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Jets should pursue Jim Harbaugh at all costs

By Chris Stephano
ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 22: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines leaves the field after a 56-10 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 22, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 22: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines leaves the field after a 56-10 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 22, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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As the team looks to make a coaching change, the New York Jets should do anything and everything in their power to hire Jim Harbaugh as their next head coach.

Another disappointing New York Jets season is drawing to a close. At first glance, Jets fans have little to be hopeful about this holiday season. After back to back 5-11 seasons, the Jets are poised to finish with an even worse record this year.

However, there is cause for hope. Amidst the usual bumps and bruises endured by rookie quarterbacks, Sam Darnold has shown promise. He has been particularly effective lately, posting a 6/1 TD/INT ratio over his last three starts.

And of course, there are advantages to a losing season. The Jets will likely have a top 5 draft pick and are almost certain to make multiple personnel changes in the offseason.

Key among those changes will be the Jets’ search for a new head coach. Apart from a promising inaugural season, the team has struggled greatly under the leadership of Todd Bowles. At this point, it is all but certain that the Jets will make a coaching change at the end of this season.

Adding to the intrigue of the upcoming coaching search are reports that the Jets are already trying to lure current head coach Jim Harbaugh away from Michigan.

Remember when we said at least one team is planning to make a run at Jim Harbaugh? We now know who it is https://t.co/MnotGbzX3D pic.twitter.com/QqDle8VnBW

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 24, 2018

If there is any conceivable way that the Jets can convince Harbaugh to be their head coach in 2019, they should do it. There is no price tag, no promise, no commitment too great. He is one of the greatest football coaches of this generation, and the Jets may not get another chance at a coach of his caliber for decades.

If all that sounds like meaningless hyperbole, consider the following statistics.

Stanford (NCAA)

Pre-Harbaugh

2003-2006: 14-31, no bowl appearances

With Harbaugh

2007-2010: 29-21, 2 bowl appearances

San Francisco 49ers (NFL)

Pre-Harbaugh

2007-2010: 26-38, no playoff appearances

With Harbaugh

2011-2014: 44-19, 3 playoff appearances including one Super Bowl appearance

Michigan (NCAA)

Pre-Harbaugh

2011-2014: 31-20, 3 bowl appearances

With Harbaugh

2015-2018: 38-13, 4 bowl appearances

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The bottom line is that everywhere Harbaugh goes, teams improve. And while coaches like Nick Saban and Bill Belichick have experienced legendary success at one level, Harbaugh has thrived as a coach in both college and the NFL.

On top of all that, Harbaugh is a former NFL quarterback. The Jets need to bring in a coach with offensive experience to help Darnold develop, and Harbaugh would be a perfect choice.

It is highly unlikely that Harbaugh would choose to leave his alma mater and the $7+ million he makes each year at Michigan.  Nevertheless, the Jets should make a fervent effort to bring him to New York. Offer him $15 million each year and full control over personnel decisions. Heck, offer him $20 million.

It may sound crazy, but can the Jets really put a price on a Super Bowl championship? And mark my words, a Harbaugh-Darnold pairing for an extended period of time (5+ years) would result in the Jets winning a Super Bowl.

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