Somewhat lost in all the combine chatter, there is an interesting dilemma bubbling in San Francisco. The 49ers allegedly entertained trade talks with the Factory of Sadness over their highly esteemed Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. That would be the same Jim Harbaugh who in his first three seasons has been to a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship Games. You couldn’t make this stuff up. It would have been a stunning development to say the least if the Browns managed to nab Harbaugh, and we’ll probably never know how close it was to fruition.
Forgetting for a second the sheer craziness of the situation, it does raise some interesting points about quality NFL teams, and the functional workings of successful franchises. Points that are not all together unfamiliar to Pittsburgh Steelers fans…Talent vs. Coaching.
The salient details I draw from the 49ers camp just now are that they believe more in GM Trent Baalke than in Jim Harbaugh. As such, they believe that a number of coaches could have taken this undoubtedly talented team to these heights.
There is no denying the 49ers are an extremely talented and deep team. They boast they best LB corps in football when healthy. They appear set at the most important position in the game. Their offensive line has a bevvy of All Pro talent, and there is youth waiting in the wings already (Eric Reid is a superstar in waiting).
Conversely it is difficult not to be impressed with what Jim Harbaugh has done. The accomplishments speak for themselves. Mike Tomlin is often slated as winning "with Cowhers talent". This is a charge I vehemently refute, so it would be hypocritical of me to denigrate Harbaugh, regardless of how very much I want to. I believe coaching plays as big of, if not a bigger role in the grand scheme of things as talent.
Now do not get me wrong, I would rather have Mike Tomlin physically spearing Jacoby Jones on a kick return then doing this celebration (a la Le’veon Bell) 1000 times over and losing every draft pick than have Jim Harbaugh as coach of the Steelers. And that is not hyperbole.
Jim Harbaugh is a moany, moany wee man. His sideline antics infuriate me to a point of infuriation I did not think possible until Antonio Brown stepped out of bounds against the Dolphins. I hate his brother, and I hate him (please be advised that I mean "sports hate", not actual hate).
I am interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on the matter, including possible alternative scenarios/celebrations for Mike Tomlin.
The NFL.Com comments section is not often a place to find enlightened discussion about breaking events, but I would like to leave you with a comment from Mr David Smith, a man presumably from the great state of Washington.
"Screw Jim Harbitch, he can come coach special teams in Seattle".