Amid rampant speculation about tenuous relationships between Jim Harbaugh, 49ers management and his players, team CEO Jed York went on The Rich Eisen Show Monday morning to refute a report from Fox Sports' Jay Glazer saying Harbaugh will not be with the team in 2015, even if he wins a Super Bowl this season.
York called the report "categorically not true," a day after Harbaugh himself said "My destiny lies between these walls with these men," after beating the Chiefs 22-17 Sunday.
Here's the transcript of York's conversation with Rich Eisen regarding the reported tension in Santa Clara:
Eisen: There’s a lot of people shoveling dirt on top of Jim Harbaugh. The report again, Jay Glazer saying there’s no way he’s returning even if you win a Super Bowl. You say that’s categorically not true?
York: That’s categorically not true. Jim’s our coach. I said it clearly yesterday. Both of us addressed it at the beginning of the season. We’re going to sit down and talk about his contract right after the season is over. And I think both of us came to that conclusion it doesn’t make sense to try and negotiate a contract in the middle of the season. We’re focused on getting back and winning the Super Bowl. That’s really the only thing that’s on anybody’s mind here.
Eisen: But you hear it so many different ways, Jed. Different reports from so many different people in my business, the media business. You hear it over and over again. It’s like a mad lib you just need to change the weeks and times he’s rubbing people the wrong way and it’s not sustainable. Where does this come from, Jed?
York: In terms about sustainability, every coach will move on at some point. And I don’t think Jim is at that point. We’ve had a great relationship here. We’ve had three pretty successful seasons so far. By 49ers’ standards, unless you’re holding a Lombardi Trophy up it’s not truly a successful season. And I think we all know that and we all understand that.
I’ve tried to explain this to people - the rawness of getting close and not getting there, not actually attaining the ring. It’s hard to start from zero every season after you have a long, long road going to the playoffs, having a gut-wrenching loss last year in Seattle. It’s hard to his reset. I think you start to see our players hitting their stride. And I think you saw that a little bit yesterday. It’s hard to really hit that reset button and that’s what we’ve been able to do. And make sure we’re not focused on what happened or what didn’t happen the last three years, we’re focused on how to make it happen this year.
Eisen: How would you categorize the relationship between your coach and your general manager (Trent Baalke)?
York: Very professional. They work very well together. I think Jim does a great job of letting Trent and his scouts go out and find players, added some good talent to this team over the last four or five years.
They’ve worked together in that sense that Trent’s never been a coach. He has no aspirations of coaching. I’ve been in situations where that was the case here, I wasn’t working at the 49ers at the time, but when you have a former coach as your general manager, that can be dicey. That’s not how it is here. You’ve got Jim and Trent, who work fairly well together. I think the results speak for themselves. And they’re very professional with each other. That’s really all I can ask for.
Eisen: Do you think that this sort of, again, you’re being professional and you’re winning games. There’s no question about that. It just seems that there’s a certain state of, I don’t know what the word would be. Turmoil is too tough a word. But a word that we would use in my old house hold would be terse. There’s a lot of angst or there’s a lot of tension. A little bit. And that Harbaugh may need that in order to succeed. Would you agree with that assessment?
York: Yeah, I think that’s pretty fair to say. That’s how Jim is. Jim competes at anything and everything he does. And that sometimes rubs people the wrong way. But he has an amazing way to be able to pull people together and find a way to win tough football games - put himself in a position to have this team have the most success.
And he said something yesterday, and I’m probably not going to get the quote right, but he said, ‘my job is to love my team. Not for them to love me.’ And he truly believes that. There’s some people that don’t like if everybody in the room doesn’t like them. Jim isn’t one of those people. Jim wants to make sure he goes out and finds a way to win, and that’s what he’s done and that’s what he’s done just about everywhere he’s been as a coach. As a player he’s kind of hard to put losing seasons on one player out of 53. But he’s found a way to win in just about everything that he does.
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