Jed York

Madden on 49ers and Harbaugh: “It’s a lot easier to get a suit than it is to get a coach”

John Madden

After a quick back-and-forth about the weather, Wednesday morning’s edition of the John Madden show on KCBS focused mostly on Jim Harbaugh. The former Oakland Raiders coach, who won a Super Bowl and 76% of his regular season games, is very impressed with what Harbaugh has accomplished with the San Francisco 49ers.

“Jim Harbaugh has done a great job of coaching in the NFL no matter how you put it. I mean, Getting to three championship games in a row with that group or with any group is a heck of a thing that he’s done,” Madden said.

He scoffed at the notion that the 49ers would probably part ways with Harbaugh unless he wins a Super Bowl next season.

“You tell me where they’re going to get a guy that’s any better than him.” Madden said. “It’s a lot easier to get a suit than it is to get a coach.”

One of the questions surrounding the reported disconnect between Harbaugh and 49ers GM Trent Baalke is how much control the former wants over personnel decisions. Not surprisingly, Madden thinks the coach should have final say.

“The best model is (the coach and GM) get along. Eventually they have to come to a decision together,” Madden said. “It can’t be where one wants one player and one wants the other, and they have to have a power play over it. And if they do, I think the coach has to have it, because if he doesn’t like the guy and if he’s not going to coach him and play him, then it doesn’t do any good to draft him.”

Throughout most of the interview it sounded like Madden was 100% on the side of Harbaugh, who called into Madden’s show for Super Bowl advice last January. However, Madden noted how friction within an organization hurts everyone.

“I don’t think either one of those sides, either the coaches or the suits, should overshadow the needs of the players. If you make too big a thing of that, you’re going to have a problem,” he said.

“If you take credit for what you do in administration and in the office, then sometimes you’re taking the credit away from the coaches, who sometimes take it away from the players. I think with all the media, that’s become too big a thing: Who gets credit? Who’s gonna go to the Hall of Fame? How many rings do they have? Who’s the highest paid?

“We always talk — during the season and when you play a game — it’s all about team, it’s all about the team, it’s all about the players playing together. It’s all about these things. And then, when this comes up it’s not about that anymore.”

Madden mentioned “team” twice. Add one more and he would’ve equalled one of Harbaugh’s favorite catchphrases.

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