SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Yes, Jim Harbaugh wants to coach the San Francisco 49ers for years to come. No, he doesn’t want to discuss a contract extension in a public forum.
Harbaugh twice said he “absolutely” wants to stay put coaching the 49ers for the long haul. It came amid reports that he might be a candidate at Texas and that he has clashed with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.
Harbaugh signed a $25 million, five-year contract when he left Stanford to take over the 49ers in January 2011. As far as an extension, 49ers CEO Jed York said this week he would like to hammer out a new deal for Harbaugh during the offseason.
There has been speculation Texas might pursue Harbaugh to replace Mack Brown.
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“In Judge Judy’s court, hearsay is not admissible evidence,” Harbaugh said. “I watch a lot of Judge Judy.”
In addition, when asked about his relationship with Baalke and any differences in philosophy or thoughts on players, Harbaugh said all was fine between them.
“Good, it’s the 49er way,” Harbaugh said of working together. “It’s the team, the team, the team. Everybody does a little and it adds up to be a lot. Nobody above the team, nobody more important, nobody less important.”
Harbaugh earned NFL Coach of the Year honors in his first season of 2011 while leading the 49ers back to the playoffs after an eight-year stretch without a playoff berth or winning record. Last season, the 49ers returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years but lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — It sounds as though Matt Flynn will be the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but judging from the way Mike McCarthy praised the practice performance of Aaron Rodgers, the coach might have been sending a message to the decision-makers that it’s time to clear his quarterback for play.
There is a misconception that McCarthy is the one deciding whether Rodgers will get cleared, but in the Packers organization general manager Ted Thompson gets the final say on all football matters.
It’s possible Thompson has been the one who has been the most reluctant to put Rodgers on the field after hearing the risk factors from team physician Patrick McKenzie.
Thompson is the one who approved a record-setting $110 million contract extension for Rodgers and he definitely wants to protect his investment. He does not want to see Rodgers suffer a displaced fracture of the collarbone and face several months of rehab in the offseason.
On Thursday, McCarthy strongly sent out the message that he thinks Rodgers is capable of performing at a winning level even though much of practice was devoted to Flynn running with the No. 1 offense.
“He looks sharp,” McCarthy said of Rodgers. “He definitely looks better this week. He looks like he’s ready to play.”
Flynn took the bulk of the snaps, leading most people to believe he would start against Pittsburgh. He has started three straight games and led the Packers to victories over Atlanta and Dallas.
• N.Y. Giants receiver Victor Cruz will miss the rest of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
• Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson remains on track to return to action this weekend despite being held out of practice for further treatment on his sprained right foot.
• Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed will miss the rest of the season because of lingering effects from a concussion.