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John Madden on Jim Harbaugh: He’s done one of the greatest coaching jobs ever

Jim HarbaughJim Harbaugh is the first head coach in NFL history to reach a conference championship game in his first three seasons. He has led the San Francisco 49ers to an impressive 36-11-1 record over that three-year span, looking like an NFL coaching veteran along the way. As far as John Madden is concerned, Harbaugh is already one of the greats.

In an interview with Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury Times, Madden praised Harbaugh’s three-straight NFC Championship appearances and said the Niners coach shouldn’t change a thing.

“He’s doing a great job,” Madden said. “He’s done one of the great coaching jobs ever, especially with that first year and the (labor) lockout and how he couldn’t work with the players and they went all the way to the (NFC) Championship. Great coaching job.”

Madden’s Oakland Raiders lost in the AFC Championship game five times in his first seven seasons as head coach, so he knows plenty about coming up just short. Madden later went on to win a Super Bowl in 1976 and is now considered one of the greatest NFL coaches of all time. Has he offered to share some wisdom with Harbaugh?

“Hell no,” Madden said. “He’s done a lot of good things and won a lot of big games. The last thing he needs is counseling on that. The answer is you don’t do anything. People get close and try to do something. They panic and screw everything up.

“Sometimes you can be one of the best, but you don’t accept that if you don’t get the ring or win the Super Bowl. There’s a lot of good teams between the Super Bowl winner and other teams. Once the Super Bowl is over, we lump everyone into the other 31, and that’s not fair.”

Like players, coaches are ultimately judged on their hardware. But even without a Super Bowl ring, it would be tough to argue that Harbaugh isn’t one of the better coaches in the league. The Niners will likely have to pay him like a Super Bowl-winning coach in the near future whether he wins one of not.

Jim Harbaugh: Vernon Davis skipping minicamp is not the ’49er way’

Jim HarbaughThe San Francisco 49ers began their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, and Vernon Davis was a no-show as expected. Davis admitted earlier this week that he is looking for more money. The same is true for offensive lineman Alex Boone, who also skipped Tuesday’s practice.

Jim Harbaugh is unhappy with both Davis and Boone for not showing up, and he was not shy about admitting it.

“I’m disappointed in that decision for them not to be here,” Harbaugh told reporters Thursday, per CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco. “As a voluntary segment to the offseason and we appreciate those guys volunteering to make the team better. Now, it’s mandatory and wish they could’ve … (it’s) not the decision I envision being the 49er way.”

Coaches understand the business side of football. Harbaugh should know as well as anyone else that guys don’t care about the “49er way” when they feel they are not being fairly compensated. Davis may have signed the most lucrative contract ever given to a tight end in 2010, but he feels he has outperformed it.

The Niners can now fine Davis and Boone $70,000 for missing minicamp. They obviously don’t mind paying that if it means strengthening their negotiating stance. Davis is an enormous part of San Francisco’s offense, and Colin Kaepernick would love to have him back as soon as possible. Unless the 49ers cave, it doesn’t sound like Davis will be around the team’s facility anytime soon.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Trent Baalke: Rumors of friction with Jim Harbaugh are ‘totally off base’

Jim HarbaughThe word over the past several months has been that San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke don’t get along, but both have dismissed that talk.

In December, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami reported that there was some tension between Harbaugh and Baalke. A few days later, Pro Football Talk reported that the tension described by Kawakami is real.

Harbaugh’s issues with Baalke or the organization in general appeared to manifest themselves when there was talk of the team trading the coach to the Cleveland Browns. But The Monday Morning Quarterback’s Greg Bedard spent a few days with the Niners organization and came away with the conclusion that despite clashing on some issues, the relationship with Baalke and Harbaugh remains a working one.

In fact, Baalke dismisses all the notions of friction when speaking with Bedard.

“I’ve seen so much written that it doesn’t make sense to me,” Baalke told Bedard. “They don’t know us. And to put words into our mouths is unfair. To read into it is unfair. This is a competitive business, and the only way to survive is to be highly competitive. And everyone in this organization is highly competitive, just like any other.

“It’s a highly competitive environment. We like that. That’s what we thrive on. So to say that the relationship is strained or it’s a relationship that can’t coexist is totally off base. Totally off base.”

Harbaugh similarly dismissed any issues, describing the relationship as “healthy” and “successful.”

Maybe they really are just two competitive guys who happen to clash at times the way many co-workers would. Or maybe they’re good at masking the issues.

But the real way to show that there aren’t any problems will be for Harbaugh to finally sign a contract extension with the team. Why would they shop him to Cleveland if they weren’t OK with him leaving?

Helmet smack to Around the League

John Harbaugh describes Super Bowl postgame handshake with brother Jim

John-Harbaugh-Jim-HarbaughJohn Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh said very little to each other on the field after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Considering they are two of the most competitive people in sports, that did not really surprise anyone. What might surprise you is that Jim wouldn’t let John hug him.

John was honored at Miami University (Ohio) over the weekend when he was inducted into the school’s Cradle of Coaches. At his reception, he told the 260 in attendance the story about his and Jim’s famous postgame handshake. The Ravens’ website has video of him sharing the story.

“I walk up across the field to shake his hand, and he’s a big, strapping guy,” Harbaugh said. “I look at him and I’m going to give him a little man hug, a little bro hug to say congratulations…”

Harbaugh then demonstrated the exchange with a person who was sitting next to him, showing how Jim gave him a stiff outstretched arm when he tried to go in for the hug.

“It was like then he says, ‘There will be no hug!’” John joked.

Remember, John also went on David Letterman after his Super Bowl victory and said he had yet to speak with Jim after the game. That was nearly a week later. We’re not surprised Jim wasn’t in the mood to get sentimental after losing the biggest game of his life.

Jim Harbaugh does pushups with a walrus (Video)

If you’re wondering why Jim Harbaugh would go face to face with a walrus and start banging out pushups, you probably have a lot to learn about Jim Harbaugh. If you asked the San Francisco 49ers coach why he had a pushup contest with a massive creature of the sea, he’d probably fire back with something like, “Why the hell wouldn’t I?”

Jim-Harbaugh-walrus

According to KGO-TV in San Francisco, Harbaugh spent the day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on Sunday. He got a kiss from a sea lion, bottle-fed a tiger, chatted with an elephant and went on some thrill rides. And you thought being an NFL head coach was exciting?

H/T Niner’s Nation 

Jonathan Martin traded to 49ers; Jim Harbaugh gets his player back

Jonathan MartinJim Harbaugh was not bluffing when he voiced his support for Jonathan Martin during the bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers have agreed to trade a conditional pick to the Miami Dolphins for Martin, who was a second-round pick of the team in 2012.

Martin infamously left the Dolphins last season after being emotionally tormented by his teammates, most notably Richie Incognito. Despite the scandal, Martin’s representative indicated the offensive lineman planned to continue his NFL career. It looks like he’ll get his way and be reunited with his college coach.

Martin played three seasons at Stanford — two under Harbaugh — before leaving for the NFL Draft. He was a two-time All-American and first-team Pac-12 player in college.

Here’s what Harbaugh told the Ted Wells investigators about Martin.

“(Harbaugh), told us that he had never doubted Martin’s tenacity, work ethic and dedication to the game, and that he had never seen Martin exhibit problems with social adjustment. Coach Harbaugh told us he believed that Martin likely could continue to have a successful career in the NFL. It appears that Martin was up to the challenge of dealing with physical or verbal intimidation by opposing players during NFL games, but fell victim, at least in part, to persistent taunting from his own teammates.”

“Although initially quiet, he became a vocal leader on the team by his final year,” the report states. “Coach Harbaugh emphasized that he never doubted Martin’s physical or mental toughness, and he believes that Martin can continue to have a successful career in the NFL. Coach Harbaugh also said that the atmosphere in the Stanford locker room, in his view, was not materially different from that of the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room.”

Martin was pretty pumped about the trade.

According to CSN’s Matt Maiocco, Martin will compete for the backup tackle job on both sides of the line. He was initially drafted to be a left tackle and was switched to the right side midway through last season.

Jim Harbaugh attends Missouri high school basketball game … in khakis and 49ers hat

Jim Harbaugh Blue Springs South

Jim Harbaugh is everywhere! And everywhere he goes, he wears the same outfit — khaki pants and a San Francisco 49ers hat.

On Tuesday night, Harbaugh attended a Class 5 District 13 playoff game between Blue Springs and Blue Springs South in Missouri. Harbaugh was supporting the team of his brother-in-law, Jimmy Cain, who coaches Blue Springs South (their team lost). Harbaugh took a picture with a bunch of fans and could be seen wearing his Niners hat and khaki pants.

While he was in the area, Harbaugh decided to meet with Kansas’ basketball team, too. Oh, and of course he was wearing his 49ers hat and khakis for that speech:

So can we just assume that Harbaugh’s closet is full of nothing but khaki pants, 49ers sweatshirts, and one hat? I think so.

H/T MaxPreps
Photo: Twitter/robbjones5