From 2003 to 2010, the 49ers were a ship that was adrift in the ocean.
San Francisco went through four coaches during that span, until they hired Jim Harbaugh away from Stanford in 2011.
Harbaugh was a game-changer, and former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis explained why in a recent interview with Niners Nation.
"I think Harbaugh changed up the culture and the way we approached the game as a team," Davis told Jas Kang. "That's what you'll see throughout history of sports; sometimes it takes that. That's what it took for us. A culture change in the way we approached the game. Not saying that coach Singletary and the rest of the group did a horrible job, they did a great job. But certain players and certain teams respond differently to certain coaches. That's what happened to us; once Harbaugh came in, we were able to grow and transcend and play together. The synergy was there for us to be a championship team. We catapulted, and it all started to happen for us."
Before Harbaugh arrived, the 49ers went 46-82 with no NFL playoff appearances in eight seasons under Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary and Jim Tomsula.
In Harbaugh's first season, the 49ers won 13 games and made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game.
The 49ers made it to the Super Bowl in Harbaugh's second season, but came up short against the Baltimore Ravens.
While Harbaugh couldn't finish the job, and was ultimately fired after his fourth season, he was the change the franchise needed nearly 10 years ago.
Vernon Davis explains why 49ers responded to Jim Harbaugh as coach originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area