As the 49ers made their way through the draft, they selected a variety of players they felt were high in character and had a passion for the game of football. Jim Harbaugh discussed this after the draft when he spoke about the use of gold stars to highlight players the 49ers felt fit these kinds of wants.
Early yesterday morning somebody posted a FanShot linking to an article about former 49ers running back Glen Coffee. Whatever people think about Glen Coffee's motivations for leaving the 49ers, this does have me wondering about this year's emphasis on these particular traits of character and passion. It's not that I am surprised the 49ers are emphasizing. However, it seems like they were just a bit more prominent this year.
How much of this is simply Jim Harbaugh's own passion for the game showing through, versus concerns raised by previous 49ers apparently sliding through on the passion scale? The 49ers had problems with Glen Coffee and Kentwan Balmer last year and certainly don't want those kinds of issues arising again. Passion is important in any sport, but the physical grind of football adds a whole other dynamic. We saw one head coach try and bring some manner of passion to the field and it sort of backfired in his face. Will we see a different result with Coach Harbaugh's passion?