After watching the San Francisco 49ers lay the wood to the Cleveland Browns for the first 30 minutes of the game, it was surprising, then maddening, and then contemptibly Singletary-like for the entire second half. As good as the team had played in the first half, they were at least as bad in the second.
Jim Harbaugh must be practically giddy at his good fortune. The offense was the worst offender, followed by the special teams and then the defense. In addition to still managing to come away with a solid win against a scrappy team at home, Harbaugh now has the tools with which to drive the team towards even greater focus and execution.
The 49ers came out of the locker room after halftime and played as if the game were already in the bag. The focus, fire and hunger that led them to their comfortable lead was seemingly gone. Granted, the defense still managed to gobble up the pathetic Browns offensive "attack", but even this unit became undisciplined and gave up some uncharacteristic plays.
Jim Harbaugh seems to me to be somewhat of a psychological genius by nature. He possesses an innate ability to lead men. It eerily mirrors a shade from our storied past. Another Stanford man, our own Bill Walsh, was a man who players would literally cut their pinky finger off to keep playing for. I get the sense that the players on our current team would sacrifice themselves to this degree in order to win for him.
He has inspired the players to truly aspire to greatness, both individually and as a team. How many times have you seen him look like he wanted to murder someone when the 49ers had to settle for three instead of getting a touchdown? I mean, he looks pissed. Yet he never degrades his men. Instead, he has somehow instilled the same attitude without including an element of negativity.
So, when i heard Jim Harbaugh get fired up about being in a bar fight with the truly competitive Cleveland Browns, I knew he knew that he had the team right where he wants them: pissed off and angry. Now, the coaching staff will have the team's full attention this week as the team prepares for a road trip and another early east coast game.