Jeff Chiu/APGiants left-hander Madison Bumgarner is a big reason the Giants have the best record in baseball.

Jeff Chiu/APGiants left-hander Madison Bumgarner is a big reason the Giants have the best record in baseball.

Harbaugh and 49ers can still be winning combination

The speculative stories about Jim Harbaugh being “traded” to the Cleveland Browns naturally brought to mind the time Al Davis traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for multiple draft choices. But the two circumstances were much different.

In the Raiders’ example, that was no problem because Davis wanted Gruden to leave and Gruden wanted to.

As soon as Gruden’s face started popping up on Bay Area billboards, his fate was sealed. There could be only one face of the Raiders, and it wasn’t the coach’s. Gruden was tired of fighting the battle to bring in real football players instead of the track team Davis seemed to want.

Gruden also knew he was going to a good team, one he coached to a lopsided win in the Super Bowl over the Raiders, the start of the Raiders’ descent into football hell which they still haven’t dug out from.

<p> None of those conditions exist in the Harbaugh situation. He emphatically denied any desire to go to the Browns, of course. Frankly, I doubt this ever got beyond wishful thinking by the Browns. The latest report by the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows, whom I know and respect, is that Browns’ front office approached the 49ers with the idea and were quickly rebuffed. In this new era of journalism, when fanciful rumors are treated as fact, it’s often hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, but in this case, common sense helps.

The first point: Who could ever think that Harbaugh would want to go to the Browns, a pathetic organization, when he has such a good situation with the 49ers?

The second point: Do the Niners need more draft picks — below the first round — more than they need a very good coach? That answers itself.

I had a long interview with 49ers CEO Jed York for a 2011 magazine profile and he explained his desire to sign Harbaugh as the 49ers’ coach. Harbaugh was the only candidate he and general manager Trent Baalke were looking at. When Harbaugh told York he had an interview scheduled with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross after the Orange Bowl (which Stanford won), York told him to take the interview. “We’re not going anywhere,” he told Harbaugh. “You’re the one we want.”

Harbaugh reportedly met with Ross in the Bay Area, but wound up agreeing to a contract with the Niners.

York certainly hasn’t regretted his decision, after Harbaugh became the first coach in NFL history to coach a team to the league championship game in each of his first three years. In the middle of those three years, he led the Niners to the Super Bowl.

So now, York is just going to let Harbaugh go? Give me a break.

The 49ers’ situation isn’t perfect. Harbaugh and Baalke have had some clashes, most likely because of their egos, but they’ve also worked well together. Though Baalke runs the draft, he traded up in the second round in 2011 so the Niners could draft the quarterback Harbaugh wanted, Colin Kaepernick.

So, forget all the noise. Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere and the 49ers’ success will continue.

Glenn Dickey has been covering Bay Area sports since 1963 and also writes on Email him at BrownsGlenn DickeyJim HarbaughSan Francisco 49ers

Just Posted

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

Newly appointed City Attorney David Chiu will play a key role in an upcoming legal battle between gig economy companies and The City. (Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)
City Attorney David Chiu faces immediate test in major gig economy lawsuit

DoorDash and Grubhub are suing San Francisco over price controls

FILE — In-N-Out Burger, the popular California fast-food chain, is resisting San Francisco's public health rules that require indoor diners to show proof of vaccination. (J. Emilio Flores/The New York Times)
When it comes to San Francisco vaccine rules, In-N-Out should heed Biblical advice

Burger chain’s vaccine fight distracts from its tasty burgers and French fries controversy

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Walgreens says it’s closing five SF stores due to crime. Where’s the data?

Walgreens should be transparent, enlighten city leaders about crime’s effect on business

Lake Hennessey, a reservoir for Napa, looked dry in June. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide and asked residents to redouble water conservation efforts. <ins>(Mike Kai Chen/New York Times)</ins>
Newsom declares drought emergency across California

State closed out its second-driest water year on record

Most Read