National media continue to further the storyline of unrest among the San Francisco 49ers as players publicly dismiss allegations about locker room problems involving Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.
Prior to the start of yesterdays 22-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, the soap opera reached its’ third act as FOX insider Jay Glazer stated matter-of-factly that Harbaugh would not be returning to the 49ers, “even if they hoist the Lombardi.”
The 49ers have lots of practice shrugging off outside noise, and both players and management decided to stem the tide of “insider” reports directly by delivering candid messages in support of their dynamic coach Sunday.
Perhaps the most resolute of the bunch was Sunday’s workhorse, kicker Phil Dawson, whose 16 years in the league has led the longtime veteran to have plenty of locker room culture experience:
“There is zero problem in the locker room. Zero…The team is completely unified. We believe in our coach and love playing for him. All this noise, honestly I don’t understand it. It is certainly not the read I get.”
Likewise, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has garnered the unwavering support of Harbaugh over the years, returned the favor by echoing Dawson’s comments of support regarding the coach:
“I love coach Harbaugh. I’d go to war with him any day of the week. He’s a competitor, he wants to win and he’s going to do anything to put this team in a position to win.”
Other members of the 49ers, such as Vernon Davis, T Joe Staley, and LB Ahmad Brooks have voiced support for Harbaugh throughout the week as well.
The quotes seem to be in direct opposition to a September 28 report from former player Deion Sanders, who preceded Glazer’s latest comments by stating that members of 49ers “want [Harbaugh] out.”
But Harbaugh received his biggest endorsement on Sunday not from someone in the locker room, but from the highest echelon of the 49ers brass.
In a tweet sent out that morning, CEO Jed York made no claims in defense of Harbaugh’s potentially abrasive personality, but did offer his take on the controversy surrounding Harbaugh’s job security.
Jim is my coach. We are trying to win a SB, not a personality or popularity contest. Any more questions?
— Jed York (@JedYork) October 5, 2014
No one expects a current 49ers player to directly voice disdain for Harbaugh, and it appears Harbaugh has many of the key veterans of the locker room voicing support.
Time will tell if these seemingly strategic reports of dissent keep popping up every Sunday before game time, though Harbaugh’s position as head coach appears safe in the interim.