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There is no question the 49ers’ locker room is a bit strange these days.
Actually, the 49ers are divided. Literally. Some players –- mostly veterans –- use the old locker room at the team’s Santa Clara practice facility. While the other half use the locker stalls inside Levi’s Stadium, a short walk away.
Perhaps it’s not a big deal. But it just seems odd to not have all the players together using the same facility.
“Well, the players don’t all go sit at their locker at the same time,” Harbaugh said Friday when I asked him about the dynamic. “They’re in the weight room. They’re in the cafeteria. They’re in the film room. They’re in the training room. (It’s) very rare that everybody just takes off their helmet, puts it in their locker and sits down on their stool. Those guys are very busy all day long, including the lunch time.”
At a time when so much attention is being paid to the vibe around the 49ers, it’s just one more element that fuels the perception the team is fractured.
The idea that Harbaugh has “lost the team” gained a lot of momentum this week with Deion Sanders’ assertion that the team wants him out as coach.
That generated some strong words in support of Harbaugh from Alex Boone and Vernon Davis, while also producing a non-denial denial from Colin Kaepernick and, in essence, a “no comment” from Patrick Willis.
Basically, though, the players have no say in the matter. Harbaugh has often stated that he does not believe the word “comfortable” has any place in football. His job is not to make the team comfortable. His job is to win football games. And he does that.
But if the folks upstairs are not comfortable entering into a long-term union with Harbaugh, that is a big problem.
If the Yorks decide to move on from Harbaugh, what would their criteria priorities for a new coach be? (Justin Cheng)
CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke would be looking for a coach who knows the game (obviously) and will keep everybody in the organization pulling in the same direction without the friction that comes with Harbaugh’s personality.
That’s why defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, at this time, is the prohibitive favorite to become the next 49ers head coach.
The 49ers’ decision-makers rave about Tomsula’s ability to teach, motivate and relate to players. He gets a lot out of his players without rubbing anybody the wrong way.
When will we know if Marcus Lattimore will play this year ? (Ricardo Miramontes Blanco)
The only way that there’s even a discussion about Lattimore playing this season is if Frank Gore or Carlos Hyde is unable to play at any point after the sixth game of the season.
Lattimore is on the non-football injury list, which makes him ineligible for the first six weeks of the regular season. He believed he was ready to begin practicing early in training camp, but the team’s medical staff felt otherwise and he was not cleared to get on the field before the opening of the regular season.
The 49ers are carrying only two running backs on their 53-man roster. Kendall Gaskins, a first-year player from Richmond, could get the call up from the practice squad if the 49ers need another running back.
The 49ers have no urgency to bring Lattimore up to the 53-man roster because he would not be among the 46 players to suit up for games as the depth chart currently stands. That’s why they will want to wait as long as possible before removing him from the NFI list.