LOS ANGELES — In his first interview since accepting the Chargers teaching job, Jim Harbaugh advised CBS that he had talked to a number of the staff’s prime gamers, together with vast receiver Keenan Allen, security Derwin James Jr. and quarterback Justin Herbert.
Harbaugh mentioned his assembly with Herbert left him feeling “just a little starstruck.”
Harbaugh, who received a nationwide championship at Michigan earlier this month, mentioned he and his household had been “torn” about returning to the NFL. Harbaugh performed quarterback within the NFL for 14 seasons, spending his closing two years with the Chargers (1999-2000).
He coached the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014, however his tenure led to controversy. He and the staff’s entrance workplace and higher administration had been at odds, finally leading to Harbaugh leaving to educate at Michigan in 2014, a 12 months earlier than his contract expired.
However Harbaugh mentioned the chance with the Chargers is sensible for him now.
“I really like Michigan, however I really like the NFL too. There is no Lombardi in faculty soccer,” Harbaugh mentioned. “I’ve received so many sands left within the hourglass, and I wish to take a crack at that.”
Harbaugh takes over for Brandon Staley, who completed his 48-game tenure as Chargers coach with a .500 file and two of essentially the most embarrassing losses in franchise historical past: a playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars through which Los Angeles blew a 27-0 first-half lead, and a 63-21 loss on Dec. 14 to the Las Vegas Raiders, which prompted his firing the next morning.
Harbaugh can be tasked with turning round a Chargers staff that completed 5-12 this season and is projected to be $54.2 million over the wage cap subsequent season.
“We work collectively. We win collectively. It is price it,” Harbaugh mentioned of the tradition he’s hoping to construct with the Chargers. “The exhausting work, the sacrifice, the strain, all of it, why would any individual put themselves by way of that? As a result of the rewards are so darn good.”
Harbaugh may have his introductory information convention Thursday.