Comments about ‘Jim Harbaugh has had success with former Ute and Cougar quarterbacks’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2012 7:00 p.m. MST

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American Fork, UT

that's the great concept folks are missing..."a great coach". that's the ticket. great article. thanks. i am happy Heaps will have great coaching now in Kansas.

The Dixie Kid
Saint George, UT

Even I could do well at San Diego. Mortensen could not play D1 ball. It has nothing to do with who is coaching him. The guy had no arm at all. It's a lot easier to complete passes against slow DBs.

Pleasant Grove, UT

Seriously? Alex Smith gets mentioned in passing in the last paragraph? Harbaugh's real football success is with Smith. I am glad Todd Mortensen has had some success in his post football life. But, Smith is in the NFC championship game this week! You can only give him a couple lines?
This is all too typical of the Deseret News. Anything from the 'U' is automatically deemed inferior or less than worthy of attention. Smith is the real story here!


Very enjoyable article, Doug. Thank you.

Salt Lake City, UT


Seriously? More jealous whining for the hill crowd? The article is about the success Harbaugh has had working with a variety of quarterbacks. It's not about Alex Smith. Get over your inferiority complex already.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Very Simple Monk.

Both Urben Meyer and Jim Harbaugh knew how to direct Alex Smith. Alex is no Joe Montana or Steve Young, they knew how to do QB on their own. I am a big 49ers fan for many years and those seven years were too long. I was surprised 49ers kept him around and seven OC changes were strange. Two TDs in less than 4 minutes of plays was the first for playoffs (to what media has said). Good luck against the Giants (NY).

Eagle Mountain, UT

Great Article.
Grow up Monk

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Monk, I have to agree with Swoop here. There's no reason to complain about the DNews favoring BYU over Utah in this article.
We all know Alex's story, this article was about Harbaugh. I found it very interesting what Harbaugh did with another QB this state knew.
As a Ute fan, I just don't understand your frustration with this article ... let's don't make everything about the rivalry.

West Jordan, UT

I think this article gives too much of Alex's credit to Harbaugh. Don't get me wrong, he's an awesome coach, but I don't think he had to "transform" Alex Smith. Smith was a 1st round draft pick for a reason, and his lackluster career in the NFL has had more to do with the shoddy management and mediocre roster of the Niners that have plagued that franchise for the past decade, than it does with his ability as a QB. What Harbaugh has done is show all the naysayers what he's probably seen all along: Alex Smith is a talented QB that's never had the opportunity to shine, because the rest of the pieces of the team weren't there.

I do take issue with this article being titled as a piece on Harbaugh, when clearly it's a "What Mortensen's up to these days..." retrospective.

Pocatello, ID

Oh, stop crying about sour grapes from Utah fans.

The headline says, "Jim Harbaugh has had success with former Ute and Cougar quarterbacks," but most of the article is a biography of a guy named Mortensen that most BYU fans probably barely remember. A more appropriate title would have been "Ex-BYU backup Mortensen's success in life, and Jim Harbaugh's minor role in it."

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

Does anyone know for a fact if BYU has coaches who game plan? Or is everything based on executing (something) at a higher level? From past coach-speak comments during the last six years I can't remember hearing the words "execute" and "game plan" together. I like Bronco but my questions are serious.

Bluffdale, UT

Go back and look at the post game shows with Singletary's ranting. See how he tears down his team especially Vernon Davis. The offensive line wouldn't protect the quarterback and the coach seemed to encourage it, Alex Smith and Troy Smith had no offensive pocket. How could anyone do well in that environment? Any change in coach would be a great improvement to the team. Harbaugh knew he was sitting on a gold mine with this job.

DEW Cougars - A long time 49ers fan? Really? Did you watch the self implosion of Singletary's career?

Bluffdale, UT

DEW Cougars "Alex is no Joe Montana or Steve Young, they knew how to do QB on their own. I am a big 49ers fan for many years and those seven years were too long."

Remember Steve Young's career at LA Express?

Steve Young would not have done any better than Alex Smith under the circumstances with Mike Singletary's coaching.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

Thanks for establishing how important the coach is to a quarterbacks success. When the coach offers little constructive suggestions and openly is criticall of the quarterback, other players catch on and that quarterback is not effective. It is too bad that some local teams do not have that kind of talent coaching. Had they been effective in handling their talent, those teams win lots of games over good talent and hold on to their good players. They see it as their job to build a group that pulls together and develop players to do better and better. When coaches fail to have the vision of their role the team, players and fans all suffer.

Bluffdale, UT

I am not ranting on Harbaugh. He is a great coach. He am just saying Alex Smith was/is lucky to have Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh as coaches. But, so did Steve Young with LaVell Edwards and Bill Walsh.

Four of the best coaches ever.

Salt Lake City, UT


Did Harbaugh make Smith this year, or did Smith make Harbaugh? I think nearly everyone would say Harbaugh made Smith, 1st rounder or not. (Ryan Leaf anyone?)

The point of the article is just that: Harbaugh has done it at every level, with multiple QB's, and there are similarities between Smith and Mortensen (intelligent guys who blossomed under an intelligent, supportive coach).

I'm happy for Smith, Harbaugh and Mortensen.

Salt Lake City, UT


Remember Steve Young's career at LA Express?

You mean where under Coach John Hadl he led them to the Western Conference finals and passed for 300 yards and ran for 100 in the same game? That Steve Young?

You're probably thinking of the Tampa Bay Steve Young who had a QB rating of 63.1 vs his rating of 101.4 with the 49ers.

Up, down, up -- depending on coaching and teammates.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Razzele2 - nothing personal on you. Yes, born and raised in the Bay Area or Marin County. I went to BYU in 1979 and finally Joe Montana & 49ers beats Dallas Cowboys which I believe it was 1981 (Wikipedia is down today).

Remember Steve Young would throw up before the game in college and in nfl (I believe every time)? He would have threw up on Mike Singletary no problem.

Alex Smith was so so and Robbie Bosco was worse (not mobile on Robbie). Steve YOung was crazy to run all over the place and too bad he had a conconsion (once or twice during his 49ers time. USFL was a joke and Tampa (after Steve left LA Express) was like the 49ers for the last two years with Singletary. You are right, Steve Young wouldn't do well w/o Bill Walsh and Jerry Rice and company. All I can say now good luck 49ers on Giants.

I do remember about Todd Mortenson, he is doing great with his career. Good Luck Todd.

Bluffdale, UT

Steve Young was crazy to run all over the place which is why I loved him after watching Marc Wilson drop to his knees all the time.

Alex Smith did run to a leading touchdown on Saturday too.

We'll never know how good Alex was in college since they Utes were undefeated and blew away the Fiesta Bowl. Alex never met his match. But, just seven years after the Fiesta Bowl he is in the NFC Championship. (Wiki is down so I don't know how long it took Young to get to the NFC Championship.)

I'm betting, if we give Alex as much time as Steve Young got with a coach almost as good as Bill Walsh...you may not say he's no Steve Young.

Papa Smurf UTE
Herriman, UT

I love how the Des News wants to try and talk about an ex UTE player in Alex Smith, but they just have to metnion something about a Y player doing something first, that they think is bigger and better than what Alex is doing with the Niners. Let me remind you, Alex is 1 win away from a Super Bowl berth, and has only thrown 5 int's all year. Mortenson did this at a small college. Alex has had 7 OC's in as many years as he has been in a league, with no O line to block for him up until last year. Mike Singletary screwed up his team, made Alex the scapegoat, and about ruined his career. Fortunately for Alex and his family, Jimmy boy came in and coached him up, letting him know that he was behind him 1000%, and whatever he did was alrgith with him. Nolan and Singletary were jokes. No wonder they are no longer head coaches. Thanks Des News. Next time you want to talk about Alex Smith, maybe write the article on Smith, and not an ex Y player.

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