San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh's 5 Gutsiest Calls of the Season

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San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh's 5 Gutsiest Calls of the Season
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Jim Harbaugh is a lot like Steve Nash—he makes everyone around him better.

Since taking the reins of the San Francisco 49ers at the beginning of the season, Harbaugh has made believers out of 49er fans and players alike.

Behind the rookie NFL coach, the 49ers finished the 2011 season with an NFL second-best 13-3 record and are sending eight players to the Pro Bowl. This time last year, the 49ers finished 6-10 with two Pro Bowlers.

They will enjoy a first-round bye this weekend and start a playoff run for the first time since 2002.

Harbaugh’s willingness to be unconventional is a major reason for the success of the 49ers. In addition to managing and believing in a team that has been pitiful for years, Harbaugh uses the element of surprise to trump opponents.

Here are five of Harbaugh’s decisions that other coaches wouldn’t have touched with a 10-foot pole.

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