SANTA CLARA (AP) — Jim Harbaugh is suddenly experiencing all of the anxiety that comes with being a first-year NFL coach.
One who has been forced into hurry-up mode because of the lockout.
After the national hype surrounding his hiring more than six months ago — he was wooed away from nearby Stanford on a $25 million, five-year deal to replace the ousted Mike Singletary —
Harbaugh finally gets to start for real with a franchise counting on him to turn things around at last.
As one of a handful of rookie head coaches, he also will be the primary mentor to the quarterbacks. Among one of the team’s first decisions in a busy week: bringing back 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick and free agent Alex Smith.
The incumbent Smith, who gathered players together this summer for what was deemed “Camp Alex,” has been declared the favorite to win the starting job.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)