Follow-Up: Impact of Harbaugh vs. Carroll on Starters
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I ran out of time to add this view into the impact that Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll have had on their respective talent levels. It helps to see the actual names, and the actual areas of impact among the starters. In the article from last night, starters were more narrowly defined. In the tables below, you will see the top three wide receivers, the top two tight ends, as well as the top three corners of each teams from the seasons prior to each coach taking over and where they are now. Players each coach added to the roster are highlighted. There are some players that were on the roster, but were not starters. Red Bryant, would be an example of this.
A number of readers have pointed out that Harbaugh did the right thing by sticking with his talent instead of overhauling. That is fair. It is also not the point. Carroll has proven in a very short time that he will add significant talent to the roster every single year at almost every position. He can upgrade anywhere and any time. Harbaugh has proven he can lead a talented team, but his impact additions are limited. No matter how talented this year’s 49er team is, they would have loved to add another player the caliber of Donte Whitner or Aldon Smith in the 2012 draft. Instead, that whole draft class looks anemic. Dead drafts can hamper a franchise for years, the same way boom drafts can propel them. Consider this, Carroll and Schneider have added at least one All-Pro in two of their first three drafts (Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman), and Russell Wilson or Bobby Wagner could very well make it three-for-three next season.
In any event, take a look at the make-up of the starters on both squads. It is rather revealing.