On Sunday evening, not long after the San Francisco 49ers fired Jim Tomsula following a 5-11 season, Jim Harbaugh took to social media, tweeting, “Do not be deceived. You will reap what you sow.”
In some ways, that’s a cryptic message. In other ways, it isn’t.
“I read that as Jim Harbaugh saying to Jim Tomsula, ‘Hey, you stabbed me in the back, you were disloyal to me, and look what you got. You got one-and-done, partner,’” KNBR Bay Area radio host Larry Krueger said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “If you look at the way Harbaugh put his staff together (when he got to San Francisco), they were almost all his guys. Tomsula was a guy that pre-dated him with the 49ers, and Harbaugh, there’s a lot of sense that he wanted Randy Hart to leave Stanford and come with him to the 49ers. Ultimately he settled on Jim Tomsula, and I think ultimately that burned him because Tomsula, while a good coach, wasn’t one of his guys. It had been rumored for months before the end of the (2014) season that Tomsula was going to potentially be taking over, which clearly was talked about being Tomsula and (Jed) York.”
Thus, Harbaugh wasn’t taking shots at York or general manager Trent Baalke or the 49ers organization in general. He was taking shots at Tomsula, who, from Harbaugh’s perspective, betrayed him.
“I think in the mind of Jim Harbaugh, that’s exactly what happened,” Krueger said. “He went behind Harbaugh’s back, was disloyal and talked to the owner about potentially taking over the position at the end of the year. I don’t know that this is all factual, but I think from the perception of Jim Harbaugh, that (tweet) was (meant) for Jim Tomsula, not the organization. That’s my take.”
Tomsula, 47, coached for the 49ers in some form or fashion since 2007 before getting fired this past weekend. While Tomsula going behind Harbaugh’s back – if that is actually what happened – may seem surprising, it’s not stunning.
“It seems out of character. Tomsula seems like very much a straight-shooter,” Krueger said. “But ultimately, Tomsula probably had greater loyalty to the organization and to Jed York than he did to Harbaugh. So on some level, it made sense.”