According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero from NFL Network, one team in particular is eyeing Harbaugh — the Denver Broncos. The franchise recently fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after a blunder of a first year. The report states the Broncos have “been doing homework” on Harbaugh.
What that exactly means...no one knows.
Harbaugh, Sean Payton and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn are “expected to be among the top targets,” according to the report.
Harbaugh said last year after interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings that he had interest because getting close to winning a Super Bowl was tugging at him. Minnesota would have been a good landing spot with a solid quarterback, running back, pass catchers and defense. With an aging Russell Wilson at quarterback for the Broncos, the opportunity in Denver probably would not be the one he would want.
Another franchise looking for a full-time head coach is the Indianapolis Colts. Jeff Saturday has been the interim head coach since the Colts fired Frank Reich earlier this year. With the way things are looking, they may hired a different coach come season’s end.
According to Rapoport and Pelissero in the report, “(Colts owner Jim) Irsay also has an affinity for Harbaugh, who’s a member of the team’s Ring of Honor as a player, though it’s unclear whether that match would make sense for either side. The Colts have a traditional structure, with the head coach reporting to the GM, and the GM to the owner; that doesn’t figure to change, which won’t appeal to coaching candidates who want more control.”
Again...probably not an opportunity Harbaugh would want, as the report clearly alludes to. He had a lot of control when he was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Any NFL head coaching job without that control is likely something Harbaugh would not want.
Lastly, Harbaugh said before the CFP that he would be “enthusiastically” coaching the Wolverines in 2023. He also told athletic director Warde Manuel last year after the flirtation with the Vikings that this would not be a recurring theme, even going as far as to say it’s a “one time thing.”
While the report by Rapoport and Pelissero may not be inaccurate — in fact, I believe everything in it is truthful — it sure is convenient for them to go public with this report one day after the loss to the Horned Frogs.
Would they have reported this had Michigan won the Fiesta Bowl yesterday? Or would they have waited until after the National Championship?
As of now, don’t even bat an eye to a report like this.