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NFL Execs, Coaches Rank Harbaugh Hire as Offseason's Best Move

Buzz 02.15

It's no secret that the Chargers hiring of Jim Harbaugh headlined a busy offseason head coaching cycle.

Since the announcement, analysts and pundits of the league alike have had high praise for the move, even in Las Vegas in the lead up to Super Bowl LVIII — but it doesn't just stop at those who cover the NFL.

Harbaugh's hiring also received the highest approval rating among the coaching cycle this offseason according to a poll of NFL executives and coaches done by The Athletic.

The Athletic's Jeff Howe polled four high-ranking team executives and three coaches and asked them to rank their top three head-coaching hires. Each candidate received three points for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

The Harbaugh hire received the most first-place votes (four) and points (15) in the poll, as his experience in coaching and success at every stop led him to the No. 1 spot.

Howe wrote:

The love for Harbaugh is twofold. First, he has a well-established track record, leading winning programs at Michigan, the San Francisco 49ers, Stanford and the University of San Diego. His teams play hard and physically, and they tend to have a tough identity with strong rushing attacks.

One coach told Howe:

"He's got some work to do (to turn around the Chargers), but he's a proven coach at least."

Get a behind-the-scenes look as Jim Harbaugh is formally introduced as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers on February 1st, 2024

The new Chargers Head Coach has won at every level and has a long track record of building programs up and turning them into winners.

Whether it was at the beginning of his coaching career at the University of San Diego, leading the 49ers to three straight NFC Championship Games and most recently at Michigan winning a National Championship, the results have been the same.

Factor in Harbaugh with the level of top talent the Bolts have on the roster, starting with quarterback Justin Herbert, and you get the most exciting hire of the offseason.

Howe wrote:

Second, the Chargers have some high-end talent on the roster, and they've easily got the best quarterback situation among the eight teams with new hires. Harbaugh, a longtime NFL quarterback himself, should continue to aid the development of Justin Herbert.

Howe's full article can be found here.

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