The 1994 movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is widely considered one of the best films ever made and it’s clearly made an impact on Jim Harbaugh.
In Harbaugh’s introductory press conference after he was named the new Los Angeles Chargers head coach, the 60-year-old described his excitement by drawing a comparison to Morgan Freeman’s character in the film, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding.
The film chronicles “Red,” who is the prison contraband smuggler, befriending Tim Robbins’ falsely accused Andy Dufresne.
“I’m so excited that I can’t sit still or hold a thought in my head,” Harbaugh told reporters. “What a free man would feel before a long journey.
“I just want to make it across 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. Get really good at football and attack it each day, like (Chargers president of football operations) John (Spanos) said.
“I’m attacking everything with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”
Harbaugh was announced as the new Chargers head coach last month after a successful nine seasons with the University of Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to a College Football Playoff national championship at the beginning of the year.
Harbaugh has coached in the NFL before, spending four successful seasons as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, although he lost in his one Super Bowl appearance to his older brother, John.
But now the new Chargers head coach wants another shot at the big time.
“I said this the other day, but I’ve only got so many sands left in the hourglass, and I want another shot,” said the new the Chargers head coach.
“I want another shot to be simply known as world champions. The Lombardi Trophy. That’s my mission,” added Harbaugh.
He will oversee a veteran-laden roster which has fallen short on its Super Bowl aspirations in recent years.
Between star quarterback Justin Herbert – who Harbaugh calls a “crown-jewel” in the NFL – and a host of defensive playmakers, the Chargers head coach acknowledges that he’s got to ‘bring it’ every day to maximize his new team’s chances of success.
“The thing that is just jumping out is this enormous talent. I’m waking up like real early in the morning these days going: ‘I got to bring it, I got to bring my A game in every sense of the word,’” said Harbaugh.
“I want to get a coaching staff put together and hired that is going to be worthy of coaching not only Justin [Herbert], but Derwin [James Jr.] and all the guys,” added Harbaugh.
“I really think that this is a talented group that’s been assembled here. That’s what’s going to motivate it, that’s what’s going to drive it. I’m really thinking about my accountability and just making sure that I’m ready and the things that I tell him are going to be exact because I’ve looked at it and watched it.”
Harbaugh added: “Let’s see if I’m man enough, a good enough coach, so that all of his hard work can be realized. I want to work really hard so that his hard work is going to be realized, Justin [Herbert] and every player on our football team.”