Stephen Ross was asked about Jim Harbaugh after firing Brian Flores. He said he wouldn’t be the guy to take Harbaugh away from Michigan. Now that Harbaugh is showing interest in the NFL, what will Ross do for his Miami Dolphins?
Jim Harbaugh will interview for the Minnesota Vikings. It will be the first NFL interview the former 49ers head coach has had since leaving for Michigan. We all know that Stephen Ross thinks very highly of Harbaugh so naturally the time is right for Ross to get his guy.
If Ross was concerned about taking Harbaugh from Michigan, then he needs not worry if Harbaugh is making his name available to NFL teams. The burden is off Ross to keep his word to the school. He can sleep with a clear conscience.
The question is what happens if Harbaugh doesn’t join the Dolphins? What kind of look would that be for Ross? None of it is a good one. No matter how you look at it.
- Ross could view Harbaugh as a good college coach but not a good NFL coach.
That would be a dumb thing to say considering Harbaugh took the 49ers to the Super Bowl and that is not how he felt when he tried to woo him from Stanford. Harbaugh is a big ego and many consider him to be hard to work with. Don Shula wasn’t exactly a teddy bear by any means. Brian Flores may have been tough but he didn’t have the resume that Harbaugh has.
- Ross could be worried that his friendship with Harbaugh could be at risk if he needed to fire him down the road.
That would make some sense except he was also very good friends with Mike Tannenbaum. Both know the business side of things, so this is not a good look either. Ross not wanting to fire Harbaugh if he needed to is a ridiculous thought and one that shouldn’t be made.
- Harbaugh may not want the Miami Dolphins job.
This is a very good possibility. Consider that Miami’s structure is such that Harbaugh may not want to be a part of the problems. He will want full control and Ross may not want to give him power over Chris Grier.
Miami has more cap space and are probably closer to making a run than many of the other vacancies. If Harbaugh is offered the job and turns it down, this would be a huge indictment on Ross and the way his franchise is run.
- Chris Grier could be a problem for Stephen Ross and if the Dolphins pursue Harbaugh, Grier’s job will change.
We stated above that Harbaugh will want control and that would mean Chris Grier is out. The Dolphins, as many believe, should have probably fired Grier when Flores was fired. I’m not sure about that but what I am sure about is if Ross opts to keep Grier over giving up control to Harbaugh, he is completely out of touch with reality.
- Ross may want to keep his word to Michigan.
How bad will it be if Harbaugh joins the Vikings and Ross doesn’t try to land him in Miami? Eventually Ross will be asked about why he didn’t pursue him and if he reiterates to the media that he was not going to be the guy to take him away from Michigan, then he will prove that his first priority is and never was the Miami Dolphins.
No matter how you view this situation, the only thing that Ross can do is pursue Jim Harbaugh. This is a bed he made for himself after chasing him at Stanford and rallying for him at Michigan. The only thing that save face for Ross here, is if Harbaugh stays at Michigan for at least another year. Anything else will look bad.
If Harbaugh choose the Vikings, there will be a lot of questions as to why he isn’t in Miami and none of it will paint Ross in a good light. Or the Miami Dolphins. It’s not being negative, it is being honest.