San Francisco 49ers: What Will Jim Harbaugh's West Coast Offense Look Like?

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San Francisco 49ers: What Will Jim Harbaugh's West Coast Offense Look Like?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There are many among the local media and other self-purported experts who claim that the evidence is mounting that new San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh plans to continue the team's long-standing commitment to a run-first offense. If true, this could spell continued disappointment for a franchise eight seasons removed from its last playoff appearance.

It is widely held that an over-commitment to the running game has been largely to blame for the 49ers' offensive ineffectiveness in recent years. This lack of offensive creativity and seeming unwillingness to embrace the strengths that the team actually possesses on offense—combined with painfully inconsistent play under center—have allowed defenses to absolutely stifle the 49ers of late.

Despite the fact that Harbaugh has vowed to run a derivative of the West Coast Offense, some people remain thoroughly unconvinced that his new offense will be markedly different from the systems of Jimmy Raye and Mike Johnson, which ranged from mediocre to utter failures. On the surface they seem to have a good case.

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