Originally posted by dj43:
One area in which Harbaugh's ego certainly hurts the team, IMO, is his sideline behavior with the officials. His constant baiting and complaining does not help his team. Officials will do one of two things in that situation: tune him out completely, or wait for a chance to put him in his place. All a coach can ask of the officials is the benefit of the doubt in a close call. Recent calls on the field force me to question if Harbaugh is getting any consideration at all.
I have both coached a lot of games and reffed a lot of games, and though they were not at anything like this level, I can tell anyone who wants to listen, that officials are a pretty close bunch. They know which coaches are loud mouths and which ones are very measured in their comments. In the first case, the refs tune them out. In the second case, the refs know and respect the coach so when he questions a decision, they are much more willing to listen...just giving him the benefit of the doubt.
As a coach, players get distracted by constant yelling by the coach. They don't say anything publicly but they know the game well enough to know when the coach is just running his mouth and when he shouldn't. In a close competitive game, the coach MUST be the one calm voice in a storm of emotion. Harbaugh's record in challenges in one of the worst in the league. I can't help but think that if he were more composed on the sidelines he would not have wasted as many challenges and timeouts as he has.
For a guy that says he idolized Bill Walsh, to have such a lack of composure and appropriate demeanor on the sidelines makes me question if he really listened to everything Bill told him about coaching. Seems like he needs to get his ego under control and coach the game in a more considered way.
Bad referees with huge egos who don't really care about their jobs will do that. Most of those refs don't make it past low level college games. I know a referee who coaches in D-League basketball league and they pride themselves in getting the calls right. What embarrasses them most is making a terrible call, not a coach yelling at them.
I can name you coaches who berate the refs on the sidelines and are still respected and have won Superbowls and rings in other sports. Professional refs understand getting yelled at is occupational hazard. They are trained for it. There are always exceptions, but that's what they are - exceptions and sooner or later they get kicked out.