I’ve heard coaches stretch the truth, avoid questions they don’t want to answer and even “interpret” a question differently in order to give the response they want but it always bothers me when a coach just flat out lies to the media.
San Francisco 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh addressed what he called an “erroneous perception that we were flirting with Peyton Manning,” in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday. How sad is that?
Harbaugh went on to say that, “Alex Smith has always been our quarterback,” and stated that they “had every intention of always bringing him back.”
Let’s be real here. Harbaugh flew all the way out to North Carolina to watch Manning work out then waited until Manning eliminated the 49ers from his list before they re-signed Smith.
The 49ers didn’t even offer Smith a contract until Manning informed them they were out of consideration. Now he wants us to believe they never seriously considered signing Manning?
Hogwash (which is about the safest thing I can say without losing the kid-friendly status of my blog)! If Manning would have chosen San Francisco then there is no way Smith would be wearing a 49ers jersey right now.
But will his fictitious comments affect his relationship with his players? I doubt it but it should.
If I played for a coach I would want to feel that they are being straight with me and not just saying stuff to stroke my ego.
And that is all this is about. Harbaugh is putting on a front to boost Smith’s confidence going into the season. While I don’t blame him for that, he could have made a statement that is more believable than the flat out lie that he always planned on Smith being the team’s quarterback this season.
But Smith played the part of the loyal soldier backing up Harbaugh’s words. He says they were in negotiations for a contract before the Manning sweepstakes and that Harbaugh kept him abreast of everything that was going on during their flirtation with Manning.
So if there wasn’t a problem then why would he need to go work out for the Miami Dolphins? Smith also had plans to visit Seattle before they signed Matt Flynn. I guess Smith was also doing his “due diligence.”
Either way it goes this will be an interesting season for the 49ers. Although Manning is no longer in the picture, Smith should still be concerned about the 49ers’ 2011 2nd-round pick Colin Kaepernick who is bigger and has a much stronger arm than Smith.
The 49ers brought in some speedier wide receivers this offseason to help stretch the field and will be looking to get them the ball deep. If Smith can’t deliver then Harbaugh may turn to Kaepernick at some point during the season.
But for now Smith is the man. We know because Harbaugh went out of his way to say so which means there has to be some truth to it right? Well at least that is the story Harbaugh is telling and he’s sticking to it.
Do you have a favorite team or player you want to know more about?
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.
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