Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden told a Bay Area radio station Thursday morning that if it comes down to a choice, the San Francisco 49ers should keep coach Jim Harbaugh over general manager Trent Baalke.
“Jim Harbaugh has done a great job of coaching in the NFL no matter how you put it,” Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “Getting to three championship games in a row with that group or with any group is a heck of a thing that he’s done.”
As far as the decision goes, he said: “It’s a lot easier to get a suit than it is to get a coach. The owner has to pick the coach.”
Madden coached the Oakland Raiders for 10 seasons, taking the team to a Super Bowl championship after the 1976 season and to a record five consecutive AFC Championships from 1973-77. Under Madden, Oakland also played in the AFC title game after the 1970 season and the AFL Championship in 1969.
“The best model [for running the team] is [the coach and general manager] get along,” Madden said. “Eventually they have to come to a decision together. It can’t be a power play. It can’t be where one wants one player and one wants the other and they have to have a power play over it. And if they do, I think the coach has to have it, because if he doesn’t like the guy and if he’s not going to coach him and play him, then it doesn’t do any good to draft him.”