Lame Duck Spags vs. Coach of the Year Harbaugh
Ok, I guess I should write that he is the "frontrunner" for Coach of the Year. But I was trying to figure out the difference between our coach and the rookie coach of SF who has his team playing sound, fundamental, WINNING football and doesn't quit.
Someone without NFL coaching experience against a Superbowl winning defensive coordinator who has only 4 more career wins in 32 more attempts than Harbaugh.
A coach who has taken a team with a worse record than the Rams--who many picked to finish last in the NFC West--and is already in the driver's seat to win the division vs. a coach whose team was fraudulently labeled the "class of the division".
A rookie coach who would win the Coach of the Year Award if it was given out right now vs. a coach who should consider it a blessing he made it past the bye week and is simply playing out the string.
A leader who coached his team to a 3-touchdown, come-from-behind victory on the road vs. a coach whose squad got destroyed by the same team at home.
And the difference is this: Harbaugh came into the job with HEAD coaching experience on, at least, a major college level whereas Spagnuolo had none. Lo and behold, Mr. Linehan didn't have any as well....and the records for both of these coaches after three years will reflect that, while they may have had respectable careers as coordinators, their styles and abilities simply didn't translate into success at the head position. They we bad hires, no matter how much we may have liked one or both of them at the time. It's one thing to design plays/schemes. It's another thing to truly LEAD men. Unfortunately, we've had to endure the half dozen years to realize these two coaches were failures.
However, being the positive guy I am, I will say this: a bad head coach only dooms a team during the seasons he's at the helm. A GM like Devaney, however, can ruin a team for a decade.