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Jim Harbaugh has been “doing his homework” on Kyle Shanahan’s offense

The former 49ers head coach is impressed with the current one

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Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers

Since I took over in March for Fooch, this is the first time we’ve talked about former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. I’m not sure why, but it’s surprising. Harbaugh was recently on “The TK Show,” with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, and he said that he still studies his former team. That’s not too surprising, considering Kyle Shanahan is the one calling the plays.

Harbs was asked if he sees anything positive happening with the Niners. Here’s what he said:

I can tell you this – I like watching their tape. Especially on offense. Lot of creative things on a weekly basis, so I enjoy trying to – I wouldn’t say steal because in football you don’t regard it as stealing things. You regard it as doing your homework. So I do enjoy that.”

There is plenty of creativity in Shanahan’s offense. It can be as extreme as George Kittle falling against the Los Angeles Rams, only to get up with nobody covering him for a significant gain. Then there are subtle plays where he’ll sneak Kittle, or Kyle Juszczyk out of the backfield on a play-action pass. Shanahan usually gives us one “wow” play every week.

Harbaugh continued to talk up Shanahan:

“He’s very creative in the game planning, and you see plays that work that gets somebody uncovered. That’s hard to do to get somebody uncovered on a passing play or the blocking scheme where there’s a big hole. That doesn’t happen that often. Probably better than most of us, I think, Kyle and his coaches do a good job scheming those things up.”

The offensive staff does a great job of scheming. I wonder how much influence a guy like Wes Welker will have on the offense. Not so much with the actual plays, but maybe we see different types of motion that allow the receivers to come off the line of scrimmage clean with no resistance.

Possible return?

Let me ask you this, will Harbaugh ever coach again in the NFL? The people in Ann Arbor love him. Like, there’s a serious infatuation. You’d think he was winning like Nick Saban. Eventually, that has to wear off.