Hartman: Gerhart big believer in 49ers' Harbaugh

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 20, 2012 - 10:54 PM

 The Viking played for him at Stanford and saw him turn the program around just like he has with the 49ers.

hide

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, right, chats with the Minnesota Vikings' Toby Gerhart.

Photo: Paul Sakuma, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Among the many people not surprised to see Jim Harbaugh turn the 49ers into a winner is Vikings running back Toby Gerhart, who played three years at Stanford under Harbaugh and watched him do the same thing there that he has for the Vikings' Sunday opponent.

Harbaugh took over a Stanford squad that was 1-11 in 2007 under the previous coach, Walt Harris, who had recruited Gerhart. Harbaugh then proceeded to improve Stanford's record each season -- going from 4-8 in 2007 to 5-7 in 2008 to 8-5 in 2009 (Gerhart's final season at Stanford) and then 12-1 in 2010 before Harbaugh left.

In San Francisco, Harbaugh took a team that was 6-10 the year before he took over to a 13-3 record last season, and coached them to within one game of making the Super Bowl. And this year the 49ers are considered the best team in football so far and are a favorite to make the Super Bowl.

"He's a great coach,'' Gerhart said. ''He gets the best of his players, is extremely confident, stirs the pot and gets the best out of his players.''

What's his secret?

"I just think the confidence he instills in his players,'' Gerhart said. ''He makes them work hard, it's all about being intense, being physical. He just brings out the best in his guys.

''He's pretty tough. He'll definitely want you doing things the right way. It's all about football. He loves football. If anything takes away from that he'll definitely take disciplinary action."

Gerhart said he wasn't surprised when Harbaugh left Stanford to take over the struggling 49ers, but it did surprise him some that the rookie head coach was able to do so well with the lockout limiting preparation time.

"He came to Stanford and turned that program around, and the next step was to move onto the NFL,'' Gerhart said. ''I think that was his dream and aspiration, and he got a chance and now he's making the most of it.

"He got [Stanford] from 1-11 to 12-1. He completely turned the record around, turned the program around and made Stanford a football powerhouse.''

Gerhart is looking forward to playing against Harbaugh and the 49ers, who are seven-point favorites.

"I'm excited. It's going to be different lining up on the opposite sideline of him instead of being on the same sideline," Gerhart said. "But they're a good team, and we feel like we're a good team and we're excited to see how we match up against them. He has his team out ready to play every week. They'll be ready to play, but so will we."

Gerhart said Harbaugh is running basically the same offense that he ran at Stanford.

"Very similar. I watched them the other night on TV and a lot of the stuff they're doing is the same concepts, same kind of schemes we ran," Gerhart said.

"We feel we can match up with anybody. We had a good week of practice so far, and we'll see what happens Sunday."

Gophers confident

A year ago the Gophers won three games, including two conference matchups late in the season against Iowa and Illinois.

No doubt those victories gave the Gophers confidence that carried over to this year and are a reason why Jerry Kill's guys are 3-0.

Senior linebacker Mike Rallis, a real team leader, said he believes the success is due to "just a mindset. I think we've done a good job of building confidence in the season, and during the offseason with our hard work. We just have to keep building on that and getting better."

Rallis also credits the coaching staff and the fact that the same group is back two years in a row, something that didn't happen under Tim Brewster.

"The coaching staff has done a great job creating a culture where we expect to win, and it has been really helpful for us this year," Rallis said. "Continuity does make a big difference; you get comfortable within the staff. You know what to expect, and they know what to expect from you. It just makes everything a little bit easier."

Rallis said he doesn't believe the team has proven anything yet by beating UNLV, New Hampshire and Western Michigan.

"We haven't done anything yet," he said. "We're just going to keep preparing and trying to keep getting better every day we go out on the practice field."

Rallis said Syracuse will give the Gophers their toughest game to date.

"They're a good team,'' Rallis said. ''They have a lot of good players out there, and we're going to have to play our best game. It's going to be a fun atmosphere under the lights," he said.

Jottings:

• The Vikings signed John Carlson to a five-year, $25 million contract (only $9.1 million guaranteed), but in the first two games the former Notre Dame tight end hasn't caught a pass.

"We're going to try to give Carlson the ball more," Vikings quarterback Cristian Ponder said. "He's a great player, and we need to do a better job of getting the ball to him, and we will. He's really good. He's so physical and so tough and such a dynamic player. We're trying to give him the ball, and we'll keep doig it."

The former Litchfield star has been plagued by injuries the past two years but caught 55 passes his rookie year and 51 his second year with the Seahawks.

• It's interesting that two top local pro teams -- the Vikings and the Twins -- are dealing with more no-shows than ever before. The on-street scalpers are complaining about fans' lack of interest in paying regular prices these days. The Twins even are having trouble selling tickets for next week's games with the Yankees.

• The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that the NCAA has turned down Syracuse redshirt freshman John Raymon's waiver application, so the former Iowa defensive end, a transfer this year, will have to sit out the season. That means that senior Deon Goggins will be playing defensive tackle instead of defensive end, which he had switched to in the preseason.

• Former Twin Michael Cuddyer was named the Rockies 2012 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, a nomination the Twins also bestowed upon him in 2011. It's an award that recognizes sportsmanship and community involvement in baseball. Justin Morneau was given the Twins' nomination this season, and former Twin Johan Santana was also nominated by the Mets.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
Dallas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Vancouver 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Chicago 7:00 PM
Nashville
Arizona 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Carolina 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Columbus 9:30 PM
San Jose
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close