It is Jim Harbaugh’s inauguration as an NFL head coach. It’s not his first taste of life in America’s favorite sport, but he will be front and center as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and that brings pressure.
Pro football is America’s sport. That means it generates the most money as an industry. It also means that it gets the most media attention and the most scrutiny. In an age in which immediacy is the lifeblood of today’s communication, we will be drawing conclusions from the first test for Harbaugh’s team.
Friday night’s preseason opener in New Orleans most likely will be a minimal unveiling of a new iteration of the 49ers. There is much to improve on from last year, but at the same time there is plenty to work with as well. A full transformation is not expected in early August—but we will be looking for signs. Here are the six major areas of improvement the 49ers should show in the preseason.