Why are so many teams hot for Jim Harbaugh? Why do I like him so much?
There is a pretty simple answer. Harbaugh is a good leader of men, he can develop quarterbacks, and he has instant credibility.
Those might be the most coveted qualities in any head coach.
He can lead, he is credible with players making millions of dollars and he can develop a quarterback to lead your organization.
Josh McDaniels was given the job in Denver largely because of his good work with Matt Cassel. Charlie Weis developed Tom Brady in New England and became the head guy at Notre Dame.
Mike Singletary got the job because he had instant credibility and was a good leader.
You could say Tom Cable got the job because of his leadership qualities.
None of those guys have all the qualities of Jim Harbaugh. It doesn’t mean Harbaugh will be a success, but it does increase the likelihood.
The biggest characteristic organizations are looker for is the ability to develop a good quarterback. It is only getting more important in the NFL. Passing records are falling every season and new rules are making the game increasingly pass heavy.
Just take a look at the quarterbacks in the playoffs. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, and Michael Vick, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez and Seattle’s QB.
At least 80% of these quarterbacks are elite.
So when it comes to hiring a new head coach, it is often a major selling point if the coach can develop a quarterback. Harbaugh has turned Andrew Luck into a consensus number one pick and was a pro quarterback himself.
Toby Gerhart became a Heisman contender under Harbaugh’s coaching, so Harbaugh can recognize his team’s strength. He is not just a quarterback coach.
John Harbaugh’s team has become a perennial Super Bowl contender. There is something to be said for genetics. While Eli will never be Peyton, it isn’t that Eli Manning is a bad quarterback. Who is to say Jim is Eli and John is Peyton? It could easily be the other way around.
Just when you think you have Al Davis figured out, he will surprise you. Davis has been trying to get Harbaugh for a couple years. Starting the first year Cable was hired and again last offseason.
Davis will likely try again, but without giving Harbaugh control of the roster and hiring his own coaches, there is serious doubt Harbaugh would consider it.
So it is a pipe dream, but with Davis you can never rule anything out.
For now, the best move for Davis to stick with Cable and take his chances with Hue Jackson getting a promotion elsewhere.
The worst that could happen is Cable stays and you have to look for a new offensive coordinator. Par for the course would be Cable and Jackson returning. The blockbuster would be bringing in Harbaugh.
No one knows what Davis will do, but hiring another head coach simply doesn’t work if it isn’t Harbaugh and he appears poised to go elsewhere.