49ers' Harbaugh breaks from NFL form

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- NFL convention doesn't always line up with Jim Harbaugh's way.

That became clear during Harbaugh's first training camp as coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Instead of relying upon support staff and large digital clocks to divide practice periods, Harbaugh kept the time himself. That allowed him to push the tempo in practice to his liking. Harbaugh also would blow a whistle between periods, replacing the typical NFL air horns.

Harbaugh is also bucking convention with how he schedules his practice week. Most coaches give players Tuesdays off. Harbaugh is making Monday optional for the 49ers. Tuesdays feature team meetings and a walk-through practice, all mandatory.

That means there will be no "victory Monday" announcements giving players the day off following victories. Harbaugh's players will be off Mondays, win or lose, but they'll have to work Tuesdays. Coaches usually spend Tuesdays readying game plans for their Wednesday practices. That will presumably remain the case for the 49ers. I'll ask Harbaugh during his Monday news conference.

The new scheduling arrangement left the 49ers' locker room nearly deserted Monday when reporters arrived for a one-hour media session. Defensive lineman Will Tukuafu and safety Reggie Smith were there and accessible, as were a few others. Linebacker Patrick Willis and quarterback Alex Smith were there, but both said they would not be available until Wednesday.

Harbaugh's media session is scheduled for noon PT.