“If Harbaugh can get his offensive coaches in line, he can save this thing, but until he does, they will continue to struggle,” another insider said. “There are players in that locker room who don’t even know who their position coach is yet and that is a huge problem.
“Players, coaches, administrators and donors are losing confidence in Jim because he hasn’t made the right choice on ‘Drev.’ He’s losing confidence and control because of one guy.”
One former player said Harbaugh “could fix this problem by moving Drevno as far away from the offensive line as possible and naming Ed Warinner the offensive coordinator.”
Warinner was hired as a “senior offensive analyst” in January — and he received a two-year contract that pays $250,000 a year.
Warinner was Minnesota’s offensive line coach in 2017. Before that, he spent five seasons at Ohio State. He was Ohio State’s co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 2012-2014, the offensive coordinator/o-line coach in 2015 and the OC/tight ends coach in 2016.
“Look, there are three reasons last season went bad – the offensive coordinator, the defensive coordinator and the strength coach,” one insider said. “I can tell you the defensive coordinator and the strength coach weren’t the problem. All you have to do it watch the games to know where the breakdown is happening.”
Harbaugh chose to fire strength coach Kevin Tolbert, but sources say the players are upset about the move because they see Tolbert as the scapegoat for Tim Drevno’s bad offense.
“Pep Hamilton is another issue altogether,” the same source told me. “Pep is well-liked, but he isn’t like Jedd, who was a much better relationship-builder than Pep. Hamilton came in with all this NFL shit and didn’t take the time to talk to his players and learn about them, which explains the QB disconnect.
“Wilton Speight got along so well with Jedd Fisch that he wanted to follow him (as a grad transfer) if he got a college job, but since Jedd landed with the Rams, Wilton has no place to go. It’s no coincidence that Speight’s best season was under Jedd Fisch.”
While not all is lost – yet – it certainly appears that there have to be changes to this coaching staff and its handling of the talent on the roster. Keep an eye on any staff shuffling, as there are certain to be some interesting reassignments in the coming days.
No, the Harbuagh Era hasn’t gone bad just yet. But you will have a good idea where it is headed soon.
(You can follow Gregg Henson on Twitter @gregghenson)
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