The 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption is considered one of the best films of all time, and it clearly had an influence on Jim Harbaugh.
At Harbaugh’s introductory news conference after being named the new coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, the 60-year-old described his excitement by drawing a comparison to Morgan Freeman’s character in the movie, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding.
The film tells the story of Red, a prison contraband smuggler who befriends false convict Tim Robbins and Andy Dufresne.
“I’m so excited that I can’t sit still or think in my head,” Harbaugh told reporters. “What a free man feels before a long journey.
“I just want to be able to cross the border. I want to shake my friend’s hand, that’s how I feel. I want to win. I want to win the right way. I want to treat people in a first-class way. Be really good at football and attack it every day,” said (Chief Chargers Football Operations John Spanos.
“I attack everything with a fervor unknown to mankind.”
Harbaugh was announced as the Chargers’ new coach last month after nine successful seasons with the University of Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff National Championship at the start of the year.
Harbaugh has coached in the NFL before, spending four successful seasons as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, despite losing in his only Super Bowl appearance to his older brother, John.
But now the Chargers’ new head coach wants another chance at the right time.
“I said this the other day, but I only have so much sand left in the hourglass, I want another chance,” the Chargers’ new coach said.
“I want another chance to be known simply as world champions. The Lombardi Trophy. That’s my mission,” Harbaugh added.
He will oversee a veteran-laden roster that has fallen short of Super Bowl aspirations in recent years.
Between star quarterback Justin Herbert — who Harbaugh calls the “crown jewel” of the NFL — and a host of defensive playmakers, the Chargers coach admits he has to “bring it on” every day to increase his new team’s chances of success.
Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports/Reuters
Justin Herbert looks to pass against the Denver Broncos.
“The thing that just jumped out was this tremendous talent. I’m waking up very early in the morning these days and saying, ‘I’ve got to bring it, I’ve got to bring my A-game in every sense of the word,'” Harbaugh said.
“I want to assemble and hire a coaching staff that is worthy of coaching not only Justin (Herbert), but Derwin (James Jr.) and all the players,” Harbaugh added.
“I really think this is a talented group that’s been put together here. That’s what’s going to motivate it, that’s what’s going to drive it. I’m really thinking about my responsibility and just making sure I’m ready and the things I tell him are going to be accurate because I’ve looked at it and seen it.”
Harbaugh added: “Let’s see if I’m man enough, and coached good enough, so that all his hard work can be achieved. I want to work hard so that his hard work, Justin (Herbert) and every player on our football team can be achieved.”