There’s been speculation on if Harbaugh would leave his alma mater to make the jump back to the NFL, but it seems more than likely that he’ll make the jump.
Mike Sando of The Athletic highlights that people that he has spoken to within the NFL don’t believe that Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will be a good fit in Denver because of the decline in Russell Wilson’s play this season.
Sando also mentioned that he doesn’t think that former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton would be interested because of the lack of draft picks Denver has in the 2023 NFL Draft after the Wilson trade. Denver would also have to send picks to New Orleans for Payton.
According to Sando, Harbaugh will “flat out go to Denver.” Sando’s source also said, “He is not thinking about any of that stuff. He will just go take it, in my opinion. He thought he was going to get the [Minnesota] Vikings job last year and it didn’t happen.”
There’s been speculation that the Carolina Panthers could be interested in Harbaugh as well, but according to Sando and Joe Person of The Athletic, that’s not the case.
Jim Harbaugh Could Fix Russell Wilson & Broncos Offense
One of the biggest issues the Broncos had this past season was the struggles of Wilson. After being the winningest quarterback through his first 10 seasons in the NFL, Wilson had the worst season of his career.
Not only will Harbaugh have to fix the culture of the Broncos, he’ll have to find a way to fix Denver’s franchise quarterback.
When Harbaugh was hired by the 49ers in 2011, he brought along his assistant coach at Stanford, Greg Roman.
From 2011-2014, Roman was calling plays as Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator.
Roman’s creativity on offense elevated the play of quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. San Francisco never had a top-10 scoring offenses, but they were built for each quarterback to succeed in.
Roman is now in Baltimore calling plays for quarterback and former league MVP Lamar Jackson.
During his time with the Ravens, Roman has owned two top-10 scoring offenses and owns a 29-15 record with Lamar under center.
According to coaches and executives that Sando has spoken to in the league, Harbaugh might be able to pull Roman away from the coaching staff in Baltimore.
“Yeah, I think John (Harbaugh) would cooperate and Jim could get Greg Roman,” a former head coach told Sando. “I think they are ready for Roman to leave. And then John will find out that he was pretty good. If you want to just run the ball, like I’m sure John wants to do, you can’t get a better guy.”
Denver Owners & Jim Harbaugh Have Something in Common
Broncos’ CEO and team owner Greg Penner will be leading the head coaching search along with his wife Carrie, who is also an owner, and minority owner Condoleezza Rice.
All three owners all have something in common with Harbaugh, they all have been connected to Stanford.
Rice returned to Stanford where she had been a professor and administrator before our nation’s capital beckoned her from January 2001 through January 2009. She served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor through his first term and U.S. Secretary of State for his second term.
Rice was at Stanford for Harbaugh’s final two years before he made the jump to the NFL.
Both Greg and Carrie also attended Stanford during their college years and have become boosters for the school for years.
Harbaugh is expected to interview with the Broncos’ search committee sometime in the upcoming week.