Chuck Pagano will not be the Colts head coach next season. Everyone knows it. A lot of candidates will get thrown around over the next month or so. One name that may get mentioned but could be too quickly dismissed is former Colts QB and current University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Yeah, yeah, Harbaugh is happy at his alma mater. He is a Michigan Man. There’s no way he’ll leave the friendly confines of the Big House to wet his whistle in the NFL again. In the famous words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”
Yes, Harbaugh has had a few good years at Michigan and turned the program around. However, Harbaugh likes to win. He wants to win championships. If we’re being completely honest, he won’t get that opportunity at Michigan. The Big 10 is simply too good and he can’t beat Ohio State. If you can’t beat Ohio State, you won’t be playing for the Big 10 Championship. And without a division title or a conference championship, you can’t get into the College Football Playoff — unless your name is Alabama.
It’s been widely rumored Harbaugh wants another shot in the NFL but it’d have to be his Goldilocks situation. It’s hard to find a more “just right” situation than the Indianapolis Colts. They have an incredibly talented General Manager. They have over $85M in cap space. They have a lot of great young pieces on defense. Oh, and there’s that Andrew Luck guy too.
Last offseason it was reported Jim Irsay made a pitch to get Captain Comeback to come back to Indianapolis. It didn’t work then. It might work now.
People will point to Harbaugh wanting total control over the roster so he may not work well with Chris Ballard. In my limited research, I’ve yet to find anything saying Harbaugh wanted total control over the 49ers roster. What I did find, however, was that Harbaugh wants at least some input as to who is brought in and how the roster is constructed. Ballard has been clear that forming a roster is a cooperative effort between himself and his head coach. This seems to provide a compelling argument that these two men could work together.
As a depressing reminder, Ryan Grigson was still the Colts general manager when Irsay likely inquired about Harbaugh. This assumption is based on Ballard’s introductory press conference, when he confirmed Pagano would be the coach this season — why would Irsay reach out to Harbaugh afterwards. Needless to say, it wouldn’t have taken long for Harbaugh to find out what type of general manager Grigson was. Harbaugh rightly did not want any part of that greasy train wreck.
We all know Harbaugh recruited and coached Luck at Stanford. To reunite Harbaugh and Luck could be a huge coup for Luck. It would provide Luck a stabilizing force for the next stage in his career. A happy and safer Luck could give the Colts an opportunity to win multiple Super Bowls. This is such an obvious thing, we won’t get into it much more.
Jim Harbaugh’s defensive preference is a blitzing 3-4 defense. Ballard is already scouting players that fit that scheme so Ballard’s scouting likely won’t change much. That also gives another layer of common ground for Ballard and Harbaugh to stand on since they’d be discussing similar players on defense.
As for offense, the Colts need to improve but Harbaugh has done more with less than what the Colts currently have. We all know Jim Harbaugh was a fantastic NFL head coach. He had a .695 winning percentage in San Francisco and made it to the NFC Championship game three straight seasons with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick as his QBs. Just think what Harbaugh could do with Andrew Luck as his QB?
As I mentioned before, Harbaugh wants to win. The AFC South is pretty much a crap shoot year after year. While it is improving, there is no dominant team. The Jaguars defense is great but their offense is bleh. The Titans and Texans are always a roller coaster. With the AFCS always within reach, Harbaugh has a shot to make the playoffs year after year, which means a shot at the Super Bowl.
All this being said, it’s not clear Harbaugh will even entertain any offer to leave Michigan but the realization that he likely can’t bring a championship to his alma mater has got to be setting in. Harbaugh won’t be happy not making the playoff year after year. If there’s any time to try to pry him away from the Big House, it is this year. So come on Mr. Irsay, let’s bring Captain Comeback back to Indianapolis.
What do you think? Would you like to see Jim Harbaugh as the Colts’ next head coach?
This poll is closed
Yes, I like winning.
No. In fact, why not just give Pagano an extension.
I don’t appreciate you narrowing my opinions down to these novelty answers.