Jim Harbaugh had no need to come out and say that the prospect of the 49ers pursuing Peyton Manning was "silly". It was well into the past and nobody was really scrutinizing the team's decision to entertain the idea of having Manning on the roster. With Alex Smith, the 49ers have a capable quarterback, but one that still hasn't reached the potential that scouts saw in him before the 2005 NFL draft. With Manning, the ceiling may have been a little higher.
In reality, chasing Manning was the right move. A proven All-Star and future Hall of Famer should always deserve more than a once-over. Manning is the best quarterback of his generation, so why would it be silly to entertain bringing him into the fold? What Harbaugh did by ranting about Smith was give the perception that there, in fact, is a lack of confidence in the front office. By babying Smith and boosting his sense of worth, they are hoping he morphs into the quarterback that earned him the top overall pick in 2005.
Harbaugh comes straight from Stanford and enjoyed a phenomenal first year as head coach. He got Smith to play well above the level of previous years and turned the team into a Super Bowl caliber juggernaut. Yet, coaching policies and motivational projects are much different in the NFL. With so many college teams out there, the spotlight isn't on one specific school all the time. In the NFL, every team is being watched. A comment like this was never going to go unnoticed.
The effect of chasing Manning was clearly misjudged. No one questioned "evaluating" Manning. If Manning comes back strong from his neck surgeries, there is little doubt he can return to All-Star form, whereas Smith is still several steps away from that level. Harbaugh, who must have been harboring these sentiments for quite some time, finally burst and let it all out. The only problem is that he was about two months too late. Bringing back news from mid-March doesn't really display an aura of confidence, but rather the opposite.
Smith is your guy, and that's great. Commit to your quarterback and let him do his thing. Don't blow up the media with extraneous comments that referred to a situation that fans had long forgotten about.Back to the San Francisco 49ers Newsfeed