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Alex Boone defends Jim Harbaugh: Everybody loves him

Jim Harbaugh layers fat

Alex Boone says the rumor from Deion Sanders that everyone on the 49ers wants Jim Harbaugh fired is not true.

Boone, a guard who signed a new contract before the season, defended Harbaugh during an appearance on “The Damon Bruce Show” on 97.5 The Game on Monday.

[See: Deion Sanders says 49ers players want Jim Harbaugh gone]

“So what’s the problem? I’m confused. Is winning not good? Is business not a’booming right now, boys? Here’s my problem with all of this: If you’re not in our locker room, then keep the 49ers name out of your mouth,” Boone said. “Let’s just do that, because you have no idea what goes on in our locker room.

“If they just named a name – ‘He said this’ — now you got a story. But everyone’s saying, ‘The suits upstairs’ or ‘Somebody in the locker room.’ Well, who are the suits and who are the guys? Because last I checked, I was in the locker room yesterday and it was all smiles and everybody was happy and nobody was saying, ‘We want him out.’”

Boone then countered the rumors and boldly stated that everybody on the team loves Harbaugh.

“As a matter of fact, I know for a fact that everybody loves Harbaugh,” Boone told Bruce. “He’s a great guy. He’s a great coach. How could you not want to win for a guy who wears cleats during a game? Come on, now. Have you ever seen that guy’s energy? He’s excited 24/7. You got to love to play for a guy like that. That’s what football’s all about.

“And for people to come out and say, ‘Oh, so-and-so told me they want him on the outs,’ all right, name your source. Go ahead. I can’t do that. Well, that doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know. Apparently, I don’t live in reality.”

Here’s the thing: the Niners were 1-2 entering Sunday’s game against the Eagles. When things are not going well, people complain and point fingers. I wouldn’t be surprised if after the 1-2 start, some unhappy players started saying Harbaugh needs to go. But now that they’re 2-2 and on the way up, those feelings will probably change.

Harbaugh himself was asked Monday about the report from Deion that the players want him fired.

“Personally, I think that’s a bunch of crap,” Harbaugh said in response.

Harbaugh then questioned anything that is anonymously sourced. He also said that Sanders and Trent Dilfer, an ESPN analyst who described the body language of 49ers players as “almost toxic,” are not in the locker room.

I’m discounting Dilfer’s portion here because what he said seemed to be a personal observation compared to Deion’s comments, which seem to be rooted in legitimate sources. I don’t doubt Deion’s sources, either. He’s close with many players around the league. But I bet Deion’s source or sources don’t represent the entire locker room. I also bet the 49ers will be able to put together a good season despite all the supposed issues. And all these rumblings are just more reasons why Harbaugh will probably be out after the season.

Transcription via CSN Bay Area

Deion Sanders: 49ers players want Jim Harbaugh out

Jim HarbaughThere have been few times in NFL history where a head coach has had as much success with a team as Jim Harbaugh has had with the San Francisco 49ers but still been considered persona non grata. The 2-2 Niners have reached the NFC Championship game in each of Harbaugh’s three seasons with the team, yet there is still speculation that the team wants him out. According to Deion Sanders, a quality win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday didn’t change any of that.

After the 49ers came from 21-10 down to beat the Eagles, Sanders said on the NFL Network that Harbaugh’s players want him gone.

“They want him out. They’re not on the same page,” Sanders said, per Gregg Rosenthal of Around the League. “I really want to know if they’re really playing for the head coach. I got a question with that. Are you really down with your head coach, San Francisco 49ers? Because the way it looks and what I’m hearing, you’re really not down for your head coach. And that’s a problem.

“They really got some problems that we hear rumblings. We all know people inside locker rooms.”

As Rosenthal noted, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reported on Sunday that the complaints of several veteran Niners players are growing “louder and louder” because Harbaugh treats his players like children. That’s consistent with what Rapoport said earlier this month about Harbaugh losing his locker room.

At this point, it is starting to look like Harbaugh could be fired if the Niners wind up missing the playoffs. There have been some rumblings about Michigan being interested in him, but some believe the Wolverines would actually be more likely to target Jim’s brother John.

As long as he keeps winning, Harbaugh will keep the critics at bay. But if the Niners start losing, the team might pounce on the opportunity to use it as an excuse to push him out.

Michigan reportedly prefers John to Jim Harbaugh

John-Harbaugh-Ben-Roethlisberger-Broken-NoseMichigan will likely be in the market for a new head football coach now that Brady Hoke is struggling for the third straight season.

Speculation has been that the Wolverines will have interest in Jim Harbaugh, who is in the final year of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Though that may be the case, a report says Michigan actually prefer John Harbaugh to Jim.

Here’s what NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday.

Earlier in the week, NFL.com’s Gil Brandt even suggested the possibility of the school pursuing John.

The reasons why Michigan would prefer John to Jim make sense: John beat his brother in the Super Bowl and therefore could be considered more established. John has also been the head coach of the Ravens for seven straight seasons, while Jim has coached at three different places since 2006. The stability John appears to offer is appealing.

The obvious issue is whether or not Michigan could get John Harbaugh.

John is under contract through the 2017 season and is making more money with Baltimore than he likely would in college. He frequently wins and his team is doing well this season. Why would he have any motivation to leave?

Jim, contrarily, seems to love new challenges and might embrace the opportunity to become the next coach at his alma mater and return them to prominence. The problem with that scenario, in my opinion, is that Jim might not want to leave the NFL without winning a Super Bowl first. He might stick with San Francisco to try winning it all or he might look to go elsewhere for that.

Ultimately, I think there is a very good chance Jim Harbaugh ends up at Michigan. John is a dream that is highly unlikely to ever happen.

Would Jim Harbaugh leave the 49ers for Michigan?

Jim-Harbaugh-Blue-Collar-49ers-ShirtsThe San Francisco 49ers are off to a rough start in 2014. So are the Michigan Wolverines. What does one team have to do with the other? Jim Harbaugh.

While the Niners’ brass has repeatedly denied that there is any friction between the team’s front office and its head coach, there has to be a reason Harbaugh has not yet signed an extension that will keep him in San Francisco beyond the 2015 season. Most coaches who were 36-11-1 in their first three seasons and reached the NFC Championship Game twice and Super Bowl once would have inked a new contract. But not Harbaugh, which is one of the reasons speculation is building that he could be interested in the Michigan job.

Michigan is 2-2 this season after losing in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl last year and the Outback Bowl the year before. Brady Hoke is officially on the hot seat after being blown out by Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago and losing to Utah at home last weekend. As Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio noted, Michigan — unlike NFL teams — could legally begin discussing business with Harbaugh as soon as they decide the Hoke era is over.

Though his record says otherwise, some insist Harbaugh is too strict and controlling to last in the NFL. There are already reports that Harbaugh is losing the Niners’ locker room because the players don’t feel they are treated with respect. While Harbaugh would likely have offers at the NFL level if he chose to leave San Francisco, there are few jobs in the country — both professional and collegiate — that are more appealing that the Michigan job.

Harbaugh’s personality and coaching style may be better suited for the college game. If the Niners end up missing the playoffs this season, he could realize that and act on it.

Jim Harbaugh reportedly losing 49ers locker room

Jim-Harbaugh-Blue-Collar-49ers-ShirtsBefore the San Francisco 49ers even played a snap in the 2014 regular season, rumors of controversy within the organization were already swirling. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Jim Harbaugh could be losing his locker room.

“There is some serious doubts about whether Harbaugh is actually all in like he professes,” Rapoport told NFL Media’s Rich Eisen on Sunday morning. “He says he is about the team, the team, the team. The players now wonder, is that actually the case?

“They have dealt with a lot over the last couple years. Some of the way he’s treated them, some lack of respect. And all because they are winning, they are fine with it, but some of the players wonder, if they lose, will it all spiral out of control?”

Rapoport added that a lot of veterans were irritated by Harbaugh making the team travel all the way to Baltimore so the coach could have a joint practice with his brother John and the Ravens.

[Related: Jim Harbaugh implies Ray McDonald will be cut if guilty]

Harbaugh has two years remaining on his current contract, and it is no secret he has been looking for the team to award him with an extension. The fact that the Niners have not extended Harbaugh despite the team’s success has raised plenty of eyebrows. Rapoport wonders if this could be his last year in San Francisco.

“He does have two years left on his deal,” he said. “But it is worth asking: Is this the last year for Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco?”

Harbaugh is reportedly aware of his players’ frustration with him and called a meeting this past week in an attempt to clear the air. The Niners looked shaky in preseason, but none of that will matter if they come out firing against the Cowboys. If not, expect the drama to build in a hurry.

Jim Harbaugh implies Ray McDonald will be cut if convicted of domestic violence

Ray-McDonald-NinersSan Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested over the weekend and charged with felony domestic violence. Given that Roger Goodell recently admitted he made a mistake with the Ray Rice punishment and has changed the NFL’s policy on handling domestic abuse cases, McDonald could be out for a while if convicted. He could also wind up being released by the Niners.

During his weekly appearance on KNBR Tuesday morning, Harbaugh basically promised that McDonald will no longer be welcome with the team if he is convicted.

“I’ll be very clear,” he said, per CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco. “You ask me how I feel about domestic violence. I can be very clear about that. If someone physically abuses a woman and/or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, then there’s no understanding. There’s no tolerance for that.”

When specifically asked if he meant that the Niners would not employ a player who was guilty of such behavior, Harbaugh did not hold back.

“Yes, we would not. We can be very clear,” he said. “There are going to be two principles at play here. And one is, I’ll speak for myself, I’ll speak for the 49ers: We’ll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle, we’re firm believers in is due process. And I ask for your understanding on those two principles.”

Harbaugh’s stance against domestic violence has always been a firm one. In 2012, former Niners safety Donte Whitner said Harbaugh told the team he was willing to work through any problems players might have off the field with them, but physical abuse of a woman will not be tolerated.

“He said that we can do anything in the world and we can come and talk to him and he’ll forgive us except put our hands on women,” Whitner said. “If you put your hand on a woman then you’re done in his book. So other than putting your hands on women, you can do anything and come talk to him, and it’s true.”

It is somewhat ironic that Harbaugh’s brother John coaches Rice, but no one said the brothers have to hold the same principles and rules. McDonald will have his say in court, and we don’t know when that will be. But if he did in fact assault a woman, it seems pretty clear he will be given a pink slip.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Jim Harbaugh’s son Jay turned down job with dad to remain on John’s staff

Jay HarbaughThe Harbaughs have produced perhaps the best coaching family in football history, and it looks like the tradition is stretching to a third generation.

The head of the family is Jack Harbaugh, who was the head coach at Western Michigan from 1982-1986 and Western Kentucky from 1989-2002. His sons are Jim and John, who are currently two of the most successful coaches in the NFL. And then there is Jay, 25, who is Jim’s son and already working in the NFL.

Jay is entering his third season as an offensive coach for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens’ website describes his job as this:

Works with the offensive coaching staff, providing statistical analysis, self-scouting reports
and breakdowns of opposing defenses. Was an undergraduate assistant at Oregon State before joining the Ravens in 2012.

Jay Harbaugh got his start on Mike Riley’s staff at Oregon State. His father, Jim, helped get him the job as Riley was Jim’s coach on the Chargers. But Jay didn’t want to be one of those kids who relies solely on his father for his career; he decided to go work for his uncle with the Baltimore Ravens first rather than his dad, and he even turned down his father for a job this offseason.

“I’m in such a good place and working with such good people, I didn’t see any reason to leave,” Jay told the San Jose Mercury News of his decision.

“The last thing I’d ever seek out is a short cut. I’m not looking for a more impressive business card every two years. When you’re a coach’s son, people assume you take handouts. I want to earn everything.”

Sure, you can probably look at the kid and see the favors he’s already received. He got the Oregon State gig thanks to his dad and the job with the Ravens thanks to his family, but it seems like he is definitely earning his keep. And how funny is it that he turned down his job? Regardless of what he says, getting turned down by his son has to be at least somewhat disappointing for Jim.