Harbaugh sensitive to locker room dynamics

Harbaugh sensitive to locker room dynamics
March 25, 2014, 8:00 am
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'Teamwork is ephemeral like love.' One sarcastic comment can pull that apart.
Jim Harbaugh

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Coach Jim Harbaugh spent 14 seasons in NFL locker rooms as a player. As a coach, he does not sequester himself in his upstairs office. Harbaugh pays particular attention to the pulse of his team.

“The most important thing for our team is teamwork,” Harbaugh said. “No question that there’s different aspects that try to pull that apart. You’re constantly on guard, protecting your team and building that atmosphere of working together.”

In light of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell focused his opening comments at the NFL owners meetings Monday to talk about the workplace. He said he met with 40 players over the past three months on the subject of the locker room environment around the league.

"We're trying to get as much input as possible'' Goodell said. "This is a culture change and something while modifying policies from time to time is important, this is more about people understanding the importance of a professional workplace, where there's respect for everybody, whether that’s a teammate, an opponent, game officials, and we have to provide that."

Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey and John Jerry -- each named in the Wells report -- are scheduled to undergo counseling and evaluations, Goodell said. Alleged bullying victim Jonathan Martin, who left the Dolphins in midseason, is now with the 49ers.

[RELATED: Philbin wishes 'the best' for 49ers' Martin]

“We’ve always been sensitive to it,” Harbaugh said when asked about the attention being paid to respect in the locker room.

Harbaugh is often seen in the 49ers' locker room during the season, moving from locker stall to locker stall to speak with his players.

“(Former Bulls and Lakers coach) Phil Jackson had a great quote in one of his books, ‘Teamwork is ephemeral like love.’ One sarcastic comment can pull that apart," Harbaugh said. "(It’s) tremendously important and important on our team.”