Why buck tradition of keeping a winning coach?
Once again, I think that was well expressed during the interview process, during the earlier press conference...
Let's pretend it never happened, nobody heard it.
It really came down to a mutual parting of the ways. It was..there were some philosophical differences that weren't going to be able to get worked out. The best decision for both parties was to mutually part ways, and there's really nothing more to add. We're not going to get into the particulars. We expressed that today during the process. And the reason being is that was what was agreed upon in parting ways.
What do you mean by philosophical discussions?
We're not just talking about winning or losing. Obviously winning is a key element to the National Football League, or any pro sport. For that matter, any sport in general. There's a lot of things that go into winning that philosophically you must be on the same page with to continue those efforts of winning, and contribute deeply to those efforts. So, once again, I'm not going to get into all the particulars Damon. I can say it was a mutual parting, it wasn't a situation that was contentious. It was what we both agreed upon.
Trouble believing it wasn't contentious. Baalke drove home that fractured relationship was not as extreme as made out to be. Is the fracture between he and York?
I wouldn't say that at all. Once again, philosophical differences are organizational in nature. I'm a part of the organization, and certainly am involved in these decisions. But what I was trying to get across is what I've been trying to get across many times. And you mentioned just a few minutes ago how difficult Jim can be. I've never expressed that. In a competitive environment, you're at odds at time over certain decisions that need to be made. But day-to-day, it was not the contentious relationship the media, or people outside of this building want to believe.
Was media still wrong about earlier saying Harbaugh would be out at the end of the season?
I'm not gonna get into sources and alleged sources. To use the reference backstabbers, I take strong objection to that. If you want to talk football, let's talk football. If you want to get into the name and blame game, I'm not up for that at the moment.
What's Baalke's philosophy? His philosophy he wants next head coach to follow?
Once again, you're asking me to get into particulars, and I said I'm not going into particulars. It's your round about away of getting what you want to get to. What we need to do is focus on the future. The past is the past, can't change that. Not going to be able to change that. Not going to be able to win the press conference. Not going to be able to win this debate right now. My focus right now, my philosophy is getting focused on the next task at hand, and the next task is to find the next football coach for the San Francisco 49ers. And that's where focus is. And to make sure the coaches on this staff are taken care of, and that their families are taken care of. And that's my focus right now. Not getting in a debate with you over philosophical differences.
But philosophical differences were reason for mutual departure.
You're entitled to your opinion, and I respect that. I respect your opinion, and I hope you respect mine.
Not shedding light does franchise a disservice. Not asking to ramrod outgoing coach or owner, but people want clarity.
I think that's unfair as to what was shared. I think Jed did a nice job of sharing the fact that they had multiple discussions. They weren't able to come together. We weren't able to come together as an organization on the direction that we were moving and going forward with, so there was a mutual parting. That's a fair and honest answer. And the mutual parting on both sides was asked to be confidential. And we're going to do our part to make sure that is a confidential conversation that Jed had with Jim.
On accountability for Baalke:
Absolutely I am accountable. I don't back away from that accountability whatsoever. And when you talk about the draft, the draft itself. There are going to be times you miss, and that's on me. That's not on anybody else. Because at the end of the day, the final decisions are mine, when it comes to the picks. Some of the guys you mentioned there did not live up to expectations. Some of them, I think if you really go back to that list you just named, are guys that are either first year guys or second year guys that haven't had a complete opportunity to do that. So there's a mix and match there. There are guys that need to step up. If you're asking me, am I accountable for that, absolutely I am. And take full responsibility in the players that we bring in here. Whether they're free agents, or draft picks, trades, all of that falls on my shoulders. And I'm certainly not immune to making mistakes, but all you do is you keep working at it. It's no different than play calling. Sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you don't. And that's part of football. We're not going to be perfect in any area. We're not going to be perfect in our play-calling. We're not going to be perfect in our player evaluations. We're just not. We're not going to be perfect in the decisions we make for this football team, in certain situations. But that doesn't keep us from being accountable. So i'm fully aware of my accountability, and the role I'm in, and the job that I have to do. But I appreciate you for pointing that out to me.
Jed York talked about wanting a teacher. Is he specifically talking about Colin Kaepernick, and teaching him how to get better?
Well, Damon, I'll say that you twisted that a little bit. It isn't about being a better teacher. Nobody up there criticized Jim's ability to teach. The question that was asked was what are you looking for, what's one of the main qualities you're looking for in your next head coach. And I believe that the answer to that from Jed was "teacher." And I followed up with that as well. Because when you say the word coach, in essence you're saying the word teacher. They're synonymous with one another. A good coach is a good teacher, a good teacher is a good coach. And that's what you're looking for. That is a quality that everyone I've been associated with in this business talks about when you're looking for a coach.
At least give me this, what happened today is not standard operating procedure in NFL circles:
Once again, that's a statement, that's not a question. Is this something that's normal operating procedure? No. But no two situations are the same. And I'm not sitting here trying to justify it. Everyone has feelings right, wrong or indifferent on whether the 49ers, whether the decision we made was correct or not correct. Really it was not a decision that we made. Once again, this was a mutual parting of ways. It was a mutual decision.
It was a mutual decision that seemed to be on a collision course since the year started. I think the decision has been planed for months now
Once again, that's your opinion, that's your assumption, and you're entitled to it. And others may share in your opinion. I personally do not share in that opinion.
So he was your coach for 2015, right up until the playoffs were out of the question?
Once again, Damon, I'm not going it get into it. We've addressed it at many levels in this conversation. Jim's a good football coach. He's had success at everywhere he's been. He's had success as a player. He's a highly motivated, highly competitive individual. And he is going to no doubt have success wherever he goes. And I wish him nothing but the best wherever he goes. Him and his family. Very proud of the job that he did here for this organization, and what we accomplished together. But at this point in time, I have to get my energies focused on the future, and think about the next head coach, and the next coaching staff that's coming through these doors, to make sure that it is, once again, the right fit, like it was four years ago when we brought Jim here.
Word is Jim Harbaugh will take Greg Roman to Michigan. Has Roman been let go?
Well, I'm not going to get into the specifics of every coach and their situation. Not going to get into particulars with every coach on staff. The majority are still under contract for another year. I visited with all of them this morning and let them know exactly how we were going to handle this moving forward. They all know their situation. I do not know anything about Greg being offered, to go with Jim. That's something you would have to talk with Greg about. But none of the coaches have been let go from their contracts.
Was there ever a specific conversation about whether Odell Beckham should have been drafted? I heard that was a big source of contention between you and Jim Harbaugh. Is there any truth to that, that you care to shed any light on?
I can share a lot of light on that. Wherever you're getting that is 100 percent false. Would we have loved to have had him? I guess after the fact, which is what, hindsight is 20/20, would we have loved to have had him? Yes. Would we have loved to have him on draft day where we were picking? Absolutely. Did we think he was going to get to us, absolutely not. Were we willing to give up what it would have taken to go up and get him. The answer is no. And that's why we didn't make the move. And there was no guarantee that even if we had made that move that we would have been high enough to get him, in terms of what it would have taken from a compensation standpoint. It's always easy to talk about the players you could have had once they've had success in the National Football League. He's a heck of a talent. He was graded as a heck of a talent by our scouts, by our coaches, by all parties. But what it would have taken to make that move would have cost us our first, our second, and one of our third round picks. And maybe something on top of that. So in essence, you would have been maybe giving up Jimmie Ward, you would have been giving up Marcus Martin or Chris Borland, and you would have been giving up Carlos Hyde, plus somebody else. So you would have given up three young, quality players to go get one. And that was a decision that collectively, we weren't willing to make. And that's a collective decision. That wasn't something that one person was really fighting for, and another was really opposed to. That was a decision that we made. And we knew that in order to get up high enough to get a player of that caliber, it was going to take too much ammunition to get up there, so we chose not to.
Bruce said that was best answer Baalke has ever given him, Baalke says that's because it was about football, and he gets excited about football. Bruce then said, But that's what this season has been about. We would have talked so much more about football if at any point in time throughout this season if you or Jed had lied. Not telling the truth. If you'd said Jim's our guy
Damon, I have to go back and correct you. I hate to correct you, but Jed did say that.
I don't think he ever specifically said that. He would say Jim's our coach, but you could say, "this guy's our waterboy." Seemed like goal was clean break from Harbaugh, and feels like mission accomplished.
I will say this, then you don't know me very well. If you feel that I would jeopardize the success of this football team for an agenda, I don't take kindly to that I guess. As I look at this, this is a situation that, I'll use a phrase from Jim, "What will happen, will happen. And what won't happen, won't happen." That's where we're at. There's people who are going to be on both sides of this. And you'll come back and say, well, there's many more on your side. And this isn't about sides. This is about families. And I think we gotta remember that. A lot goes into the decisions that are made at this level. And I think we need to respect that. And at the same time, we're not going to change what took place today. We're not going to change it. What took place, took place. All we can do now is focus on the future. I can assure you, and assure the fans, that we're going to work tirelessly to get the next head football coach in here that shares the vision that we have moving forward. Not that Jim didn't, but to share the vision that we have moving forward from today, and go to work. We're going to work awfully hard to continue to win football games, make the playoffs, and that gives you then a chance to compete for a Super Bowl. That gives you a chance. But to get there, you gotta win football games, and that's what we need to get back to doing. And we will do that.