San Francisco envisioned getting elite play from the quarterback position when they hired Jim Harbaugh as head coach after the 2010 season. According to 49ers President Jed York, that’s exactly why the team hired Harbaugh, and it’s why the organization supported the coach’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick the team’s starting quarterback. Here is what York had to say about Harbaugh’s decision when he joined The Jim Rome Show (via coachingsearch.com):
“That’s what (general manager) Trent Baalke and I saw when we hired Jim,” York said. “The reason why we wanted Jim to be the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers is because he understands the most important position in sports. Played it for 14 years, coached it when he was in college, he coaches two guys that went on to have NFL careers. He just gets that position. If you don’t get that position, it’s really, really hard to have success in the National football League. That’s why we hired Jim. That was reason No. 1, because he gets that position.”
It would’ve been tough to argue with Harbaugh’s decision to go with Kaepernick whether or not the 49ers were headed to the Super Bowl. However, you would have a much more difficult time arguing that Alex Smith could’ve beaten Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan in consecutive weeks.
Successful NFL teams win for a reason, and the 49ers appear to have found the perfect match for what their organization needed when they hired Jim Harbaugh.