Michigan Jim Harbaugh continues to inch toward a potential return to the NFL.
The Vikings will bring the Wolverines coach to Minnesota on Wednesday for a sit-down, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.
The Vikings interviewed Harbaugh by Zoom on Saturday. Despite mixed signals as to whether the process would continue, continue it will.
The team appears to be concerned about Harbaugh’s time with the 49ers. Despite a 44-19-1 regular-season record, three playoff appearances, and a Super Bowl berth, Harbaugh was fired after four seasons. (The team called it a mutual parting; Harbaugh disagreed with the characterization.) After moving on from the oft-cantankerous Mike Zimmer, the Vikings are inclined to avoid another coach who may opt for motivation based on concepts such as fear and criticism.
Plenty of successful coaches possess that edge, including the likes of Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells to name only two. Harbaugh’s brother, John, has a fire that burns hot, just below the surface and sometimes out in the open (especially when the lights go out during the Super Bowl). The Ravens, realizing the value that John Harbaugh brings to the football team, has coexisted with him since 2008.
Jim Harbaugh has coached his alma mater for seven seasons. By all appearances, they’d like to keep him, despite whatever negativity folks from San Francisco may be spreading about him. Obviously, people like 49ers CEO Jed York don’t want to see Harbaugh return to the NFL and thrive. If York thought Harbaugh was a disaster waiting to happen, York would either say nothing, or he’d provide a glowing endorsement.
Regardless of what anyone else may or may not be saying about Harbaugh (and we don’t know whether York or anyone else is providing a negative assessment to the Vikings or anyone else about Harbaugh), the Vikings have to make their own decision. Is the calculated risk of hiring a coach who may rub some folks the wrong way worth the reward of a trophy the franchise and the community have been chasing since 1966?