Sure he inherited a team rich in young talent, but it was one in need of guidance which Harbaugh supplied along with a system to buy into. Since the marriage that landed him in San Francisco, the 49ers have been one of the most winningest teams in the National Football League. Through three seasons, the 49ers are 41-14-1 (including playoffs) and have made it to three straight NFC title games as well as a Super Bowl appearance under Harbaugh who was named Coach of the Year in his first season and has done virtually everything but hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Something he came one play shy of in 2012. All things considered, the 49ers have finally found themselves a stable coach. However, reports as recent as last week had the 49ers front-office on the verge of sending Harbaugh on his way. News broke out that the relationship between Harbaugh and Niners GM Trent Baalke was a rocky one and has been for some time once trade talks began brewing with San Francisco possibly shipping Harbaugh to Cleveland after the Browns contacted the 49ers and inquired about their coach.
As for those that are pointing the finger at Harbaugh and believe he's the one threatening to leave in favor of a head coaching position in the college ranks, consider this: Never has an NFL coach that endured such success as Harbaugh has, downgraded back to coach at the collegiate level. Why would one possibly leave a team that has made it to three straight NFC Championships and is nesting one of the brightest nucleus' of young NFL players for a college program he would have to recruit for and more than likely build from the ground up? Reports also claim Harbaugh has demanded that he wants more power in the organization as well as more money, both of which the 49ers coach has denied ever saying during an interview with Sports Illustrated where he also had nothing but positive things to say about the organization. Unlike many other feuds we've seen between a head coach and the front-office, Harbaugh has not lost the locker room as 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin told reporters shortly after agreeing to re-sign with the team on a two-year, $12 Million deal. Boldin who led the team in receiving this past season, also explained that coach Harbaugh was one of the main reasons he decided to return in the Bay Area for two more years instead of testing the market as a free-agent.
The funniest part of all might be that the media which has portrayed this whole thing as the downfall of the franchise, has already declared Harbaugh close to being on his way out after this season despite the two years remaining on his contract. The premature assumptions of Harbaugh needing an extension before his current contract is up only fuels this overblown story about the Niners possibly looking to shop their coach. A lot can happen in the course of a year including a Super Bowl victory which would be the perfect antidote to solve the ongoing dispute between Harbaugh and Baalke who's done nothing but draft star-studded talent since being named GM in 2005. While it's the GM who 49ers owner Jed York feels isn't going anywhere anytime soon and has leaned on the side of Harbaugh being the more expendable of the two according to sources, there's plenty of time between now and the start of the season for both sides to mend fences and squash this whole beef if in fact there is one.
Though often having a flair for the dramatic, Harbaugh has described both he and Baalke as being, "two competitive people that want the same thing." If that's true, they'll settle their differences and work things out for the betterment of the team. As long as San Francisco is putting up W's in the win column, the two can and will coexist on the team's quest for six.
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