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Seems strange, doesn’t it, that Flores would stand alone? Maybe the problem was that none of these coaches had a quarterback who was as great as they were. (Still, Van Brocklin had a young Fran Tarkenton in Minnesota, and Graham had Jurgensen in Washington. That’s not too bad.)

At any rate, the bar hasn’t been set terribly high for Harbaugh. And, looking over his numbers again, he really did have his moments as an NFL quarterback. He started for three playoff teams — one with the Bears, two with the Colts — and in 1995, the season his Colts made it to the AFC title game, he led the league in passer rating (100.7). He also had excellent mobility, rushing for more yards in his career (2,787) than Elway, among others.

And so far, he’s the NFL coach of the year. The 49ers already have as many victories as they did all of last season; they’ve won at Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Detroit — all three might make the playoffs — and, under Harbaugh’s direction, perennial disappointment Alex Smith has turned into a functional quarterback (95.7 rating, just two interceptions in seven games).

But then, it’s in Harbaugh’s DNA. His father, Jack, was a longtime college coach, and his brother, John, is boss of the Baltimore Ravens. Other NFL quarterbacks have options. With Jim, the X’s-and-O’s life might have been preordained.