. . . to paraphrase Mr. Mojo Risin’ himself, Jim Morrison.
As far as the story that won’t go away goes, and all this hyperventilating about the Harbaugh trade to the Browns, the one thing to come out of it is the notion that Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke are not pals. As in, they can’t be in the same room together, and they now communicate strictly by email. Now I’m not a huge proponent of Kumbaya, peace, love, granola, and all that shit in the workplace, but really, we’re poised at the edge of the 2014 draft, and the head coach and General Manager aren’t talking? Not a good scenario.
The Niners very recently travelled this road when sloppy Scotty McLoughan was canned a month before the 2010 draft, and Baalke took over as the interim GM. Of course that draft netted Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Navorro Bowman, Nate Bynam, Anthony Dixon, KW, and Phillip Adams. The only really bad guys from that draft, for us anyway, were Taylor Mays and Nate Bynam, although they are still in the league. So, maybe a little turmoil is good. But I’m not too happy to hear about all this shit right before the draft.
Throw in the apparent problems between Harbaugh and Greg Roman regarding play calling, and the recent uproar around the Harbaugh trade, there seems to be power struggles at every turn. All centering on Jim Harbaugh. And to me, this is the crux of the biscuit. Harbaugh wants more control. From the draft perspective, and from the play calling side as well. All the while he’s been stonewalled in his attempts to negotiate a contract extension with the 49er front office. Which leads me to believe he wants top money. Lets’s say the $9-10 million range? In other words, he wants Super Bowl money, even though he hasn’t delivered a Super Bowl.
Harbaugh’s point appears to be, well, I need to make the personnel decisions to GET us to the promised land. That’s fairly easy to infer from all these machinations going on. Also the play calling aspect. As I wrote a few threads ago, this team is in transition as to how the offense is built, the players they have, and the plays they are calling. There was a link to a story that addressed this very thing. About how the team is building itself to evolve into a more wide open offense as the old guard power running guys leave or retire. Of course the main thread of THAT story didn’t have the notion that the HC and GM can’t look at each in the eye, and that Greg Roman is becoming a puppet in his job.
So, this situation has become a lot more than offseason speculation and the nothing-to-talk-about news cycle. Although this certainly feeds into that in a big way. If this power struggle really is as bad as the noise suggests, Harbaugh is certainly the guy holding the aces. When he came here the 49ers, from top to Singletary’s flashing bottom, were seen as a national joke. A team with perennial high draft picks who managed to find new and intersting ways to lose. Head coaches who couldn’t design an offense other than Gore right, Gore left, Gore up the middle, punt. A front office of mid-level managers all wandering around the building with no direction or purpose.
Harbaugh comes in, and with little time with the team due to the lockout, takes them to the NFC Championship game in year 1, the Super Bowl in year 2, and the NFCCG in year 3. So, which piece is essential? It certainly isn’t Baalke. Or Roman. Strange days, indeed. Young Sir Jed has his hands full all of a sudden.