INDIANAPOLIS -- Coach Jim Harbaugh is not putting a label on the 49ers' season, which ended in defeat on Super Bowl Sunday.
Harbaugh has maintained the same approach since coming to the 49ers. He often states that the team's goal is to continue to show improvement every day. And that's how he chooses to approach this offseason, too.
"A lot of people want you to look at it through a certain lens of you-got-there-but-it-wasn't-as-good-as-you-wanted lens," Harbaugh said Friday at the NFL scouting combine.
"Or if you get to that game you got to win that game or else. I don't know what the 'or else' is. And several other lenses, like it was a successful season or it wasn't. Either team could've won it, etc., etc. It can go on for a while.
"The lens that I choose to use -- that we choose to use -- is look at yourself. Where can you get better? And we're forging ahead with a new day. It's a new day today and paws in the ground and we're attacking it with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. And see if we can't make today better yesterday and tomorrow better . . . a little bit better tomorrow than we were today. That's our attitude with it."
* * *
Harbaugh confirmed wide receiver Mario Manningham is not expected to be ready for the opening of training camp after undergoing surgery in mid-January to repair tears to his ACL and PCL ligaments in his left knee. Manningham told CSNBayArea.com at the Super Bowl that he expects to be ready for the opening of the regular season.
* * *
Harbaugh said he reached out to his brother, John, the winning coach, a few days after the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory in Super Bowl XLVII. Harbaugh did not have anything particularly revealing about the post-Super Bowl discussions. When asked if it's easier to lose to his brother, he answered, "No, it's not easier."
* * *
Harbaugh remembers being impressed with what he saw from Colin Kaepernick at the scouting combine two years ago. Kaepernick took part in every drill and had an impressive interview, Harbaugh said.
On Kaepernick's work ethic, Harbaugh said: "I think it's one of his assets, one of the things that makes him who he is. It's one of the things that's made him who he is. He's got great attitude. He has a great work ethic. People who have a great attitude and a great work ethic, there are very few circumstances or situations that can keep you from being good. I think that goes for anybody. Maybe there's a percentage of really bad luck in there that I'm not factoring in. But darn-near 100 percent when you have a great work ethic and great attitude things are going to work out really well."
* * *
One of Harbaugh's more colorful answers came when asked about the importance of prospects being truthful.
"Somebody that's not truthful, that's big, to me," Harbaugh said. "I'm a big fan of the Judge Judy show. And when you lie in Judge Judy's courtroom, it's over. Your credibility is completely lost. You have no chance of winning that case. So I learned that from her. It's very powerful, and true. Because if somebody does lie to you, how can you ever trust anything they ever say after that? Ronald Reagan, another person of great wisdom and advice, 'Trust but we will verify.' "
* * *
The 49ers currently have 14 draft picks, including three projected compensatory selections. Can he imagine 14 draft picks making the team?
"Can I imagine it? Sure. Anything's possible," Harbaugh said. "But we also have a lot of good players on our team. Just as a point of fact, take all the players we have on our team, and would love to see them develop, and coach them to be the best they can be, so there's no way 14 players can come in and make the roster. And, simultaneously, at the same time, we're going to find 14 players to come in and beat out 14 of our guys who are currently on the team. That's working at the same time. It's iron sharpening iron effect. I can imagine it both ways."