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Jim Harbaugh Delivers Strong 1st Message to Chargers Fans


The Jim Harbaugh era has begun in Los Angeles.

Below are three takeaways from Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh's introductory press conference Thursday.

A message to the fans

Jim Harbaugh took center stage at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood on Thursday.

The new Chargers Head Coach spoke for the first time as a member of the Bolts in front of his family, members of the organization and the media, answering questions for almost an hour.

And during his introductory press conference, Harbaugh also had a message for Chargers fans everywhere.

His message to the fans was clear — they're going to try to win above all else.

"I report to the Spanos family and ownership," Harbaugh said. "I also feel like I report to the fans. I report to the players. I'm accountable to all those in the organization. Going to work at it, you know? That's the mission and that's the goal.

"I'm not going to be shy about stating it: we want to be known as world champions," Harbaugh added. "We're going to do it or die trying."

Harbaugh knows Los Angeles and Southern California and is well-versed in what they represent — effort and winning.

He hopes to bring all that and more as he begins the journey of building the Bolts one day at a time.

"We're in one of the great cities there is," Harbaugh said. "One thing I know is that Los Angeles, Southern California, they respect talent, effort and winning it needs to be multiple, multiple championships.

"We're going to be humble and hungry, but that's our goal," Harbaugh added. "That's our goal, to treat people in a first-class manner, to win multiple championships and day by day. Now I'm quoting Jackie Harbaugh, 'One day at a time, one game at a time, one play at a time'."

The Harbaugh era has begun for the Chargers and a lot is yet to be done before the first game is played.

But Thursday marked the beginning of the new coach's vision of what he wants the team to be.

"It's going to start with humble and hungry, right there," Harbaugh said. "That's where we are right now. Humble and hungry and we're going to respect all of our opponents.

"We're going to strive that we're going to earn their respect and we're going to earn our winning," Harbaugh added. "Tough team, resilient team, relentless team, physical team is what we're going to aspire to be. Don't let the powder blues fool you. That's what we're going to aspire to do."

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

Harbaugh praises new GM Hortiz

One of the many people on hand at Harbaugh's opening press conference was new Chargers General Manager Joe Hortiz.

The Bolts and Hortiz agreed to terms for him to become the new general manager earlier in the week. Hortiz flew into town late Wednesday night.

Harbaugh spoke glowingly about Hortiz and his long list of experiences as he expressed his excitement to get the partnership going.

"Joe, just fabulous," Harbaugh said. "Been with the Ravens the last [26] years. Nobody knows it better, nobody knows the talent better, he's done a phenomenal job and he's earned it.

"Been given nothing other than doing a tremendous job. Just so excited, Joe, to be partners with you," Harbaugh added while looking in Hortiz's direction. "I've only been in the building with the Chargers for the last six or seven days, but man, I was getting lonely. I feel like I got a partner."

Hortiz joins the Chargers with 26 years of experience with the Ravens, starting off as a personal assistant in 1998 and working his way up to their Director of Player Personnel for the last five seasons.

He is one of the NFL's most respected front office personnel in the league who has a track record of building teams through the draft and free agency.

And now, he brings it all to Los Angeles where he will have a chance to move forward with Harbaugh and the Chargers roster.

"Not only does he know the talent that's across the league and in college football and our team, when you listen to him talk, he knows it. He knows it cold," Harbaugh said. "Just excited and he knows potentially what systems we're going to put in on defense, offense and it's a great fit. Just earned.

Harbaugh added: "If you talk about Joe Hortiz, it's been earned and tremendous track record there."

There is still a lot to be worked out for the Bolts this offseason, but Harbaugh can't wait to attack it alongside Hortiz.

"I really want to be Robin to his Batman in the offseason," Harbaugh said. "And then when it turns around to the season, I'll be Batman and he'll be Robin.

Harbaugh added: "We'll be the 'Caped Crusaders.'"

Hortiz's introductory press conference will be Tuesday, February 6.

Take a look at the top photos of Jim Harbaugh during his playing days as a Charger.

Building out his staff

With Harbaugh officially introduced and Hortiz on board, the focus now shifts to building out the coaching staff.

It's on the top of Harbaugh's mind and noted that it's something he, and the rest of the team, will be working on moving forward.

"That's priority No. 1 right now alongside getting to know the players," Harbaugh said. "It's putting the staff together. We want an All-Star staff that's worthy to coach our players. That's what we're working on."

"I'm going to be here every day working until that's done," Harbaugh later added. "I might not come home until that staff is locked, cocked and ready to rock."

It's a work in progress to build out the staff, and that includes members of staff who are already on the team.

"Working through that now. Amazing coaches," Harbaugh said. "We're working through it with [Chargers Owner and Chairman of the Board] Dean [Spanos], with [Chargers Executive Vice President of Football Administration] Ed [McGuire], [Chargers President of Football Operations] John [Spanos].

"We've been right there hip by hip," Harbaugh added. "Joe now, we've been talking on the phone. But now he's in town."

Even with the coaching staff yet to be determined, Harbaugh has in mind what he's looking for on the Bolts.

It starts with him as the head coach and bringing it every day in addition to getting the team the best coaching staff he possibly can that will bring out the best in everybody.

"I got to bring my A-game in every sense of the word," Harbaugh said. "And I want to get a coaching staff together and hired that is going to be worthy of coaching, not only Justin [Herbert], Derwin [James, Jr.] and all the guys.

"I really think this is a talented group that's been assembled here. That's what going to motivate us, that's what's going to drive," Harbaugh added. "I'm really thinking about my accountability and making sure that I'm ready and the things I'm going to tell him are exact because I've looked at it and watched. But it's going to be a team effort all the way. I'm excited about the challenge."

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