x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Harbaugh instills the 'will to win' in turnaround

Since the day he became the 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh has talked about the 'process' of turning around the struggling franchise. At 4-1 after five weeks, Harbaugh's 'process' may be ahead of schedule.

SAN FRANCISCO // Jim Harbaugh took a moment and reminded his team to stay humble, to keep working.

Since the day he became the San Francisco 49ers head coach in January, Harbaugh has talked about the "process" of turning around the struggling franchise.

So far, it has happened fast.

The 49ers are 4-1 after Sunday's 48-3 rout of Tampa Bay and are looking better every week.

"I love the fact that he motivates us and has us ready to win every game," Michael Crabtree, the wide receiver, said.

"It's like the will to win. It's not just focusing on one person. Everyone has the same goal in mind."

San Francisco are getting key contributions from all phases: offence, defence and special teams.

On Sunday, Alex Smith threw two of his three touchdown passes to Vernon Davis; Frank Gore ran for a touchdown in his second successive 100-yard rushing game; Carlos Rogers returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown; and tight ends Davis and Delanie Walker each caught TD passes.

This marked the 49ers' largest margin of victory since they beat the Los Angeles Rams 48-0 in 1987 - and it matched the Bucs' worst loss ever.

"It's been a long time," Davis said. "To be ahead like we were today, I don't remember the last time I've seen anything like that."

Josh Freeman, the quarterback, never found the flow that made him so effective in Tampa Bay's 21-0 victory in San Francisco last year. The Bucs (3-2) were a step behind in a short week after beating the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

"Flat start. Flat finish. Flat middle. Everything," Raheem Morris, the coach, said. "We didn't even get off the plane this time."