Over the last couple days, multiple members of the San Francisco 49ers have come out in support of head coach Jim Harbaugh. The latest player is Colin Kaepernick, who told local media, "Well, I'd like to know who the source is. So, when you get a source from that, then we can talk about that. Until then, that's the media."
This follows a report by Ian Rapoport and comments by Deion Sanders and Trent Dilfer about locker room issues. Dilfer's comments can already be discounted because he has since said he was just interpreting body language. Deion has not backed off his comments, but we have already heard people counter it.
Alex Boone and Antoine Bethea were the first to dispute the report. Bethea was fairly low key, saying the team was a family, and outsiders can think what they want. Boone however, blasted the notion that there were problems. He said he knew for a fact that everybody loved Coach Harbaugh, and anybody outside the locker room should basically shove it.
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A day later, wide receiver Michael Crabtree tweeted that everything was good. His tweet was notable because many people assumed he was the source of Deion's report, even after Deion said he was not.
Since then, we've had a few other players come out in support of Coach Harbaugh. Cam Inman had some comments from NaVorro Bowman, Andy Lee, Michael Wilhoite, and Jonathan Martin, all unequivocal in their support.
Bowman: "Everything's great. I mean, we play, he coach. We can't really control anything else."
Lee: "I don't see that anywhere in this locker room. From my point of view, everything is normal."
Wilhoite: "His attitude is the attitude we take. That toughness, that grind, that grit - it's been bred in us since I first got here. It was known we were going to be tough. It was known we were going to have a callous that we had built up. It was known that we were very physical, we ran the ball, we stopped the run, we played good football and we were disciplined."
Martin: "He's the best coach I've ever been around ... Even though he might be cheesy at times with slogans and sayings, his enthusiasm rubs off on players. And his record speaks for itself."
Team leader Patrick Willis chimed in as well, with Ed Werder tweeting out some of his quotations:
Patrick Willis to me on Jim Harbaugh: "He told us from the start to come to work with enthusiasm unknown to mankind. He's lived by that...— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) September 30, 2014
More Patrick Willis: "He instills that in us and we love playing for him...He's an amazing coach."— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) September 30, 2014
Matt Maiocco had a good article on this whole issue. And he made a good point right off the bat. The truth of this likely falls somewhere between Deion's comments that the locker room wants Harbaugh gone, and Boone's statement that everyone loved Harbaugh.
Of course some players are going to have problems with a coach like Jim Harbaugh. He is an intense personality, and with upwards of 70 personalities in the locker room, there will sometimes be issues. But, if the team is winning, those complaints are usually a little less quiet. It might be a problem if things go south in a hurry, but in the meantime, as long as this team gets back to the playoffs, this will move to the back burner.
Fooch's Update - Add Vernon Davis to the mix:
Q: Could you characterize your relationship with Jim Harbaugh?
VD: He's awesome. He's a great guy. I haven't really heard anything. I heard about the rumor that was going on around here but I don't really see it that way. I think he's a great guy. Everyone in the locker room loves him. He has tons of energy and he brings it each and every day. I don't think there's a better guy than him that is made of this job.
Q: What is it that he does the best? What does he bring?
VD: Charisma. Like I said, energy. He's just a great guy. He's all about the team. He cares about us. And he's just a really, really unique human being.