Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Players Coming out In Numbers To Support Jim Harbaugh

Deion Sanders says 49ers players want coach Jim Harbaugh to go.  Harbaugh says it’s a bunch of crap.  The jurors (i.e., the players) are beginning to chime, and the early verdict is . . . .


Michael Crabtree took to Twitter on Tuesday to say:  “I don’t know what people are talking about with Mr Deion… But we good over here!“

“He’s the best coach I’ve ever been around,” tackle Jonathan Martin said, via the San Jose Mercury News.  “Even though he might be cheesy at times with slogans and sayings, his enthusiasm rubs off on players.  And his record speaks for itself.”

Of course, Martin would be likely to say that, since Harbaugh coached Martin at Stanford and helped resurrect Martin’s pro career after he decided to walk out on the Dolphins as the result of intense bullying in 2013.  But Martin, who said he has seen no evidence of discord, wasn’t alone.

“Everything’s great,” linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “I mean, we play, he coach. We can’t really control anything else.”

(It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it’s also no evidence that players want Harbaugh gone.)

Ditto from punter Andy Lee: “I don’t see that anywhere in this locker room.  From my point of view, everything is normal.”

And from linebacker Michael Wilhoite: “His attitude is the attitude we take. That toughness, that grind, that grit — it’s been bred in us since I first got here. It was known we were going to be tough.
It was known we were going to have a callous that we had built up. It was known that we were very physical, we ran the ball, we stopped the run, we played good football and we were disciplined.”

“To be quite honest I find it a little ridiculous when people outside the locker room are talking about it,” G.M. Trent Baalke told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. “Let’s get back to football. Let’s talk about the game itself, the performance of the guys, the way they grinded through things, the coaching staff included. It’s a good victory and those are the things we should be talking about.

“For me to speculate on what keeps driving it, obviously there’s people saying stuff that have never been in this building. So when it’s coming from people who have never been in this building or unnamed sources it’s not even worth the time of answering these questions especially when there’s ten follow ups to every question that’s given.”

Guard Alex Boone was a bit more blunt.

“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 inside our locker room. For guys to talk about, ‘Oh so and so told me this,’ Who’s so and so? ‘Oh I can’t tell you that.’ Because it’s probably not true. It’s not important.”

So maybe Deion is simply wrong.  Or maybe there’s a small pocket of malcontents who won’t complain about Harbaugh on the record.

Or maybe Deion is playing a psychological game with one of the various teams for which he once played, like Tom Jackson once claimed he did when picking the Jets to lose to the Patriots in the playoffs.

Regardless, Deion’s “report” that the players don’t like their coach seems to be galvanizing the 49ers.  Maybe in February Harbaugh will snub Deion after winning the Super Bowl like Bill Belichick once did with Jackson, who had proclaimed in September that the Patriots players “hate their coach.”

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