We have a good mix of links today and a lot of them are generated by an impromptu press session with Jim Harbaugh during the annual NFL owner's meetings. It happened at the Ritz Carlton where all of a sudden, Coach found himself stopping in a hallway with a throng of reporters around him. He discussed a variety of topics and was openly candid in such a way that you will NOT see during the season when games are being played (this is obviously where Colin Kaepernick learned it from). Ultimately all discussion is about how to build a team that will compete, and the question it leads to is this:
VIDEO: Can the San Francisco 49ers get to another NFC Championship Game? (NFL)
Being one of Jim's former players at Stanford, Martin got some encouraging words from Coach, and it's not completely far-fetched that Jonathan could thrive in the kind of competitive and professional atmosphere the San Francisco locker room provides. Commissioner Roger Goodell discussed the NFL workplace and it is interesting to note what he had to say about it.
Five Facts about 49ers OT Jonathan Martin (Price)
Jim Harbaugh Compares Jonathan Martin to Dorsey (49ers)
Goodell, union to meet on workplace environment (Yahoo)
Kaepernick and Gabbert
Now dubbed as the "Quarterback Whisperer", Coach Harbaugh definitely had to mention his 2 QB's of note who were drafted in the same year. Blaine Gabbert was a top-10 pick, but was arguably put in a difficult situation and many feel that he was rushed into starting even if he wasn't ready. Colin Kaepernick was drafted much lower, but had the benefit of training under Jim Harbaugh and learning from Alex Smith for 1 1/2 seasons before earning the chance to start. Now Gabbert will have the opportunity to learn from both Harbaugh and Kaepernick and it should be good for him.
Harbaugh: High priority for 49ers to extend Kaepernick (Maiocco)
Harbaugh calls Kaepernick's extension a "high priority;" why 49ers never considered Gabbert in first round (Barrows)
Harbaugh has high expectations for Gabbert (Maiocco)
The 49ers have few starting positions open and a strong number of high-round picks to match. It should make for some interesting positioning come draft day, as we all know Trent Baalke is quite comfortable moving up and down that board.
49ers net 3rd-round comp pick; have 6 of top-100 selections (Branch)
On 35th anniversary of Montana's selection, 49ers drafting in same slot via today's compensatory reward (Inman)
Odds and Ends
On of the other things Coach talked about are the rules changes especially "Bowman's Rule". Christian Gin also has some good insight on Kassim Osgood's re-signing and finally a lengthy piece on Chris Culliver and the growth he has undergone since his Super Bowl notoriety and during his injured reserve year. Worth a read.
Report: Osgood to re-sign with the 49ers (Gin)
So-called "Bowman rule" has Jim Harbaugh's backing (Barrows)
49ers' Chris Culliver moving beyond offensive comments made at last year's Super Bowl (SJMN)