Jim Harbaugh’s at it again, defending A.J. Jenkins


You can’t argue that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has the back of his players.

You also can’t argue that people are snickering behind the back of the second-year coach after yet another rambling diatribe.

After having previously declared Alex Smith the smartest quarterback he’s ever seen, Michael Crabtree the owner of the best hands ever, and denying the 49ers ever had interest in Peyton Manning (and you’re diabolical if you think so), it’s becoming easy to tune him out when he gets into this mode.

But the latest player to benefit from Harbaugh’s unsolicited defense is first-round pick A.J. Jenkins, who some have already declared a disappointment.

In what Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com described as an “unscheduled trip to the podium,” Harbaugh ripped the critics who ripped his rookie receiver.

“A.J Jenkins was an outstanding football player when he got here,” Harbaugh said. “His progress has been very, very good, and exceeded expectations.

“For those — the scribes, pundits, so-called experts — who have gone so far as to say that he’s going to be a bust, should just stop. I recommend that because they’re making themselves look more clueless than they already did.

“I’ll go on record: A.J. is going to be an outstanding football player. So far in camp and what he’s done in the offseason has led us to believe nothing but he’ll be an outstanding football player in the National Football League.”

Harbaugh went onto say: “And, yeah, I’m going to keep track of some of these names of so-called experts who were making these comments. And there’s going to be an ‘I told you so.’ I foresee that happening.”

Listen Jim, we get it. You’re there to shield your players, to make them feel loved. To make sure that if the world doesn’t believe in them, you do. And of course it’s too soon to declare a rookie a bust.

But this protest-too-much act is growing old, fast.

The Jenkins defense, like the Manning denial, was unprompted, which does nothing but make the coach look thin-skinned and reactionary, and worried too much about the voices outside his building.

As long as they win, it’ll be fine. But the moment things slow down, who knows who Harbaugh’s going to choose to lash out at.

32 responses to “Jim Harbaugh’s at it again, defending A.J. Jenkins

  1. I mean his coaching career has been nothing short of impressive from from Quality Control coach with us in 2002, from USD to Frisco. Why would anybody question what Harbaugh does. Whatever he’s doing he needs to stay the course.

  2. I am having trouble deciding who is more thin skinned harbaugh or you the “experts” who get bent out of shape that somebody would dare challenge your football expertise. I find it amusing you guy dish it out but can’t take it. you say and write whatever you want about players and coaches then whine when they dare defend themselves or in this case a coach does. on second thought I guess I do know who is more thinned skinned after all.

  3. The only reason I can see why Manning didn’t go to SF is Harbaugh… If you’re Peyton Manning at this point in your career do you really want to be coached by a guy who can’t get through the post-game handshake without an incident?

  4. “You can’t argue that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has the back of his players.

    You also can’t argue that people are snickering behind the back of the second-year coach after yet another rambling diatribe.”

    You also can’t argue that you’re upset someone would even dare challenge you’re analysis/reporting of someone so far. I mean how dare JH say you are wrong (when you are or when you’re just creating stories out of 1 or 2 words to get a rise or whatever it is) only you guys should be allowed to sit there and criticize. We get it.

  5. usually, especially with kids, it is very obvious they are trying to conceal or manipulate something when without prompt or even suggestion, they out-of-nowhere get real defensive and sensitive about something.

    and usually it means they are guilty of thinking, doing, or saying exactly what they say are not doing.

    it is kinda silly and infantile.

  6. And amazingly in 2011 his team committed no penalties … zero. Oh sure, the refs blew a bunch of calls. But none of them … not one … was correct. The ones on the other teams … yeah, all of them were OK.

  7. Harbaugh sounds more and more like a complete tool, he’s almost as bad as Pete Carroll.

    My God man.

  8. He rode singletary’s coattails last year. It will interesting to see if this whack job can get to the playoffs again.

  9. You can’t argue that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has the back of his players.

    Not really. I believe he’s a delusional sneak. He threw his QB under the bus when he chased manning all over the country in an effort to get him signed. Then he later denied it as if it never happened. Prior to that after a game in which the 49ers beat the Lions, he slapped Coach Schwartz from behind and used obscene language as he did it. Not a good move. He’s not very well thought of in the coaching ranks. He inherited an enviable position but I believe the 49ers are going to implode with him at the helm.

  10. I like Harbaugh, and he’s got a good track record as a coach. But there’s something about him that seems a little unstable to me. Things that are unstable tend to topple over sooner rather than later.

  11. And people think Jim Schwartz is the jackass….Harbaugh is most arrogant a-hole in the NFL.

  12. “he slapped Coach Schwartz from behind and used obscene language as he did it.”

    No f’in way? He used bad language? How dare a grown man use obscene language. Face it they are both dbags.

  13. Where does it end with this guy?
    Thin skinned and reactionary is putting it very nicely.
    I can’t wait for week 2 so we can put this whiny little girl in her place.

  14. Since when is it wrong to instill confidence in your own players. The image you put out to the media doesn’t win you games

  15. Remember on “Married With Children”, how Al’s favorite TV show was called “Psycho Dad”?

    If they ever make a series or movie of “Psycho Dad”, they should cast Jim Harbaugh in the lead role.

  16. Wouldn’t it be better to have Jenkins go out and prove it on the field rather than Jim Harbaugh opening his mouth about it? Maybe he should let his players let their play do the talking

  17. Not a Niners fan, nor necessarily a Harbaugh fan, but he’s absolutely correct about the media. Not a single one of them ever, repeat ever, goes back and revisits predictions that they’ve made in the past. They just spew and move on, with no accountability at all. What’s surprising is that there aren’t more coaches who blow a gasket about it……evidently, unlike Harbaugh, they’re too afraid of what will be written.

  18. I bet every coach in the NFL was loving when JH showed up that clown Schwartz after he blew his lid. Schwartz’ fist pumping and prancing down his sidelines came to an abrupt halt after that game.

  19. There is some context to this but it would only be understood if you followed the local beat writers there is one of the local beat writers that was devastated when they drafted Jenkins over Fleener and seems to go out of his way a bit to highlight the lowlights of Jenkins.

    In this case Harbaugh is right. His struggles have been blown way out of proportion. For every player you’re going to have some great practices and some practices where you struggle even more so for a rookie. So a late first round WR not beating every DB every play and catching every single ball thrown at him doesn’t mean the guy is a bust or struggling.

  20. What’s “getting old, and fast” is the media being just as infantile and reactionary as Harbaugh is accused of being when someone calls them out (as should happen MUCH more often, frankly). Dude’s been a successful coach at every stop, and he’ll conduct himself however he sees fit. To haters in the media and other teams’ fan bases: Figure it out and move on already.

  21. “You can’t argue that Jim Harbaugh has the backs of his players.”. Why can’t you argue this? Clearly he does have the back of Jenkins. I think you meant you can’t argue he DOESN’T have the backs of his players. I’m sure no one reads the first sentence.

  22. You better watch out because He’s watching you! You better say nice things about his team OR ELSE!!!

    In five years or less, Harbaugh won’t be coaching the Niners. In 10 years or less, he’ll be back on the college sidelines. He can’t survive like this. He’d be much better off doing Belichick’s mumbles routine.

  23. The media are nothing but a bunch of bottom feeding vermin. If they don’t have a story, they’ll create one out of nothing and if that doesn’t work, then they’ll try to become the story. What a miserable existence it must be to realize you can’t accomplish anything worthwhile in life, so you become a sports reporter.

  24. It has gotten ridiculous… And by that I am referring to “reporters” and some commenters (lookin at YOU bluefan)) on this site calling a kid that was just drafted a bust before he has the opportunity to take a snap of PRESEASON FOOTBALL! Get over yourselves!

  25. Early last year, Harbaugh said ” Whenever people start talking nice about you, kick em in the shins”.
    There has probably been too much positive talk about the Niner’s and their chances this year, so Harbaugh is kicking a few shins to shift the story line, and the crybaby media seems to be falling for it.

  26. @greenmtnboy….well stated, Sir! I cannot add anything to that. Just wanted to let you know how 100% right a fellow commenter thought you were!

  27. Read that first line 3 or 4 times and then quit reading. A writer that doesn’t know how to correctly form sentences? That’s the media for you. The minute someone calls them on their dumb act, they start crying like the little whiners they are. Sports writers and commentators are some of the most arrogant, full of themselves blowhards around.

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