The options are threefold: 1) Open a new can of linemen, 2) tailor the offense to a shorter drop (few teams use as many seven-step-drop pass plays as the Colts do), or 3) get Harbaugh to respect the pocket more, to stay at home instead of throwing so much on the move.
Option number 1 is not possible in midseason. Number 2 is not practical, Infante says, because he's a seven-step-drop man and you can't change your whole philosophy. "It compounds the problem," he says. "All a shorter drop does is get your quarterback ready to throw quicker, but if your pattern hasn't developed, where are you?"
And number 3? Well, it's tough to respect the pocket when it keeps breaking down, especially at the tackle positions. And then there's the matter of Harbaugh's particular style. He's more effective when he's on the move. He doesn't fumble, and he doesn't throw interceptions—the usual liabilities of moving quarterbacks—and he doesn't hang around long enough to get whacked from the blind side.
"You'll notice that when I get hit, it's usually when I'm on the move," he said last Friday. "I respect guys like Bledsoe or Marino who stand there till the last second trying to make a big play, but I don't think I have the arm for that. And you don't see Brett Favre standing there getting rocked. He likes to move too."
O.K., so you get hit and you don't cough up the football. Award that man a medal—but it'll have to be the Purple Heart.
"I don't think about injuries on the field," Harbaugh said. "But afterward when I'm looking at films, I wonder, How many of those can I take?"
O.K., how many can you take?
"Look," he said, "I'm not gonna change my style just to survive a season. You're born, you play, you coach, you die."