Alex Boone was one of the 49ers players that vehemently denied locker room tension and the possibility of Jim Harbaugh leaving, but was later able to explain why the new Michigan football coach was no longer a fit in San Francisco.
“He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom,” the 49ers guard told HBO Real Sports. “But after a while, you just want to kick his a-- . . . . He just keeps pushing you, and you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’
"He kind of wore out his welcome,” Boone added.
Under Harbaugh, Boone made his way up from undrafted free-agent tackle to Pro Bowl caliber guard, and played an integral role in the 49ers' emergence into a perennial title contender.
But Boone touched on what it took to get there.
“I think he just pushed guys too far. He wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much. You know, ‘We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this.’ And you’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy,’" Boone said. "I think that if you’re stuck in your ways enough, eventually people are just going to say, ‘Listen, we just can’t work with this.'”
But as far as an uprising from 49ers players against Harbaugh, due to his methods, Boone insisted there was no such thing.
“The players had nothing to do with him getting fired,” the six-year veteran said.
Boone was previously one of the biggest detractors of stories surrounding Harbaugh, specifically ones regarding tension with players.
“So what’s the problem? I’m confused. Is winning not good? Is business not a’booming right now, boys," Boone commented to 95.7 The Game in September of 2014. "Here’s my problem with all of this: If you’re not in our locker room, then keep the 49ers name out of your mouth. Let’s just do that, because you have no idea what goes on in our locker room.
“As a matter of fact, I know for a fact that everybody loves Harbaugh,” Boone said. “He’s a great guy. He’s a great coach. How could you not want to win for a guy who wears cleats during a game? Come on, now. Have you ever seen that guy’s energy? He’s excited 24/7. You got to love to play for a guy like that. That’s what football’s all about.
“And for people to come out and say, ‘Oh, so-and-so told me they want him on the outs,’ all right, name your source. Go ahead. I can’t do that. Well, that doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know. Apparently, I don’t live in reality.”