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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Articles tagged: Jim Harbaugh

NFL coach could have interest in replacing Jim Harbaugh at Michigan?

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

If Jim Harbaugh leaves Michigan to return to the NFL, the Wolverines will reportedly have strong interest from a pretty big name.

Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule would be interested in the Michigan job should it become available, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. It is unclear whether that interest would be mutual, and it’s worth noting that Rhule has no ties to the university.

Rhule has apparently had his eye on college jobs for a while, as he reportedly looked at the Penn State job before it became clear that James Franklin would stay put there. He also may have reportedly pushed for the LSU job had the school been more interested.

These reports certainly suggest that Rhule is looking for a route out of the NFL and back to the college game, where he was much more successful. He had success at both Temple and Baylor, but is just 10-23 in two seasons with the Panthers. The feeling might be mutual, and Carolina’s owner might be very pleased at the chance to get out from under Rhule’s contract.

Of course, Harbaugh would have to make the jump to the NFL for any of this to be relevant. The Michigan coach might be open to making that move, but there is nothing concrete so far.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jim Harbaugh would accept Raiders job

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

Jim Harbaugh continues to be linked to the Las Vegas Raiders coaching job, and the latest word out of his current employer is only going to fuel those rumors.

There is a belief within Michigan that Harbaugh would accept the Raiders job if it were offered to him, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. People within the program have reportedly long believed that Harbaugh would want to coach in the NFL again, but also concede that the coach can be difficult to read.

What is not clear is whether the timing is right for Harbaugh. Michigan is coming off its best season under him, while the Raiders are in an uncertain situation without a general manager. However, Harbaugh and Raiders owner Mark Davis are longtime friends, and Harbaugh also met his wife in Las Vegas.

Harbaugh has been mum on his status for next year, leaving everyone else guessing. Some reports have indicated the Michigan coach may be using the rumors as leverage in contract negotiations with Michigan. Other stories suggest that money isn’t even a factor in any move to the NFL.

There is an argument that at this stage, Michigan knows best where things stand with their coach. This report will be of clear concern for those who want him to stay in Ann Arbor.

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh using Raiders rumors as leverage?

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has been heavily linked to the Las Vegas Raiders head coaching position, but there are clear questions about whether the rumors are legitimate.

Some within the NFL believe the Harbaugh rumors are just noise, and it’s not clear that the Raiders have interest, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. One source told Tafur that they believe Harbaugh could be using the Raiders as “hypothetical leverage” while discussing a new contract with Michigan. Harbaugh reportedly was “pissed” when Michigan cut his salary following the 2020 season, and the two sides are having productive contract talks.

Of course, it speaks to the uncertainty surrounding the situation that there is still a belief that Harbaugh might listen if the Raiders come calling. There does seem to be some legitimate reason for him to want to go back to the NFL and prove himself. That reason has nothing to do with money, either.

Whether that’s the reason or not, Harbaugh certainly has his own reasons why he might want Michigan to feel the heat during contract talks. That alone is reason enough to be wary of rumors linking him to the Raiders.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh listed as gambling favorite for 1 NFL head coach job

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

There have been numerous reports that Jim Harbaugh could leave Michigan to return to the NFL this offseason, and some oddsmakers appear to believe it is going to happen.

According to the latest odds from SportsBetting.ag, Harbaugh is the favorite to be named the next head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Harbaugh’s 2-to-1 odds are slightly better than interim head coach Rich Bisaccia’s 5-to-2.

It’s also interesting that Mike Tomlin is fairly high on the list at 7-to-1, as there has been no indication that he is thinking about leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bisaccia took over the Raiders in October after Jon Gruden’s leaked email scandal and abrupt resignation. He led the team to a 7-5 record and a postseason berth. Derek Carr and other players have reportedly rallied for Bisaccia to get the permanent head coaching job, but Raiders owner Mark Davis may be looking to make a bigger splash.

Harbaugh just completed his seventh season at Michigan. He led the Wolverines to a 12-2 record that included a win over rival Ohio State and a College Football Playoff appearance. While he seems happy at Michigan, there is one reported reason Harbaugh may want to want to return to the NFL.

H/T The Spun
Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Reported reason for Jim Harbaugh’s NFL interest revealed

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

There has been heavy speculation in recent weeks that despite his success at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh is eyeing an NFL return.

Some may have thought that Harbaugh was attempting to leverage Michigan into paying him more. However, the smoke continues to billow, and that means there’s fire somewhere.

Multiple reports now suggest that Harbaugh’s interest is genuine. And as it turns out, his motives are not money-driven.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Harbaugh desires an NFL return not because of a larger paycheck, but because he has some unfinished business.

From Pro Football Talk’s report:

As a source with knowledge of the situation explains it to PFT, Harbaugh is watching and waiting to see whether a team with a reasonable ownership and General Manager situation is interested in giving him an opportunity to continue an NFL career that resulted, from 2011 through 2014, in a record of 44-19-1 and a Super Bowl berth. At age 58, Harbaugh wants to get back to the Super Bowl and win it.

The issue for Harbaugh will be generating mutual interest. There are several NFL teams currently in search of a head coach but to date, Harbaugh has not even received an interview request.

That could change when teams like the New York Giants hire their new general manager, but it’s far from a guarantee.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh offers humorous response to NFL job rumors

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday offered a humorous response to all the rumors linking him to NFL jobs.

Harbaugh just completed his seventh season as the head coach at Michigan. He began his time with the Wolverines under great hype and fanfare. Though he got off to a strong start with consecutive 10-3 seasons, it didn’t take long for people to declare he was underperforming.

Many critics soon started calling for the Wolverines to dump their head coach, and the chorus continued for a few years.

Things got even worse when Michigan went 2-4 in the messy, COVID-shortened 2020 season, but Michigan agreed to keep Harbaugh, albeit after he took a pay cut. In 2021, their patience with the coach paid off.

Harbaugh finally beat Ohio State for the first time, won the Big Ten for the first time, and helped Michigan reach its first College Football Playoff. All the success the Wolverines have enjoyed have led to renewed Harbaugh-to-the-NFL rumors.

“It’s a little more enjoyable this year compared to the rumors last year,” Harbaugh joked while talking at a press event for the Bear Bryant Award.

He’s right. It’s much better to have people trying to hire you rather than fire you.

Truthfully, any notions of firing Harbaugh were misguided. The man has a proven record of winning everywhere he’s been. Few can match the amount of success he has had both in college and the pros, and at every stop they’ve been.

Whether or not Harbaugh leaves Michigan remains to be seen. If he does leave, we would expect great results. If he stays, we would expect continued winning from the Wolverines.

H/T The Spun

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jim Harbaugh showing signs he is strongly considering NFL return

Jim Harbaugh walking

There has been some chatter for the past week that Jim Harbaugh is considering leaving Michigan for the NFL. There seems to be even more smoke surrounding those rumors.

FOX NFL reporter Jay Glazer reported on Sunday that Harbaugh has been making calls to reach out to possible assistants to see if they would have interest in working for him in the NFL.

“Jim Harbaugh has been calling around asking for people in case he gets an NFL job, if they would join his staff. So he is interested in possibly returning to the NFL,” Glazer reported.

Harbaugh wouldn’t make those calls if he weren’t genuinely considering a return to the NFL. Some might suggest he’s trying to use the NFL as leverage for a new contract with Michigan. That could be true, but it doesn’t seem to fit Harbaugh’s personality and motivations, considering he just donated his bonus money back to Michigan, while also previously taking a big pay cut.

A previous report also suggested Harbaugh told a recruit he had interest in leaving for the NFL. Why would Harbaugh self-sabotage like that unless he was just being honest with the recruit?

Harbaugh has seemed like a possibility for two notable jobs. A third NFL job also just entered the picture.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Dolphins owner offers interesting quote on Jim Harbaugh rumors

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

If the Miami Dolphins fired Brian Flores with Jim Harbaugh in mind, they certainly are not willing to admit it publicly.

The Dolphins made the most stunning move of Black Monday when they parted ways with Flores, who just led the team to a second consecutive winning season. Rumors immediately began to swirl that they must have fired Flores because they are planning to pursue Harbaugh, who may be entertaining the idea of leaving Michigan to return to the NFL.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alumnus, was asked about the Harbaugh speculation on Monday. He said he doesn’t want to be the one to pull Harbaugh away from his alma mater.

Of course, Ross could never admit the Dolphins already have their next head coach lined up. That would be a violation of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for coaching vacancies.

If Harbaugh decides he is leaving Michigan, Ross would almost certainly love to have him. That is different from Ross convincing Harbaugh to bail on the Wolverines.

It’s unclear if Harbaugh would actually leave Michigan following his best season with the program. He may just be trying to secure a bigger contract from the school after taking a pay cut last year. If he does talk with NFL teams, the Dolphins and at least one other team will likely want to interview him.

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Did Dolphins fire Brian Flores with Jim Harbaugh in mind?

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

The Miami Dolphins made the most shocking move of Black Monday when they fired head coach Brian Flores. Many assume they must have made the decision with a replacement in mind. Could that replacement be Jim Harbaugh?

Harbaugh is rumored to be entertaining the idea of leaving Michigan to return to the NFL. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alumnus, is a big Harbaugh fan. Some within NFL circles believe Ross and the Dolphins must already have Flores’ replacement lined up, and Harbaugh makes the most sense.

According to one report, the Flores firing had nothing to do with Harbaugh potentially being open to an NFL return. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said Flores would have been out in Miami regardless due to his deteriorating relationship with general manager Chris Grier and others.

Some are also skeptical that Ross would want to pull Harbaugh away from his alma mater. Ross is one of Michigan’s biggest boosters. The football program appeared to finally turn the corner under Harbaugh this season by defeating Ohio State, winning the Big Ten and reaching the College Football Playoff.

Harbaugh may be simply angling for a bigger contract from Michigan, but there have been reports that the Dolphins and at least one other team are interested in him.

Flores posted back-to-back winning seasons in Miami. The Dolphins finished 9-8 this year despite starting out the season 1-7. He should have no problem finding another head coaching job in the NFL.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh a realistic possibility for 1 NFL team?

Jim Harbaugh walking

The idea of Jim Harbaugh leaving Michigan after his best season with the program sounds farfetched to some, but the rumors are not going away. While there are likely several NFL teams that would have interest in Harbaugh, one may be worth keeping an eye on.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there is buzz building within NFL circles that the Las Vegas Raiders could land Harbaugh. As Florio puts it, there is a belief that Raiders owner Mark Davis “wants, and will get” Harbaugh.

The Raiders are still fighting for a playoff spot. They can punch their ticket to the postseason with a win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night. If they make it, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia would have a better chance of keeping the job. Davis is said to be impressed with Bisaccia, but would he prefer him over Harbaugh? Probably not.

Harbaugh began his coaching career as a quarterbacks coach with the Raiders in 2002, so he has ties to the organization. Las Vegas also has an established starting QB in Derek Carr, which could appeal to Harbaugh.

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2014 before being forced out over issues with the team’s front office. He took the team to the NFC Championship Game three straight years and Super Bowl in 2012. He has a rare resume that includes success at both the NFL and college levels.

If Harbaugh does shock the college football world and leave Michigan, the Raiders and at least one other team will likely pursue him.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021