When it comes to combating rampant nepotism in football, Jay Harbaugh opted to be a Steve Belichick and not a Brian Ferentz in this offseason cycle. It may come as quite the shock to some, but good things happen when you don't work for your dad. You can be you. I know, incredible stuff, man. That is exactly the case for Jay Harbaugh, who is not following his dad to the Los Angeles Chargers.
It seemed like a forgone conclusion that Jay Harbaugh would join his father Jim Harbaugh's first staff in Los Angeles. The elder Harbaugh was able to get former Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, as well as former Michigan strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert to follow him to the NFL from Ann Arbor. In a complete shocker, Jay Harbaugh would rather go to the Pacific Northwest.
He had been tied to the Seattle Seahawks special teams coordinator spot on Mike Macdonald's first staff over there. Macdonald is well-versed in Harbaugh, as he served on both Jim's staff at Michigan, as well as his older brother John's staff on the Baltimore Ravens. While Jay Harbaugh's position group was not exactly stellar in the college game (quite bad, in fact), good for having some courage!
While Steve Belichick opted to work for one of his father Bill's noted disciples in Jedd Fisch on his Washington Huskies staff, Brian Ferentz became a complete joke by being enabled by his father Kirk over at Iowa. The man coordinated the second-worst offense in the FBS ahead of only Kent State...
For better or worse, Jay Harbaugh will have his chance to carve out his own career path in Seattle.
Jay Harbaugh is not going to be on his father Jim Harbaugh's NFL staff
While I think having a famous coaching father is a great way to get your foot in the door, eventually, you are going to have to prove to everyone that the best thing you've got going for you as a coach is not your surname. The NFL and major college football like the kind Michigan plays over in the Big Ten is serious business. These are billion-dollar enterprises, or programs with deep-pocketed boosters...
When it comes to entry point and place in their respective competitive life cycles, the Seahawks are the far better spot right now, to be honest. With Jim Harbaugh taking over the Chargers, they are expected to win immediately, despite being one of the most snakebitten to hell franchises the NFL has ever seen. Seattle can tread water in isolation, while the new coaching staff finds its footing a bit.
Overall, this is a high risk, high reward type of hire for Macdonald to make. He may have been friends with his coaching contemporary in Ann Arbor, but again, Harbaugh's special teams unit left a lot to be desired. It was the worst part of the defending College Football Playoff national championship team. That crucial third phase of the game nearly cost the Wolverines their first title since the late 1990s.
Either Macdonald will look like a genius for making this odd hire, or he will look like a complete fool.