I was mid-way through developing a post for this week about how well John Harbaugh has handled this team so far - how well he has done transforming it from a collection of stars into a real unit - when a couple of stories broke in the last 24 hours that simply have to make you wonder.
First, as everyone knows, there is the Chris McAlister situation. McAlister was apparently benched (actually, not even apparently, he was) in Sunday’s win over Miami by John Harbaugh. Reports about why exactly this happened and what led to it have been sketchy at best; some point to McAlister’s poor play against the Colts while others point to a larger issue of subordination. Either way, it’s not good.
Honestly, the McAlister situaton was going to lead my article on Harbaugh’s incredible turn around with this team. That is, before today. Had the issue remained quiet, it would have been the perfect example of the kind of change that Harbaugh has brought to this team. Brian Billick rarely called out his players publicly, but the players never hesitated to call out Billick, it seemed. That was a major issue late in the Billick administration.* Rather than handle their business in-house, too many players thought they had the right to question Billick, his decision-making, and his authority in front of the media. (more…)