Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/26/11

Jim Harbaugh may not have the most traditional coaching methods, but they have worked almost to perfection this season.  The Niners are one of the year’s biggest surprises and are going to finish the year with a record no worse than 12-4.  If you say you saw that coming, you’re lying.  One of the keys to the Niners’ success this season has been tremendous coaching. According to the San Francisco Gate, Harbaugh even did a little acting to give his team an edge during Saturday’s victory over Seattle.

Before the 49ers went for it on 4th-and-2 from Seattle’s 40-yard line on the opening drive of the third quarter Saturday, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh called a timeout, huddled his offense around him and did his best to earn the NFL’s version of an Academy Award.

Hoping to dupe the Seahawks into thinking the 49ers were preparing for some smash-mouth ball on 4th down, Harbaugh began screaming at his offensive linemen, as if firing them up for the challenge.

“It was a little bit of gamesmanship,” Harbaugh said. “I was trying to direct it to the offensive line, saying that we were going to run the ball, so let’s come off the ball, in case (the Seahawks were) looking. We had a play-action pass called.”

Who knows if Seattle fell for the acting job, but the play-action pass succeeded when Alex Smith completed a 16-yard pass to Vernon Davis.  The Niners went on to score a touchdown later in the drive.

Smith said nothing Harbaugh does surprises his players anymore.  Whether it be handing out blue collar shirts to send a message, saying Frank Gore deserves a statue, or calling Smith an elite quarterback, Harbaugh has figured out a successful formula in San Francisco.  Now we can add acting experience to his impressive 2011 resume.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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