Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



Dear Jed York,

Rumors are swirling around that Jim Harbaugh and Company are quickly on their way out the door after the 2014 season. Tales of dysfunction and turmoil seem to fill up my news feed on a daily basis with stories of discontent with Harbaugh. Allegedly Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh don't see eye to eye on personal decisions at times. Coupled with an anemic offense this season and underwhelming performances pretty much across the board in every game, I can see why the rumors are there and most, if not all of the fan base feels that Harbaugh will prowling the sideline for another team in 2015.

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But as a fan, I have one bit of advice…Be careful what you wish for...

In 2003, following two years of disappointing playoff exits, your father Dr. York and his hand-picked general manager Terry Donahue chose to part ways with head coach Steve Mariucci. The 49ers had a few up and down seasons under Mariucci, but his career record with the team was a respectable 57-39 and he reached the NFC Championship in 1997 only to lose to Green Bay and likely would have made the NFC championship in 1998 had offensive juggernaut Garrison Hearst not broken his ankle against the Falcons. There is no shame in losing in back to back seasons to Super Bowl representatives/winners. Mariucci also was at the helm of the greatest comeback in NFC playoff history in his final season with the team. Outside of some problems with Terrell Owens (whom seemed to rub everyone the wrong way), the 49ers players seemed to love playing for the guy. If a coach can take a marginal talent like Jeff Garcia and turn him into a annual pro bowler, I think that deserves some recognition. But instead, your father decided that Mooch couldn't take us to the next level and dismissed the coach in 2003. True, Mooch flirted with the Tampa Bay job leading into the 2002 season, which I'm sure rubbed your pops the wrong way. I get it; pride is a fickle, fickle beast.

I'm sure I don't need to remind you of what followed, but let's rehash it a bit. Terry Donahue hired Dennis Erickson away from the Oregon State Beavers and he promptly went 9-23 over the next two seasons. Clearly, this wasn't acceptable to the organization and a full scale house cleaning ensued with new head coach Mike Nolan being brought into coach/build the team in 2005. Nolan and company were going to bring back a tough, working class defensive minded approach to the team. However, Nolan was unremarkable as a head coach and could not seem to keep an offensive coordinator to help the development of his #1 draft pick Alex Smith. After going 18-37 from 2005-late 2008, the 49ers released Nolan and promoted Mike Singletary to the position of head coach.

Now many of us fondly remember the Mike Singletary years for their interesting sound bites, pants dropping during half time speeches, and him randomly banishing star players to the locker room. Singletary, like Nolan before him was a tough as nails defensive guy that lead 90% on inspiration and 10% by the seat of his pants. Having never held a coordinator position, he leaned on men that shared his offensive philosophy of good defense and a strong ground game. Unfortunately it never really jelled under Singletary and he was fired in late 2010 after going 18-22 as our head coach. This lead the way for the courtship and eventual hiring of Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh prior to the 2011 season and instant success ensued. I won't rehash all of the last three years here, because you were present for most of it. But I will remind you of the 43-17-1 record he has posted since he has been here and I will also couple that with a 5-3 playoff record.

I bring this history up simply to remind you that history tends to have a way of repeating itself, and great NFL coaches don't come along every day. History also shows that consistency is the best way to be a contender year in and year out. For examples, see no further than Bill Walsh and George Seifert. If that hits a bit too close to home, look at Bill Belichick in New England and to a lesser extent Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati. You could say the same for the Andy Reid years in Philadelphia. New England has been the NFL model franchise for the better part of 15 years and has rung up an astounding record of 181-69 in the years that Bill Belichick has been the coach and had only one losing season to speak of.

Now I know Jim Harbaugh can be a handful. He is a powerful personality that can wear down the ordinary person. He is unwavering and unapologetic, on top of being demanding and fiery. While short term, most of us can agree that this is what organizations need from time to time, we can also agree that it can make even the most patience of people have a short fuse. Harbaugh's history has proven that he comes in, burns bright and then wears out his welcome in about four years. His competitive nature and demanding ways are what make him successful. He shouldn't apologize for it any more than you should expect him to change.

I'm not going to sit here and advocate that everything is perfect with this team. This is clearly the most talented team given to Harbaugh and Company, but it is also the most injury plagued team that he has had as well. Holes along the offensive line, offensive linchpin Vernon Davis being banged up, both all world linebackers being lost for the season and a carousel of defensive backs that you never quite know how are going to play from week to week. Coupled with a real and true regression at the QB position and you have the recipe for a sub-par season and that is exactly what we have this year. I know all teams deal with injuries, but this team has been ravaged by them. And despite all of that, Harbaugh has put up a respectable 7-6 record and should finish the season no worse than 8-8. Shoot, even Bill Belichick had to deal with Matt Cassel for a season and Robert Kraft didn't call for a full scale change. Even Bill has laid a couple eggs in the Super Bowl and yet there he stands on the Patriots sideline to this day.

So Jed, while you sit there in your office and contemplate your next move, I ask you to think about the past decade leading up to Harbaugh's arrival and how one poor, short sided decision can cost your team in the long run. Make changes where they need to be made, on the field and at the coordinator and assistant coach level, but look long and hard about the man that wears khakis and prowls the sideline. He is the way he is because of his competitive nature and it doesn't matter if all the players, Baalke, or even you really like the guy. What should matter is the long term success he can bring to this organization.