Last night, Thursday Night Football kicked off Week 5 of the 2014 NFL season. CBS broadcasts TNF, but NFL Network simulcasts the game and the pre- and post-game shows. This marked the first time since Sunday that we have heard from Deion Sanders on TV about his report that San Francisco 49ers players wanted Jim Harbaugh out. Deion has tweeted about it, but this marked his first televised comments.
Deion stuck by his comments, although this time he said the rift between Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke has trickled down into the locker room. Here is a transcript of what he said:
"Well, I have sources. I'm not going to name my sources, but I have sources that wear football uniforms, coats, suits and ties (emphasis on ties for some reason). Yes, I didn't stutter, nor did I stammer. This is real. You talking about Trent Baalke, we know that there is a rift between he and Harbaugh. We all know that. That's why the whole Cleveland thing came up last year. Who had ever heard about thinking of trading a coach. Why would Cleveland even inquire if there was nothing there. That has trickled down into the locker room. Not only are my sources correct, I checked three insiders from different networks. It is 100 percent. You can shoot the messenger, but the message is real."
After Deion made his comment, former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher chimed in with his own thoughts. His comments were less about speculation, and more about his own experience as a head coach.
Well, the only thing I will say about that, and you know, I can't answer to what's taken place from a management standpoint. But I know one thing. From a player's standpoint, if there is uneasiness in that locker room, I'm glad. Because as a coach, if I'm 1-2 and I got a team that's underachieving, I don't want them coming to a country club atmosphere. And I like the way Jim Harbaugh coaches. I don't disagree with you Deion, there's probably personality issues. And I think from Jim Harbaugh's place, and I know from me coming into this league, when I first came into this league, yea, you're brash, and you're wearing your emotions on your sleeve, and you hold people accountable. But you learn to mature, you learn to deal with people, and I hope that Jim does it over a period of time, because I think he's a really good football coach. What you see is what you get, and I tell you what, he pushes the players. And A lot of people are disgruntled because they're not playing up to their level they probably can play to.
I don't think Deion is lying about having sources saying things, but again, I think Deion is exaggerating. I don't think every single player is happy, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as Deion would like to make us think it is. And as long as the 49ers stay on the winning track, this stuff should subside a bit. It will probably pop up again if the 49ers lose a game here or there, but this is something that I just don't see being a significant problem