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Pete Carroll: Jim Harbaugh’s deal is that he’s a “fantastic football coach”

Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh

Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh


The 49ers season has not played out the way they hoped and Jim Harbaugh’s run as the team’s head coach appears to be heading for an inglorious end, which leaves any of Harbaugh’s detractors a lot of space to gloat.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Harbaugh have had their battles dating back to college, including the memorable “What’s your deal?” exchange at midfield after Stanford routed USC in 2009, but Carroll isn’t going the negative route ahead of what looks like the final meeting of this stage of their rivalry. Carroll didn’t comment on the chatter about Harbaugh’s impending departure from the Niners, instead talking about the “tremendous respect” he has for a coach that he loves to play against.

“I’ve never seen him not be a really good coach. He’s a fantastic football coach. I’ve watched him do all the stuff he did at Stanford and turned that program around. What he’s done at the Niners, I know that he’s a great football coach,” Carroll said, via “Not everybody likes everybody or gets along with everybody but sometimes you don’t see the magic that guys have. I think he’s a fantastic football coach; he’s proven that. There’s no question about that.”

A win by Carroll on Sunday would even the lifetime series between the men at 6-6 while continuing to push the Seahawks and 49ers in very different directions in 2014. If the 49ers can’t find another “fantastic football coach,” that would probably work just fine for Carroll and company too.