Jim Harbaugh knows no bounds

Nobody needs any energy drinks with Harbaugh around. He provides the buzz.

Going back to his Bears days, he was always the first one to finish his sprints and the first guy in the weight room. He coaches with that same mentality.

49ers tight end Vernon Davis said he marvels at Harbaugh's motor and "his ability to sustain the amount of energy he has for days, weeks, months."

Harbaugh clearly has a grip on his team. They talk about his storytelling, and when he speaks to the team before a game, even often distracted players are frozen on him.

"He has a talent of connecting with people," 49ers special teams coach Brad Seeley said. "Whatever it is, he has it. He has street cred because he has been a player."

Harbaugh's understanding of the quarterback experience helps explain Colin Kaepernick's rapid development, as well as Alex Smith's passer rating under Harbaugh is 95.1 compared to 72.1 for the other six years of his career, according to STATS.

"He knows what it's like, so it's a QB friendly system," Smith said.

But Harbaugh won't back away from a tough decision.

Like benching Smith. Or cutting Brandon Jacobs.

"Jimmy has brass, man," Ryan said. "Always has. He doesn't give a crap about what anyone thinks."

Out there — out in front of 31 others — is precisely where Jim Harbaugh wants to be.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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