Following the lead of San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York, head coach Jim Harbaugh echoed the team's "there is no discord" message during his Monday press conference.
Harbaugh's job status has been a persisting story line since news leaked last February that San Francisco nearly traded the 2011 AP Coach of the Year to the Cleveland Browns for a collection of draft picks. Rumors flared up again after Deion Sanders stated on NFL Network that the 49ers' locker room wanted Harbaugh ousted. Another report surfaced on Sunday, claiming that the coach would not return next year regardless of the outcome of the 2014 season. York denied all of the reports earlier Monday, labeling them "categorically not true." Still, Harbaugh faced questions about his future with the 49ers during his media availability.
Referencing York, Harbaugh informed the press that he and the CEO had "a real good talk," adding that the team is moving on to its game next week against the St. Louis Rams. While such is the perfunctory statement of a coach trying not to rock the boat, Harbaugh did request that the media not question his players about any rumors. "Please don't ask them," he said. "It's not their job to protect the head coach."
Even though Harbaugh doesn't want his players distracted, there's little doubt more questions will be asked of 49ers players until the team either dispatches Harbaugh or signs him to an extension.