Something I have watched with amazement over the past few days was the open courtship of the Miami Dolphins of Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. What was amazing is the Jets' division rival still had a head coach, Tony Sparano. Harbaugh will not be taking his talents to South Beach, however. He is the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. This whole episode from the Miami perspective feels a bit like taking your girlfriend to a bar, hitting on another woman in front of her, and reluctantly bringing your girlfriend home after failing.
I don't really understand why Harbaugh is considered a sure thing. I know he played quarterback in the NFL,. but so did other coaches who have not been successful. I know his brother is a good coach, but a successful brother does not guarantee success in professional sports. No college head coach has made a truly successful transition to the NFL since Tom Coughlin departed Boston College for the Jaguars. I do think Harbaugh has potential to be the first since. In an era where college teams win because of innovative schemes, Stanford has emerged as a national power because their head coach instilled fundamentals and did a great job developing players. He also does look like something of a guru developing quarterbacks. Even before Andrew Luck, he turned Josh Johnson into a draftable quarterback. That doesn't happen often at the University of San Diego.
There are now questions about whether Sparano even wants to come back. It's tough to blame him after the way he has been treated. I personally kind of want Sparano back in Miami. I think back to my chat with Keyshawn Johnson. Keyshawn said, "You have three or four really good coaches in this league. You've got three or four ok coaches, and the rest of them are bums." I agree with him. While I might not use the word "bum," I don't really see anything about him that impresses me. Now look at Rex Ryan. He has brought a defensive scheme to the Jets that has made them a top five unit two years in a row. He has done terrific work developing guys like Jim Leonhard and Bart Scott in Baltimore and Mike Devito and Sione Pouha with the Jets. His players would run through a wall for him. Many players across the league want to play for him. That has paid dividends and will likely continue to do so.
In any event, I have heard plenty of Miami fans call the Jets a classless organization. Remember the actions of their team's owner the next time one does.