. "We was there from I guess eight in the morning 'til probably eight at night."
Harbaugh mixes business with pleasure and, so far, it's worked. It's easy to forget what a searching, lost mess this team was two seasons ago. Or that Harbaugh walked in post-lockout, meeting many of his players for the first time. He might be a strange bird, but his players wouldn't trade him.