SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has again disputed reports of locker room discord among his players, during his weekly Monday press conference.
Several recent reports citing unnamed sources have indicated a growing discontent among 49ers players with Harbaugh’s personality and management style.
“I personally think that’s a bunch of crap,” said Harbaugh.
“Whenever you talk about unnamed sources, if somebody has a good story to tell, they want put their name to it. If you had a good story to tell, put your name to it. If I had a good story to tell, I’d want to put my name to it,” said Harbaugh. “So I don’t give a lot of credibility to the unnamed sources.”
On the NFL Network Sunday, former 49ers player Deion Sanders cited unnamed sources as saying some current players have spoken out against Harbaugh. “They want him out. They’re not on the same page,” said Sanders during the network’s postgame show Sunday.
On Monday another former 49er, ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, told ESPN Radio players have turned against Harbaugh, saying “I do think it’s become almost toxic.”
“I haven’t seen Trent or Deion around much,” Harbaugh said Monday.
Harbaugh has previously disputed a report by Ian Rapoport on NFL Network before the 49ers season-opener at Dallas, where he also cited an unnamed source as saying Harbaugh was ‘losing” the locker room. At the time, Harbaugh said he didn’t trust the report and believed players would come to him if there were problems brewing within the locker room.
Sunday, Rapoport said on NFL GameDay Morning before the 49ers-Eagles game that grumbling among veterans is increasing and that “some of the complaints include the fact that he kind of treats them like children,” and cited an unnamed source that Harbaugh has banned card games and music on team flights.
In March, Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Harbaugh’s “act has worn thin” among several members of the locker room. “Particularly among some key ‘face of the 49ers’ type players.”
Harbaugh is in the fourth year of a five-year contract that pays him $5 million a year. He and the 49ers have tabled contract extension talks until after the 2014 season. He is being paid a base of $5 million per year.
The 49ers have reached the NFC Conference Championship game in each of Harbaugh’s seasons as head coach and have reached the Super Bowl once.