Is Jim Harbaugh Really The Leading Candidate To Coach The Lions?
This is a post about belly buttons. Because belly buttons are like opinions, everyone's got one, it seems. And among football fans in Michigan, this is part of a fascinating two pronged debate.
A radio station in Detroit, 97.1 The Ticket, has a story on Fan Duel Sports Book's odds for who'll be pacing the sidelines next fall at Ford Field for the Leos. According to Fan Duel, Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, a Dearborn native, are the favorites. But here's one thing I haven't read anywhere else, and I don't see any attribution for it, but this story says Saleh isn't really excited about coming to Detroit, even though he comes highly recommended (and he's from Dearborn). Again, given the Lions' history, that's not so much surprising as it is disappointing, if you believe it.
But here's another thing that's fascinating. There's at least two different things at play here. The University of Michigan is in a tricky situation here. Harbaugh is one of their own. It was easy to get rid of Rich Rod (Rodriguez). He wasn't a "Michigan guy". Neither was Brady Hoke. But Harbaugh is. Clearly, things haven't worked out as had been hoped for in Ann Arbor. But if you're the Lions, do you really want to go there and do Michigan a solid? Yes, he took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, ultimately losing to his brother and the Ravens, but word out of the San Francisco was he grated on people and they were thrilled when he left.
Another thing you have to factor is something the Lions have been burned by over and over again, but this might be in Harbaugh's favor. Just because you're a great coordinator doesn't mean you are a great head coach. It's a different skill set, and not everyone is successful in that step up. I'm looking at you Jim Schwartz, Rod Marinelli, Matt Patricia. Just stop me when you're ready.
Something my twisted sense of humor is hoping for, is the rumors about Urban Meyer. Wouldn't it be funny if Urban came out of retirement and took over...you fill in the blank; the Michigan program, the Lions. Now, if we're serious, I don't think Meyer is the answer, because of is health history. If you're either Michigan or the Lions, you need to hit a home run with the selection. A one or two year tenure is not a home run.
There's just one thing I know for sure. This is all just speculation. Not but speculation. The only person who really knows is Sheila Ford Hamp and she's not talking. Rod Wood and probably Chris Spielman might have an idea, but Ford Hamp is the only one who knows for sure.
But just think about this decision. None of us is privy to hindsight. We can't look into the future and see who would've been the best choice. You have to make this choice in real time. Good luck. Lions fans deserve this.