Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke talked about their relationship as head coach and general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, which has been portrayed as strained.
“So much has been written and said that—unfortunately—it’s been written and been said by people that have never sat down with me, or personally sat down with Jim, or ever been in the building to see how the dynamics of this building work,” Baalke said this week. “Our relationship is good. And it’s been good. But like any relationship there have certainly been times when decisions need to be made and all the things that go with those decisions come into play and there’s banter, and it’s good.
“I’ve seen so much written that it doesn’t make sense to me. They don’t know us. And to put words into our mouths is unfair. To read into it is unfair. This is a competitive business, and the only way to survive is to be highly competitive. And everyone in this organization is highly competitive, just like any other. It’s a highly competitive environment. We like that. That’s what we thrive on. So to say that the relationship is strained or it’s a relationship that can’t coexist is totally off base. Totally off base.”
There were reports earlier in the offseason that Harbaugh may leave the 49ers for the Cleveland Browns and that Baalke would be with the franchise for the long-term.
Harbaugh remains without a long-term contract.
“Just the way you posed the question, you seemed to indicate that it’s a confrontational perception about our relationship,” Harbaugh said. “It is teamwork and that’s what it has been, and that’s what it continues to be and that’s what it has to be moving forward. That’s our belief. We’ve done a good job executing that and making it about what’s best for the team and the San Francisco 49ers. We’re lockstep in that understanding.”