It’s customary for general managers of NFL teams to speak with college coaches about the institution’s prospects entering the draft. When the coach a team needs to speak to was the former head coach of said franchise, it makes things a little more complicated ... or comical.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch recounted the events that surrounded his chat with former 49ers head coach and current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. The relationship between former 49ers GM Trent Baalke and Harbaugh was contentious at best. At least now the communication regarding draft prospects can hopefully be more open and honest between the franchise and its former coach.
Do you talk to college coaches?
Yeah, I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday and he was great. He’s got a lot of players that are draftable and he gave me a lot of great information and it was always entertaining as it is with Jim. It was fun because right when we called, I had some of these meetings set up, his brother was right there and I said ‘Hey John, I’m about to talk to (Jim),’ so John came over and before I could get on the phone John and Jim were talking. I said ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone, so we had a good time.
Any congrats or advice?
No, he just said ‘Fired up for you man’ and then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting, I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick. That’s something I’ve tried to do and will continue to do it. He’s got a big list, he’s got one of the bigger lists in the league this year.
Doesn’t every college coach think that?
A lot of that is the questions I’m asking to challenge, be specific, don’t just say ‘What do you think about your guys?’ That’s a lazy question. I won’t ask lazy questions.
What’s a non lazy question?
Is he better suited here or is he better suited there? Those kind of things. Then you get into more valuable conversation because all of them are going to say yes. I think also having past relationships, some guys are going to be a little more forthright. Or sometimes silence speaks volumes when you ask something.