Yes, the Vikings are exploring the possibility of making Jim Harbaugh the teams next head coach. PFT’s report regarding an interview of Harbaugh has been confirmed by multiple outlets, some of which (like the Detroit Free Press) gave proper credit and some of which (like ESPN) did not.
Regardless, the Vikings are thinking about it. And they may do it. New G.M. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spent two years with Harbaugh in San Francisco. Clearly, Harbaugh is at or near the top of Adofo-Mensah’s list of coaches with whom he’d want to work. That alone is reason enough for the Vikings to regard Harbaugh as a viable candidate to replace Mike Zimmer.
The biggest potential impediment, as best we can tell, comes from the tendency of most teams to hire a new head coach who is an exact opposite of the last one. Zimmer, like most successful coaches, was critical and aggressive and demanding. Harbaugh has a similar reputation. This has sparked some concern, we’re told, given that the Vikings want someone who won’t rankle players the way Zimmer did.
That’s overblown, frankly. For starters, most successful coaches are hard to handle at times. Smart organizations figure out a way to coexist with them. Like the Ravens have done since 2008. Jim Harbaugh’s brother, John, is every bit as intense as Jim. Perhaps even more. The Ravens see the value in finding a way to give him sufficient berth, because that which makes him intense also makes him successful.
Maybe the 49ers simply didn’t know how to deal with Jim Harbaugh. Maybe G.M. Trent Baalke should have spent more time figuring out how to work with him and less time feuding with him.
Really, if the Vikings want the exact opposite of an aggressive and demanding head coach, there aren’t many options. And if the Vikings are serious about competing for championships, they could do a lot worse than a guy who came close to winning one in each of his first two seasons in San Francisco.