In one short interview with Sports Illustrated, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh turned sentiment back in his favor. On Monday, Harbaugh depicted himself as the opposite of how he has been characterized when he talked to SI’s Michael Rosenberg.
Harbaugh said he never told anyone he wanted to be the highest paid coach in the league, and that he’s comfortable with the authority he has in the organization. While he didn’t reject speculation that he clashes with GM Trent Baalke, he also said he talks to Baalke frequently and that he respects him.
Harbaugh didn’t address a supposed rift with players, but he didn’t need to do that. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin handled that for him during a conference call after Boldin agreed to a 2-year, $12 million deal with the 49ers.
“I don’t think anybody in our locker room has an issue with coach Harbaugh,” Boldin said. “The way our locker room is built, we have an open door policy, if anybody has a concern, or wants to voice their opinion, they are more than welcome to. There have been times when we have voiced our concerns as players and coach Harbaugh has taken into consideration how we felt as players. I don’t think there is any rift between players and coaches, particularly coach Harbaugh. Everybody is pretty much on the same page and if not, we have it to where he listens to us.”
As for Harbaugh, his comments to Rosenberg were nothing short of stunning. When asked if he wanted more power, Harbaugh said, “No. I’ve never wanted more power. We have a great organization. Everybody in our organization works their tails off and does a very good job,” Harbaugh was quoted as saying. “Everybody does a little and it adds up to a lot.”
About his contract, Harbaugh said, “What I do know is this: I make plenty of money. And I don’t do five times as much work as any other coach on the staff. I get paid extremely well. Jed York has always been square dealing with me. I don’t think about that as an issue.”
What? Someone in sports saying they make plenty of money? Usually those wanting bigger contracts say something ridiculous like they want to put food on the table for their family. As if millions of dollars isn’t enough for that.
So why is Harbaugh saying this and why did it take this long to say it?
Because Harbaugh wants to win, and he saw that the contract talk had become a distraction.
So Harbaugh decided to end all the speculation and all the comments from unnamed sources by not only humbling himself, but by placing his contract on the back burner and putting his team first.
The next thing Harbaugh did was go to Illinois to meet privately with Eastern Illinois quarterbacking prospect Jimmy Garoppolo.
Harbaugh left his contact situation behind because he had some coaching to do.