49ers guard Alex Boone now says that former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh wore out his welcome in San Francisco. Previously, when Harbaugh was still the head coach of the 49ers, Boone reacted aggressively to the suggestion that Harbaugh may have worn out his welcome in San Francisco.
“I’m really kind of sick of everybody talking about my coach, especially because he’s like a brother to me,” Boone told reporters after a game in October 2014. “So if I were everybody I’d just keep their mouth shut because they don’t want me coming after them. Especially Jay Glazer, Deion, all these guys. I’m kind of sick of it. Leave my coach alone.”
Asked why reporters were questioning Harbaugh’s future at the time, Boone said, “Because they’re losers.”
Boone’s comments to Andrea Kremer of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel become somewhat stunning in light of his past remarks.
“He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom,” Boone explains. “But after a while, you just want to kick his ass. . . . He just keeps pushing you, and you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’ He kind of wore out his welcome. . . .
“I think he just pushed guys too far. He wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much. You know, ‘We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this.’ And you’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy.’ . . . I think that if you’re stuck in your ways enough, eventually people are just going to say, ‘Listen, we just can’t work with this.’”
Still, Boone’s comments from October are understandable; Boone and the rest of the 49ers wanted to get through the season without distraction or disruption. So Boone zealously dismissed reports regarding tension between the team and Harbaugh, even though they were accurate.
And that’s the message going forward. Those predictable, perfunctory denials of reports that could undermine a team’s ability to focus on the task hand may be far more false than the reports under attack.