Apparently we now know why Jim Harbaugh was forced out of his Head Coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers. It seems he was not only “clinically insane” but that he “pushed the players to hard.”
Those were the words of 49ers’ guard Alex Boone.
“I think he just pushed guys too far,” Boone told HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” for an episode that will air Tuesday. “He wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much. You know, ‘We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this.’ And you’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy.’”
I can’t tell you how badly I feel for Boone. I mean, Boone is just a guy who makes millions of dollars playing football and all Harbaugh wanted was his and his teammates’ very best. I have no doubts that Harbaugh is demanding. I know he’s intense and he’s competitive and he doesn’t settle for anything less than your best effort but he “demanded too much?”
I’d like to know how Boone even made it into the pro ranks. I guess his college coaches at Ohio State must have given him hugs and lollipops to motivate him rather than demand anything from him.
He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom,” Boone told HBO. “But after a while, you just want to kick his ass. … He just keeps pushing you, and you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’ He kind of wore out his welcome.”
Can someone explain to me what mountain the 49ers got over? Last I checked the 49ers lost their only Super Bowl appearance under Harbaugh to Baltimore. That’s not what I call “getting over the mountain.”
I don’t mean to take it all out on Boone, but he’s the one who chose to speak about Harbaugh. He went on to say he thinks that Harbaugh will be an even better college coach than he was in San Francisco. The evidence already shows that Harbaugh can flat-out coach at the collegiate level with his stints at San Diego and Stanford.
What troubles me more than anything about Boone’s comments is that I fear that this attitude has become indicative of many NFL players. Because they make such enormous amounts of money, an attitude has emerged where players feel they no longer need to be motivated or pushed by the coach.
I think what has added to that is the fact that players no longer put in the practice time they once did either during the season or in training camp. With new collectively bargained rules, the days of “two-a-day” practices have been replaced by one practice session and then some classroom time where players and coaches go over video and playbooks.
I’m not saying that this is the worst thing in the world because if it keeps players healthier then this is a positive right? It is but I can’t help but wonder if more players share Alex Boone’s disdain for Harbaugh-type coaches in the NFL.
I for one like Harbaugh and love his passion for the game. He played for just such a coach in Bo Schembechler and it appears the style has worn off on him. Coaches aren’t in it to be loved, they’re in it to win. Or in other words, get to the “mountain.”