I kind of feel like it was only a matter of time before the San Francisco 49ers off-field issues drew in some discussion of Jim Harbaugh. And even better? We've got a pair of stories that while not directly conflicting with each other, do raise different points of note.
The most recent comes courtesy of former 49ers cornerback and current NFL Network analyst Eric Davis. You can watch it here, but here's a pertinent quotation:
"I think there was a belief, and I've talked to some people on the ground, there is a belief that players, just like they used to throw their towels and dirty laundry on the floor in the locker room and leave their trays out in the cafeteria and wait for somebody else to clean up their dirt, that that was a metaphor for what they were doing off the field."
"As hard as Jim Harbaugh was on his guys on the field, he was sort of coddling off the field. He allowed those guys to do some of those things. And I think that's part of what the belief is now with the organization, is that they are moving on from that."
He also went into some detail on the changes that have taken place with player engagement since Harbaugh's departure..
This followed Tim Kawakami earlier this week reporting on something that we had not heard before. TK said that Jim Harbaugh had wanted to institute some kind of code of conduct, but Jed York and Trent Baalke did not want it.
I am sure plenty of people will automatically decry what Kawakami said simply because he was Tim Kawakami. I do think TK can be prone to exaggeration at times, but I also think he usually is on point to a certain degree with the issues in play. He was first on a lot of the Harbaugh stuff. The 49ers will deny a lot of that for the rest of time, but I don't think Kawakami was entirely off-base in his reporting of the situation. I think in reality things are probably somewhere in the middle, but if that is the case, that middle ground reflects a whole lot more poorly on Jed York.
As for Davis's comments, it is hard for me to take this too seriously. Prior to his current NFL Network gig, he served as the 49ers radio color analyst. He is part of the NFL apparatus, and I am inclined to think he might be more likely to defend the 49ers in this case.
It is entirely possible I am completely wrong on this. I don't know how correct TK's report is, and I don't know if ED is correct, or just providing some cover for the 49ers organization. I don't know for certain and probably never will know, because too many people have agendas for anybody to be believable. I suppose the only way we'd know for certain is if somebody came out and said something that reflected poorly on themselves. But I'm not holding my breath for that.