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Harbaugh’s comments on Manning now a “running joke” in league circles

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More than a week after 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh declared that his team didn’t “pursue” or “flirt with” but merely “evaluated” quarterback Peyton Manning, folks throughout the NFL are getting a kick out the comments.

No one believes it.  No one.  As in not anyone.

Per a source with knowledge of the Peyton chase, no one should.  And the total disbelief in league circles has made the issue a “running joke.”

The Niners didn’t simply kick Manning’s tires.  They were in it until the very end.  Though the Broncos, 49ers, and Titans were regarded as the finalists, it actually came down, we’re told, to Denver and San Francisco.

But the point isn’t to rub Harbaugh’s face in it (again).  He’s one of our (or at least my) favorites coaches.  He’ll will the team into being a contender every year he works for the 49ers.  The point is that, elsewhere in the league, John Harbaugh’s younger brother lost some significant style points on this one.

The real question is whether Jim Harbaugh lost any credibility in his own locker room, specifically with his own quarterback.  With Smith being represented by Tom Condon, who also represents Peyton Manning, Smith has fairly immediate access to the truth.  Even without the ability to talk to Condon, Smith is smart enough to see what was going on, when it was going on.

The question is whether there will be any discernible impact on the coach-quarterback relationship as a result of the pursuit of Peyton and the post hoc effort to pretend it didn’t happen.

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73 Responses to “Harbaugh’s comments on Manning now a “running joke” in league circles”
  1. joetoronto says: Jun 10, 2012 7:29 AM

    Jim Harbaugh himself is considered a joke in the NFL.

  2. duanethomas says: Jun 10, 2012 7:35 AM

    He’s said several outlandish things such as Michael Crabtree has the best hands he has every seen. Eventually one of those crazy statements will come back to bite him in the butt and he will lose credibility with his team. Right now all is well in the Bay area and it’s looked at as quirky and cute….but the time will come where he will be viewed as a liar.

  3. goldrush94 says: Jun 10, 2012 7:40 AM

    League circles better be careful not to piss off a potential monster of a team this year! Let the jokesters joke. Harbaugh and the Niners will have the last laugh.

  4. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Jun 10, 2012 7:43 AM

    “you don’t have to come and confess,
    we gonna find you, we gonna find you,
    so you can run and tell that,
    run and tell that, homeboy,
    home, home, homeboy.”

  5. neauxgeaux44 says: Jun 10, 2012 7:55 AM

    Beside the fact that both Hairbow brothers are bottom feeder sleaze bags, do they really care about style points….

  6. bluepike says: Jun 10, 2012 8:15 AM

    In time, NFL fans will get to see the real side of Jim Harbaugh in plain view. When things are going his way he gets to hide his true colors. When things don’t go his way his true colors will appear and the NFL world will see a very sore loser with absolutely no class.

    I’d like to see him pull that bush-league “handshake” crap on Ron Rivera or Mike Munchak. You’ll never see it though because he doesn’t have the stones to do it to either of them. I’d actually like to go back in time and see him do it to someone like Chuck Noll – he would have ended up head first in a trash can – where he belongs. Anyone who does that “handshake” routine to a coach who is sincerely trying to congratulate him is completely infantile and classless. You will all get to see this in the near future.

  7. pilot2011 says: Jun 10, 2012 8:18 AM

    but stats don’t matter coach! I went 13-3 last year!

    Cam Newton owns you all week and twice on sunday.

  8. cooklynn17 says: Jun 10, 2012 8:19 AM

    Do you know why its a joke? Because Harbaugh and his entitled attitude is a joke as well.

  9. worldwidebleater says: Jun 10, 2012 8:31 AM

    He needs to beat the crap out of Jim Schwartz. That would re-establish his alpha dog status. Because this recent comments are weak.

  10. eastsideballa says: Jun 10, 2012 8:32 AM

    Yeah Harbaugh never flirted with Manning and Alex Smith never visited the Dolphins.

  11. jvibottomline says: Jun 10, 2012 8:32 AM

    Who cares, Nobody!

  12. keysh says: Jun 10, 2012 8:45 AM

    It worked didn’t it? I have not heard or read about the Alex Smith /Cam Newton comments since this statement. Jimmy took the heat off of his QB at his own expense. Great coach!

  13. northlawhodat says: Jun 10, 2012 8:46 AM

    Alex Smith needs a explanation!

  14. liondoc says: Jun 10, 2012 8:47 AM

    Once a punk, always a punk

  15. skinsfan76 says: Jun 10, 2012 8:52 AM

    When you say something that silly, it will be taking as a joke.

  16. ytsejamer1 says: Jun 10, 2012 8:57 AM

    While it may be a punchline, I think if Jim Harbaugh continues to coach the way he does and enjoys more success, it won’t be the focus of anything really.

  17. aintthenazz says: Jun 10, 2012 8:59 AM

    “He’s one of our (or at least my) favorites coaches.” Really? I couldn’t tell.

  18. lolb23 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:12 AM

    The way he tucks his sweatshirt into his pants is pretty funny too.

  19. mattsffrd says: Jun 10, 2012 9:17 AM

    who cares

  20. howiefeltersnatch says: Jun 10, 2012 9:18 AM

    As a QB in that league not named Peyton Manning I don’t know how you’d be upset that your team, who just sighs you to 1 year type deals anyway, would try to do whatever it took to get the elder Oreo licker onboard.

  21. nepaseahawk says: Jun 10, 2012 9:26 AM

    alex smith looks like hed make a good starting caddy

  22. regulator01 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:27 AM

    cant see what harbaugh is trying to make happen with that baldface lie. im not a alex smith fan at all(actually cam and panthers fan)but everything ive seen and heard about alex smith is he is a good guy, he understands they wanted manning, because manning is a better qb, dont insult smiths inteligence by now saaying it didnt happen. if i were alex smith that would piss me off more than the fact they tried to get manning

  23. eleventyeight says: Jun 10, 2012 9:27 AM

    On an off-note- those one-year deals seem to pay pretty well.

  24. jnbnet says: Jun 10, 2012 9:30 AM

    I am an AFC guy, and indifferent to the 49ers. Smith should be smart enough to get over it. Manning is an instant up grade to at least 28 teams. It is Harbaugh’s job to make his team as good as possible….and if it means getting one of the best QBs….then so be it.

  25. footballfanatic1906 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:39 AM

    goldrush94 says:
    Jun 10, 2012 7:40 AM
    League circles better be careful not to piss off a potential monster of a team this year! Let the jokesters joke. Harbaugh and the Niners will have the last laugh.

    Yeah we saw how that monster reacted at home against the Giants. Really SCARY. Lol

  26. jimr10 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:42 AM

    The running joke will be when the 49ers go 10-6 or 11-5…after everyeone has them winning it all.

  27. flyerscup2010 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:45 AM

    how many circles are there in the league?
    l

  28. davidcl77 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:51 AM

    The guy is “out there,” but can sure as hell coach. Should have made it to the SB in his first year. Probably will make it this year. All you cats poking fun at him…. Get this… He don’t give a s—! He’s nuts!
    I’d love to have that nut coaching my team!

  29. vernonwillis says: Jun 10, 2012 10:00 AM

    Bunch of morons. You didn’t go to school. The whole thing was done to make sure the Arizona Chickens didn’t get Manning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Even Alex Smith new it all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. easyeddie says: Jun 10, 2012 10:01 AM

    Harbaugh is the Joe Biden of theNfl.

  31. amanitoomerisgod says: Jun 10, 2012 10:21 AM

    “Running joke” is a real phrase that does not require the use of quotes. It looks really weird. Don’t you guys have any kind of editor? Who’s your ombudsman? I can be that person.

    W/r/t Harbaugh, the man is a giant infant. My favorite tantrum move of his is the forceful exhale combined with emphatic pulling of his hat’s brim down over most of his face.

    Child.

  32. covercorner says: Jun 10, 2012 10:27 AM

    Harbaugh did not have an altercation with Jim Schwartz either.

  33. raiderrob21 says: Jun 10, 2012 10:34 AM

    The ONLY one that believes it is Alex Smith! Look how stupid he is.

  34. raiderlyfe510 says: Jun 10, 2012 10:41 AM

    There wasnt any serious pursuit of Peyton Manning by the 49ers. They simply investigated the situation because at that point they didn’t have a starting QB. They didn’t invite him to their facility, they weren’t willing to pay him 20 million per.

    Paying a broken down 36 year old QB who was declining before 2011, 20 million per is what bad organizations do. The 49ers do not strike me as a bad organization. I believe Harbaugh.

  35. heygfy says: Jun 10, 2012 10:43 AM

    I think Jim Harbaugh has a closet full of the same outfit.

  36. nepaseahawk says: Jun 10, 2012 10:50 AM

    ok vernonwillis…..now it all makes sense, who told you this nonsense? harbaugh?? good angle buddy but harbaugh stated that manning contacted them(lie) and the cards were pretty much out of the manning sweepstakes at that point so your story has some major flaws

    now for the truth…harbaugh would not personally choose alex to be his qb…he inherited him and would much rather have a dynamic player at the helm..he had luck in college and then alex?? he just wanted more thats all. but then he made things much worse by pretending nothing ever happened

  37. wny49er says: Jun 10, 2012 11:02 AM

    Its funny with all the ignorant haters of Harbaugh. The man took a perennial laughing stock and brought them to a 13 and 3 record. While helping Alex Smiths development so much that he had 100.2% qb eff rating in the playoffs and that’s w having 5tds and 0 ints. Sf will win it all this year and the only thing you haters will be able to do is hate him just a little but more.

  38. go49ers says: Jun 10, 2012 11:12 AM

    I thought Harbaugh was interested in Manning but only after Smith didn’t initially re-sign in the beginning. All good, it’s pro football.

  39. hijackthemic says: Jun 10, 2012 11:19 AM

    All these people talking about Harbaugh losing respect and losing whatever else, like he’s a character on Dynasty. You people give me lulz. This is a spring NFL story for people who don’t have anything to do and apparently like the soap opera more than they like camp reports. Whooooooo cares?

  40. qdog112 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:22 AM

    It doesn’t matter. Everyone knows that Smith is one 3 int day from the bench and Manning will be hard-pressed to finish the first 1/2 of the season. That’s right, both Smith and Manning are far from sure things at QB.

  41. qdog112 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:26 AM

    Jun 10, 2012 10:01 AM

    Harbaugh is the Joe Biden of theNfl.
    *******************************
    I guess that means that the GOP equivalent will not make anyone’s 53 man squad. He’s Rust Limp Paw-like, jock sniffer.

  42. pftcensorssuck says: Jun 10, 2012 11:35 AM

    Anytime a team says Peyton Manning wasn’t a good “fit”, it reminds me of the kid in high school who got turned down by the Homecoming Queen, and tries to convince you that he really wanted the ugly girl from Home Ec. in the first place.

    Sure, Coach, whatever you say. The Hall-of-Fame bound Peyton Manning wasn’t a good “fit” for your team, the one that already had an All-World quarterback, right?

  43. hwjr57 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:36 AM

    Just the media trying to make a story, and they need a new target. “Per a source with knowledge of the Peyton chase, no one should” is press speak for “the rest of the sentence is something I or somebody else made up”. Yeah, it’s a slow news time. I get it. I know it’s against the nature of the media to do this, but if they asked Harbaugh questions using straightforward language instead of pansy ass terms like ‘flirting with’, they’d get straightforward responses. In short, this is just garbage in, garbage out.

  44. eaglesfan290 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:37 AM

    How is this even a story? Harbaugh is as competitive as any coach in the NFL; as such he wants the best team he can field every year. But putting talent on the field isn’t the only consideration………it’s prudent to see what Peyton has to offer your team…….but if the price gets too high it’s also prudent not to overpay. Paying a player with his kind of injury history has some inherent risks. All it takes is one bad hit and a team can have its salary cap handicapped for years.

    Harbaugh had a pretty good year as a rookie coach so maybe it’s just petty jealousy?

  45. sonoco says: Jun 10, 2012 11:38 AM

    1. Manning contacted the 49ers.
    2. On the first day of free agency Harbaugh and Roman flew to Duke to check him out. Who wouldn’t when Manning calls you?
    3. The 49ers sent their doctors to check him out.
    4. Manning signed with Denver.

    That’s all that is actually known. We know Manning reached out to the Niners. We know the Niners checked him out.

    That’s it. Let them laugh.

  46. rhone16 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:48 AM

    Some things you all should know about Jim Harbaugh by now:

    1. His players love and respect him, and he has their backs when speaking in public.

    2. He really doesn’t care what you or anyone else thinks of him.

    Alex Smith, BTW, has already stated adamantly that the team was honest and up front with him regarding Manning. That’s typical for Harbaugh and one of the reasons for point #1.

    The rest of the league can laugh all they want, Harbaugh doesn’t care because all he is focused on is preparing his team to win.

  47. billb49 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:51 AM

    I am consistently amazed at the level of idiocy displayed by people making comments on these discussions. The first comment is that Jim Harbaugh is a “joke” in the NFL.

    Hey stupid! Harbaugh was voted Coach of the Year last year. Any coach voted Coach of the year is, by definition, not a joke.

    And now there’s the “Alex Smith is stupid” nonsense. Jesus H. Christ, I think the guy got one of the highest Wonderlic results in league history. He may not have lived up to expected results for a first round pick, but he’s definitely not stupid.

    Come on, Niner haters. Bring your games up! We know there are lots of haters out there, but at least try to bring something worthy of an adult and not a five-year old.

  48. cali49er707 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:53 AM

    you haters are all the same guys that said we were a fluke team during the season, & THEN we would be one & done in the playoffs, & THEN CAME the giants would stomp us in the nfc championship game talk!! U BUMS seem to NEVER run out of excuses!! lets remember here we lost to the eventual SB champs in OT, we added playmakers to our offense, brought back our whole defense ( top NFC defense) , and alex smith will get the opportunity to play for the same OC & QB coaches from the previous season for the 1st time in his career!! a full offseason with OTA’s & training camp with haurbaugh, who led them to a 13 & 3 record, in a lockout shortened offseason, and you BUMS think they are gonna get worse?? who cares if we go 10 & 6 or 9 & 7 this season with a tough schudule, if we get in the playoffs, no matter who or where we play, YOU & I both know that with our defense, our coaching, & our playmakers, that their is a good chance YOUR teams is going home for the offseason!!!!

  49. sfninersfan says: Jun 10, 2012 11:54 AM

    So many Harbaugh haters, its ridiculous! So what if they guy checked out another quarterback, and Alex knows everything that took place.

    Everyone is just looking for a reason to knock the Niners down now because they have moved up to 4 to 1 favorites

  50. bigbluefan1 says: Jun 10, 2012 11:55 AM

    Hey look at the bright side you dug in the Giants Dumpster and took some of the players they had tossed in.
    So that now means you have two SB rings in your locker room and one fast car. Of course the driver not so fast.

    You got a sniff at greatness last year but only a sniff

    Alex Smith is a #1 bust and the sooner you face it the better off you will be.

    If you coach had played his hand shake game with TC the old man would have kicked his butt.

    The 49ers were the best team in the worst div in the NFC wow.

  51. 1oz1 says: Jun 10, 2012 12:16 PM

    A good couch standing up for his players…. Nothing more!

  52. JaminJake says: Jun 10, 2012 12:16 PM

    goldrush94 says:
    Jun 10, 2012 7:40 AM
    League circles better be careful not to piss off a potential monster of a team this year! Let the jokesters joke. Harbaugh and the Niners will have the last laugh.

    _______________________________

    They might have the last laugh, but until they have it, they don’t. But if you know the future, Vegas awaits.

  53. goredskins11 says: Jun 10, 2012 12:17 PM

    I respected and rooted for Jim Harbaugh when he was playing. I still remember him taking the Colts deep into the playoffs and his fights with Ditka in Chicago. But, as a coach he is a real jerk. I’m sure his players love him, but he leaves a lot to be desired from a fan’s perspective. I wish the 49ers well, but I really don’t like Jim. His brother, however, comes across as a much more respectable person.

  54. jimmysee says: Jun 10, 2012 12:17 PM

    There’s at least a 50% chance that $20 million Peyton = Brett Favre circa 2010.

    Peyton is not the future. If I were an NFL GM, I’d be looking to the future.

  55. 1oz1 says: Jun 10, 2012 12:18 PM

    coach

  56. JaminJake says: Jun 10, 2012 12:21 PM

    I hope that Smith has a hell of a year and he backs the 49ers into a corner for a new contract. I don’t like anyone who gloats in the face of their opponent. Head coaches are to lead by example and if that’s the standard he sets, I guess “Straight Cash Homie” Randy Moss might be the version they get. You shake your opponents hand win or lose. Jumping like a baboon is unacceptable.

  57. qmo4949 says: Jun 10, 2012 12:23 PM

    Time will tell who the joke is on. Let’s see what you all have to say at the end of the year.

  58. bigbluecrew420 says: Jun 10, 2012 12:29 PM

    wny9er
    Its funny with all the ignorant haters of Harbaugh. The man took a perennial laughing stock and brought them to a 13 and 3 record. While helping Alex Smiths development so much that he had 100.2% qb eff rating in the playoffs and that’s w having 5tds and 0 ints. Sf will win it all this year and the only thing you haters will be able to do is hate him just a little but more.

    —————————————————-

    They won’t even win the devision bud

  59. vermonator says: Jun 10, 2012 12:47 PM

    Go Niners!!!

  60. beastmode5150 says: Jun 10, 2012 1:15 PM

    Pretty simple, good coach, but very hard to like. He can ride on this success fine, but he doesn’t seem to deal with the limited adversity he has had, and god forbid some hits hard, we will see him flail.

  61. beastmode5150 says: Jun 10, 2012 1:17 PM

    Hey look at the bright side you dug in the Giants Dumpster and took some of the players they had tossed in.
    So that now means you have two SB rings in your locker room and one fast car. Of course the driver not so fast.

    You got a sniff at greatness last year but only a sniff

    Alex Smith is a #1 bust and the sooner you face it the better off you will be.

    If you coach had played his hand shake game with TC the old man would have kicked his butt.

    The 49ers were the best team in the worst div in the NFC wow.

    Worst division? Stop posting until you wake up and remember it’s not 2010 anymore.

  62. 1historian says: Jun 10, 2012 3:40 PM

    Harbaugh was a good player in college.

    He was ok in the NFL.

    He was a darn good coach in college and he seems to be off to a good start in the pros. This whole thing is just another (aNOTHER ONE?) of Mike Florio’s manufactured stories.

    That having been said IMO Harbaugh is now and probably for the foreseeable future will remain a horse’s ass.

    The jury is still out on Florio, but this much is plain: a journalist he is NOT.

  63. the54thman says: Jun 10, 2012 3:42 PM

    I’m a niner’s fan and I like the comment that Jimr10 left at 9:42. 10-6 or 11-5 sounds pretty good to me… and winning it all. What was Baby Blue’s record when they entered the wildcard round last year? I’ll take a win on opening day in Green bay, and a 15-1 season. That’s what I think is going to happen. Alex Smith will throw for 4200 yards, Manning will throw for 1300 yards before he gets hurt in week 6 or so, and Cam Newton will continue to turn heads despite another season in the shadow of a superior, albeit distraught New Orleans team. Anything can happen in the playoffs – look at GB, or hell, look at NY for that matter. Congrats to them, seriously. They worked the hardest when it came time to reap the harvest.

  64. hendeeze says: Jun 10, 2012 4:34 PM

    At first glance it’s about as dumb as Rex Ryan’s guaranteeing a Superbowl. Except Harbaugh put all the arrows on himself with his statement. And if you haven’t noticed, he gives zero F’s, what anyone says.

  65. TIM says: Jun 10, 2012 6:31 PM

    Jim Harbaugh… NFL coach of the year in 2011 !!! In other words he is the best HC in the NFL right now and all you poor fans of other teams are just jealous ,LOL.

  66. lbouchard1 says: Jun 10, 2012 8:30 PM

    Surprised at all the hate on Harbaugh. Guy is a great coach IMO.

  67. CKL says: Jun 10, 2012 9:03 PM

    hendeeze says:
    Jun 10, 2012 4:34 PM
    At first glance it’s about as dumb as Rex Ryan’s guaranteeing a Superbowl. Except Harbaugh put all the arrows on himself with his statement. And if you haven’t noticed, he gives zero F’s, what anyone says.
    ________________________________
    Harbaugh actually reminds me a bit of RR. He likes to make bold statements, is always hyping his players and is a good coach. But his mouth/actions get him in trouble sometimes.

  68. 2ndaryinsanity says: Jun 11, 2012 10:35 AM

    I think he’s done (and will continue to do) a great job with the 49′ers. But he should have kept his mouth closed regarding the Manning chase because now he’s lost some credibility. Better be careful, or people will lump him in the same category as Andy Reid….”if his lips are moving he’s most likely lying.”

  69. mrjinca says: Jun 11, 2012 11:57 AM

    WTF does it matter? He’s a coach it is his job to talk up his players. It is his job to keep his players focused. It’s his job to boost the confidence and moral of his team. He’s doing his job. If you don’t like what he say’s go read the Sunday Comic’s.

  70. kungfubillysims says: Jun 11, 2012 12:52 PM

    Why is one of the biggest jerks in the league one of your favorite coaches?

  71. johnld777 says: Jun 11, 2012 3:46 PM

    All you Niner Haters, need to check your own lousy team as we head to the Super Bowl! If you think Smith was hurt by Niners checking old man Manning,Plaaassseeee!!! Manning went to Denver because Niners would have never wasted that much money, and the little baby was afraid Daddy would be mad he had to beat Eli to get to the SB! Jim H. is best Head Coach in NFL, so stop hating!!

  72. johnld777 says: Jun 11, 2012 3:54 PM

    beastmode is one of those lucky Giant fans because they backed into the Super Bowl on a muffed punt, and a bunch of zebras KTA’s the whole game. And if you call Manningham trash after HE MADE the catch that got you to the dance you guys lack more intelligence than I thought!!

  73. sullijo1 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:41 PM

    This is like Obama thinking the “the private sector is doing fine.”

    How dumb do they think we are???

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