Harbaugh Watch: Day 1

Jan 5, 2011 at 7:29 PM


This is just getting ridiculous. I have been attached to Twitter (@49erswebzone) for the latest updates and even made my girlfriend read me Jim Harbaugh stories while I was cooking to make sure I didn't miss anything.

In short - I've bought into the hype.

Yes, I want Jim Harbaugh as the next 49ers coach. I want him because he's proven he can turn a program around. I want him because he believes in the Bill Walsh philosophy of coaching. I want him because he can develop quarterbacks.

So - here go some thoughts about Harbaugh, via a blog, as he negotiates with Jed York, since we know he is really calling the shots. If new GM Trent Baalke was really in charge we wouldn't have interviewed head coaching candidates before the GM hire. But I digress...

Here go some thoughts about Harbaugh as he negotiates with Jed York at some undisclosed location in the Bay Area. In honor of my old Webzone forum pal Fropwns, grab a drink, sit back, relax, and catch updates on the Webzone's version of Harbaugh watch.
7:38 pm: Apparently, Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross traveled to the West Coast to try and convince Harbaugh in a "last ditch" effort to sway the Stanford head coach. (The story is here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5993761)

Let's be real here, 5-6 hour flights are planned ahead of time, and if the Dolphins are meeting with Harbaugh now it's the meeting was planned hours ago.

You also have to wonder if Harbaugh wasn't liking what the 49ers were officially offering and asked his agent early on to contact the Dolphins.

Either way, things are getting tense.
7:44 pm: Pretty good tweet from @BA SportsGuy

This just in: Jed York seen outside Jim Harbaugh's house holding a boom box over his head playing "In Your Eyes" at a very high volume.

lol
7:49 pm: Jason LaCanfora reports the Dolphins offered Gruden 7 mil a year and that the offer might now be offered to Harbaugh. Jed was piddling in the 4 mil a year area. If money isn't an option, Jed should up that offer to 7.5 mil a year and be done with it.

If I'm not mistaken, Jed is about 30. I'm 29 and I'd be worried if I were trying to negotiate a deal with the hottest coaching prospect in the league. Jim has all the leverage here. Ugh.
8:11 pm: Bottom line: If he's the right man for the job, pay him. He's not any worse at the job the more you pay him. Nor is he any better the less you pay him.

The head coach is more important that any one player and we were prepared to give 50 mil to Alex Smith. Give that 50 mil over 6 seasons to Harbaugh instead.
8:13 pm: Oh f**k.

From Adam Schefter: 49ers not officially out on Harbaugh, not yet anyway, but they're now prepared to move on. They won't compete financially with Fins.

So money IS a consideration. The Yorks want to be an elite team but aren't prepared to pay/play like one. Dolphins know what they want and are willing to pay for it. The 49ers only want it if it comes at bargain prices. Unless your name is Nate Clements.

(Sorry, Nate.)
8:33 pm: Bottom line: The Dolphins are willing to make Harbaugh the highest coach in the NFL and the 49ers are not.

Check out this article on average head coaching salaries: http://www.ehow.com/about_7504464_average-salary-average-nfl-coach.html (I know, I know. It's an eHow site, but it's still got some good info from Bob LaMonte. If I'm not mistaken, he was Sing's agent).

The average NFL head coach makes 3.25 million a year. Bill Belichick makes 7.5 million a year. PETE CARROL makes 7 million a year.

If you want the best (or what you think is the best) you have to be prepared to pay for the best. Not every head coach is going to settle for 2 million a year.
And we wonder why the 49ers could never woo Pete from USC.
9:01 pm: Some interesting info from Tim Kawakami's twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/timkawakami):

1. "NFL source: 49ers are prepared to offer Harbaugh about $5M per over 5 years and believed Harbaugh was ready to accept. Until Miami called."

2. "Harbaugh left 6-hour meeting with York & Baalke said he had to listen to Steve Ross out of respect & would get back to them tomorrow."

And perhaps the biggest one:

3. "NFL source: 49ers have had initial discussions with former Denver coach Josh McDaniels in lieu of possible Harbaugh-Miami deal."

I really do hope the Miami thing is out of respect. Maybe, just MAYBE, Harbaugh is willing to accept a little less money to not move his family, buy a new house and dig into the Walsh tape that would have any Walsh aficionado salivating.

But, then we have the McDaniels thing. Really. Really. This is the same head coach that:

• Pushed out Jay Cutler, a very talented QB, for no apparent reason other than he didn't like him and wanted Matt Cassel instead.

• Traded Brandon Marshall, a very talented wide receiver, who wanted out because he couldn't stand and didn't trust his head coach.

• Pushed out Mike Nolan, the coach who turned the Denver defense into something respectable and turned Elvis Dumerville into a pass rushing force.

• Lost 20 of his final 26 games as the Denver head coach.

McDaniels is a petulant child who wanted things his way and when he couldn't muscle it into fruition started treating his players like dirt.

Real high-caliber choice, 49ers. Gruden may have been an a-hole but at least he is a Super Bowl winning a-hole.
9:01 pm: Some interesting info from Tim Kawakami's twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/timkawakami):

1. "NFL source: 49ers are prepared to offer Harbaugh about $5M per over 5 years and believed Harbaugh was ready to accept. Until Miami called."

2. "Harbaugh left 6-hour meeting with York & Baalke said he had to listen to Steve Ross out of respect & would get back to them tomorrow."

And perhaps the biggest one:

3. "NFL source: 49ers have had initial discussions with former Denver coach Josh McDaniels in lieu of possible Harbaugh-Miami deal."

I really do hope the Miami thing is out of respect. Maybe, just MAYBE, Harbaugh is willing to accept a little less money to not move his family, buy a new house and dig into the Walsh tape that would have any Walsh aficionado salivating.

But, then we have the McDaniels thing. Really. Really. This is the same head coach that:

• Pushed out Jay Cutler, a very talented QB, for no apparent reason other than he didn't like him and wanted Matt Cassel instead.

• Traded Brandon Marshall, a very talented wide receiver, who wanted out because he couldn't stand and didn't trust his head coach.

• Pushed out Mike Nolan, the coach who turned the Denver defense into something respectable and turned Elvis Dumerville into a pass rushing force.

• Lost 20 of his final 26 games as the Denver head coach.

McDaniels is a petulant child who wanted things his way and when he couldn't muscle it into fruition started treating his players like dirt.

Real high-caliber choice, 49ers. Gruden may have been an a-hole but at least he is a Super Bowl winning a-hole.
9:08 pm: Even Singletary had a better wining percentage than McDaniels. McDaniels was 12-20 (.375) while Sing was 18-22 (.462)
9:15 pm: Oh, I almost forgot - McDaniels ALSO traded away Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn, a 2011 6th round pick and a 2012 conditional pick.

You know Brady Quinn. He has a 66.8 career QB rating and completes 52 percent of his passes. Yeah. That guy.
9:30 pm: Based on some twitter comments I've been asked to think about some of McDaniel's positives. I can't really think of too many. But he did have Kyle Orton playing at a respectable level.

This year Orton earned a QB rating of 87.5 while completing 58.8 percent of his passes. Alex Smith, as a point of comparison, earned an 82.1 rating while completing 59.6 percent of his passes.

Orton passed for 281 yards per game, while Alex Smith passed for 215.

McDaniels also fielded an offense that got the most out of Brandon Lloyd, the former 49ers now in his 8th season.

But are those two successes (if you can really call Orton that) really worth the ego that comes with McDaniels?

We just fired a coach because his own volatility transferred to the players and had them playing scared. The coach's personality becomes part of the team, and McDaniels (at least at this point in his career) is simply not mature enough to lead a team towards consistent success.
9:43 pm: @RedAndGoldBleeder (http://twitter.com/#!/RedGoldBleeder) has some interesting tidbits on why Harbaugh will choose the 49ers despite being offered more money from the Fins. And it rests on Harbaugh's connection with Walsh. He also talks about the lack of a viable QB and the lack of connections to the front office.

But I've got to ask myself - if the 49ers were such a slam dunk why even involve the Dolphins? Leverage? The 49ers wanted Harbaugh, that's plenty of leverage.

It seems that money is definite consideration and you can't blame the man. He's got to believe that he can turn any program around whether it be the 49ers or the Dolphins. Being wanted (and being paid accordingly) has lots of allure.
9:49 pm: Kawakami has a great recap of the rise and demise of jim Harbaugh to the 49ers here: http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/01/05/are-the-49ers-about-to-lose-harbaugh-to-miami-and-7-8m-a-year/
9:55 pm: The ultimate problem is Jed York saying, "Money is no object. I mean, our object is to win the Super Bowl, year in and year out be there and compete for Super Bowls. We're going to make sure we get this right."

If money is no object, and the only thing Miami is able to offer that trumps the 49ers is money, then you have to call BS on Jed.

Money is a huge object. It seems to me the only person at the negotiating table for whom money is not an option owns the Dolphins, not the 49ers.
10:10 pm: In case we don't land Harbaugh, I've started to gather ideas for voicing dissent based on a suggestion from @jamemiller74

http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/thread.php?num=151023
10:12 pm: Alright, I've got to step away for a bit. I'm running real hot right now and I can;t imagine we will see any new news.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for the 49ers.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • Jared
    I agree with you on everyone of your posts. I too, have fallen into the Harbuagh allure. I live on the east coast, about an hour from Buffalo, so this is where all my news comes from. I will say, that if they do not land him, this will be the biggest bust in awhile. I am really starting to feel the pain, like a Bills fan. We NEED this guy, just as much as we NEED a QB. Are offense is despicable, not being able to score on the first drive, or first quarter for that matter, and our conversion percentage is terrible. I really hope this pans out for us, Im pretty much having a heartattack over it, and if that doesnt kill me first, my wife will. Plan B, better be a huge name, because I wont settle for a Tom Cable, or Chan Gailey, or Josh Mcdaniels for that matter. I will be glued to this all day, so keep up the good work. Later.
    Jan 6, 2011 at 7:00 AM
    0
    Response: Thanks, Man. I hope we get him too.

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