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Saturday, December 6, 2014

C'est La Vie, Jim Harbaugh?

Apparently, the 49ers plan to sever ties with Jim Harbaugh at the end of the season. All of this is stunning considering that Harbaugh almost single-handily resurrected the Niner franchise: A 43-16-1 record, 3 straight trips to the NFC Championship game and 1 trip to the Super Bowl. One would think that a record like that would allow a head coach to have an off year, but it is looking more and more that this has been the Niners' plan all along (last year's rumors of trading Harbaugh to Cleveland were apparently genuine). Perhaps if the Niners won the Super Bowl this year, there might have been a chance of Harbaugh staying on, but that's not going to happen. Evidently, the Niners brass (i.e., Jed York and Trent Baalke) simply don't like Harbaugh. Then again, not too many folks like Bill Belichick, but that hasn't led the Patriots to cut ties with him.

You'd think the Niners would think twice about jettisoning Harbaugh since the last time they let a successful coach go (Steve Mariucci), they went nine years before they reached the playoffs again (under Harbaugh). Of course, it doesn't have to work out badly for the Niners. Back in May the San Francisco (oops, Golden State) Warriors fired their head coach, Mark Jackson in spite of the fact that he led the Warriors to consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in over 20 years; they then hired in his stead, Steve Kerr, and that move, at least for now, appears to be working out. Niner fans can only hope that York and Baalke display the same sort of wisdom of Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob.

P.S. The Niners may want to seriously consider trading up in the draft to pick up Marcus Mariota and then hire a coach that likes to run a read-option offense. Who knows, maybe they can trade Harbaugh for Chip Kelly?

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