Jed York downplays coach-GM tension

December, 18, 2013
12/18/13
5:45
PM ET
San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York spoke publicly Wednesday amid reports that there is tension between coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.

York didn’t deny there is occasional tension between the two leaders of his team, but characterized it as normal and not a big-picture issue.

“Do [they] butt heads on players from time to time?” York told San Francisco radio station KNBR. “Of course. That's what GMs and coaches do. But Jim knows that being a coach is a full-time job, and he has a lot of respect for the job that Trent has done. I mean you look at the folks we've added through the draft, free agency and trade -- we're in a pretty good spot from a talent standpoint."

York said Harbaugh never asked for more control of the personnel.

"He's never asked for that, he's never intimated any of that," York said. "And it's easy to say, it's easy to speculate, 'Well, he was in college and he had full control and he wants full control here.' That sounds great until you actually get to reality. And Jim's never really ever asked for that."

My take on this? I think York, who reiterated his plans to extend Harbaugh's deal after the season, nailed it. There is tension at the top of every NFL building. That is the way it goes. We are talking about hyper-competitive people, here. So there will be some bumps.

Do I think that tension has reached a problem area? No. Not, right now. Down the road, I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes an issue again and perhaps it will become a real problem. That is not uncommon around the NFL, either.

But right now, in their third season together, Harbaugh and Baalke are far from not being able to co-exist.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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