Super Bowl XLVII: The Coaches
Tired of reading about the Harbaugh family yet? Don't worry. There's only a few days left until head coaching brothers John and Jim Harbaugh square off in Super Bowl XLVII.
But rather than rehash how their mother, uncle or first cousin once removed feels about John's Baltimore Ravens playing Jim's San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, let's examine the matchup of top shelf coaching staffs in the biggest football game of the year.
San Francisco's staff
Though Jim Harbaugh was an NFL quarterback for 15 years, the 49ers offense comes from the mind of offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who also calls the plays. Jim at a news conference yesterday called Roman's offense "revolutionary."
Since Colin Kaepernick stepped in as the starting quarterback, the Niners have run a lot of read-option plays out of the pistol formation. They still like to mix in power run plays to running backs.
On the whole, the Niners focus on the run. They were one of six teams during the regular season to have more rush attempts than pass attempts.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio runs a 3-4 front. Cornerback Tarell Brown told 49ers.com that Fangio, who calls the plays, has "always been aggressive. He's never a passive coach and he relies on us to make plays."
John Harbaugh chose to fire longtime Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron late in the season and replace him with former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. The team responded to a new play caller with more consistency on offense.
According to ESPN's Stats & Info, Flacco's completion percentage on passes of 21 yards or more shot up from 34.2% under Cameron to 53.6% with Caldwell calling the plays.
On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Dean Pees calls the plays in Baltimore's 3-4 scheme.
Jim and John are similarly experienced. Though John has been an NFL head coach longer, Jim turned Stanford into a top 10 college program. Neither has missed the playoffs in their combined seven NFL seasons.
Coaching doesn't have as much of an impact on the game itself as the players do, but the slim edge has to go to the 49ers in this case thanks to continuity throughout the season. There's something to be said for keeping the entire staff intact.