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?
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