A stirring win over the Philadelphia Eagles won’t stop the long-term questions about the San Francisco 49ers‘ leadership. NFL Media’s Deion Sanders said on Sunday’s NFL GameDay Final that there is significant strain between coach Jim Harbaugh and his players.
“They want him out. They’re not on the same page,” Sanders said. “I really want to know if they’re really playing for the head coach. I got a question with that. Are you really down with your head coach, San Francisco 49ers? Because the way it looks and what I’m hearing, you’re really not down for your head coach. And that’s a problem.
“They really got some problems that we hear rumblings. We all know people inside locker rooms.”
Sanders tweeted that Michael Crabtree was not his source. Sanders famously is close with Crabtree and was involved in his rookie contract negotiations. Sanders tweeted that his sources wear “uniforms, suits, and ties.”
Sanders’ comments echo a report from NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport from Sunday morning. Rapoport said that the veteran voices grumbling about Harbaugh are getting “louder and louder” in part because Harbaugh treats his players like “children.”
Harbaugh responded Monday in the most Harbaugh way possible.
“Personally, I feel that’s a bunch of crap,” he said. “If someone has a good story to tell, they want to put their name to it. If I had a good story to tell, I’d want to put my name to it, so I don’t put a lot of credibility to the unnamed source.”
Harbaugh, who also called out ESPN’s Trent Dilfer for comments similar to Sanders, knows there is one fail-safe way to turn down the volume on grumbling from players and media alike. Winning games is the most powerful deodorant possible.