I'm not sure you can say we suffer from a lack of leadership from the coaching staff - remember, under Billick, the lack of discipline? It WAS the inmates running the asylum, and I think Billick was hesitant about asserting much control - especially of the defense, and especially when Ryan was here. There was a bit of open defiance, at times - Chris McAlister, for example - and I think Billick pretty much focused on the offense, and gave the defensive coaches lots of discretion, regarding plays, who played, etc. The lack of discipline showed itself by the huge number of penalties we incurred.
I don't see that under Harbaugh. MY criticism is that I don't see a specific "footprint" named Harbaugh on this team - we've lost a bit of our identity. The Offense can't decide whether it wants to be New England (focusing on the pass) or San Francisco (forcing opponents to take away the run). The Defense - so long our identity - has struggled signficantly. We're 30th vs. the run, 28th overall, on defense.
I think we're uneasy because our identity has been - for so long - a tough, punch-you-in-the-mouth, physical team, that imposed its will... and our defense is getting pushed around. Our leader - #52 - is MIA. Harbaugh hasn't figured out what to do, because it's not an easy fix...
Personally - IMO - you're barking up the wrong tree. I think our problem is Ozzie
Before everyone negs me to death (
) let me point out something: Over the last 5 drafts, we've drafted 8 defensive players in the first 3 rounds of the draft. 8 players that - because of their draft status - should be impact starters, or at least good, solid contributors. The draft is the bedrock
from which a team is built, and the defense has suffered because Ozzie has largely whiffed on some of these selections:
1. Courtney Upshaw (2nd) - yes, it's 1/2 way through his rookie season, but he has 1/2 sack in 7 games - and compare him to Aldon Smith, Von Miller, or other pass rushers. Not to knock or judge Upshaw (yet) but he hasn't made an impact at all... yet.
2. Jimmy Smith (1st) - Still young, but struggling mightily - and, for a highly touted 1st rounder, he hasn't excelled. If he'd been a 5th rounder, no one would complain, but he was a 1st.
3. Sergio Kindle (2nd) - Never made it - sure, the fall down the steps did him in, but... he's on the practice squad, and he was our 1st selection 3 years ago.
4. Terrence Cody (2nd) - Another average player - disappointly so, for a 2nd rounder. Platoons and can make a play, but isn't consistently dominating, at all.
5. Paul Kruger (2nd) - Starting for the first time in 4 years, he has 1 1/2 sacks in 7 games and 8 sacks in 4 years. A true disappointment.
6. Lardarius Webb (3rd) - A Homerun... but he's injured - a large reason we're struggling.
7. Tavares Gooden (3rd) - Gone.
8. Tom Zbikowski (3rd) - Gone.
One dominating player out of 8 picks in rounds 1-3, over the last 5 years. Yes, that's why our defense is struggling - our stars are aging (Reed, Lewis) and injured (T-Siz, Ngata)... and the reinforcements are lacking...
Sorry, Ozzie - you need some improvement.