by Morris Phillips
SANTA CLARA–Jim Harbaugh who completed coaching his final game as head coach with the San Francisco 49ers defeating the Arizona Cardinals to close out a four year run and is headed to Michigan to coach there next season and will be the highest paid college coach in the NCAA at $49 million for six years worth of work. Harbaugh lands on his feet and he did not get along with the 49ers brass and thus one of the biggest reasons why he’s out as coach.
In a unusual way to say goodbye to someone that bickered with the head coach on and off during Harbaugh’s tenor the 49ers CEO Jed York and General Manger Trent Baalke came on the sidelines after the game to give Harbaugh a huge goodbye hug. Not bad for someone whose bosses’ felt didn’t deserve a contract extension. The 49ers have a front office of stars with Baalke, Jed York, owners John York and Denise DeBartolo, and team president Paraag Marathe.
The 49ers brass feels justly that they’ve been a big part of what the 49ers have enjoyed in the last four years under Harbaugh and they are going to challenge themselves to get a better football coach or just as good as one as Harbaugh. Kyle Shanahan the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator whose in his first year with the Browns has been name dropped according to sources as a candidate. The choice won’t be easy but that’s what the 49ers are challenging themselves to do.
As far as the biggest distractions are concerned you just can’t get away from former 49er Ray McDonald who was arrested this season for domestic violence and eventually released by the team for allegations of sexual assault and Aldon Smith was suspended by the team for nine games for illegal weapons charges and DUI. If your trying to win a championship and if your trying to be a great football team professionalism is first and McDonald and Smith really let the team down.
The 49ers really need to do some soul searching in terms of where their heads really are at in terms of getting the job done on the field based on what their doing off the field. Distractions are huge, it’s a distraction for the team and greater than the distraction you just wonder how you play championship football when you have all this other stuff going on. The real simple observation in terms of distraction maybe what outweighed them is just that this football team is fast. The 49ers are fast based on the way that they played which was physical and just like what Harbaugh wanted them to do by injuries and it all added up. Injuries had a real cumulative effect of what the team did on the field with it’s physical play to get to where they are now.
Stanford Cardinal in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levis Stadium: With Stanford University you just feel like great things are coming head coach David Shaw has made it very clear that he’s staying on board and he’s not going anywhere. He’s coming back and his first three years as head coach have been dynamite. He got the Rose Bowl championship in 2013 and won and then a second trip to the Rose Bowl in 2014 and lost that one. The NFL are looking at the Cardinal and to see if they can retain some of those guys.
The Cardinal are going to make a run at the championship and the Pac 12 Championship next season again in 2015, this is a really solid college football program their having the game at Levis Stadium and for hosting the Foster Farms Bowl and the future is looking very bright. The size of the crowds when comparing venues for the Foster Farms Bowl hasn’t changed between AT&T Park and Levis Stadium. So with the venue change (this being the first year at Levis Stadium) your going to have a partially empty football stadium on Tuesday night.
An empty stadium doesn’t necessarily look good with the local team involved and they might draw around 40,000 fans for that game and maybe they’ll get 50,000. Once again Levis Stadium in Santa Clara is not a hotbed for college football and Maryland who faces Stanford doesn’t draw the local sports crowd. So it’s a match up on Tuesday between the Stanford Cardinals and the Maryland Terrapins at Levis Stadium for the Foster Farms Bowl.
Click below as Morris Phillips continues his podcast and covers the San Francisco 49ers and Cal Bears for http://www.sportsradioservice.com