Randy Moss and the 49’ers: Opportunity or Chemistry

Posted on March 13, 2012


Last season new coach Jim Harbaugh brought the San Francisco 49’ers to within one game of the Super Bowl, a huge achievement for a team that had been one of the worst in the league for many years prior to his arrival.

Harbaugh made it happen without a lot of big name stars. Instead his team took an unselfish, blue-collar, hardworking approach to the game.

Now, in an effort to elevate the team to Super Bowl level Harbaugh has decided to sign wide receiver Randy Moss to a one-year deal.

Moss is the polar opposite of what Harbaugh’s team was all about last year. In addition to a history of trouble with law enforcement off the field, over the years many of Moss’ former teammates and coaches have criticized him for lack of effort and quitting on his team.

Harbaugh must know what he’s getting. A Yahoo! Sports article about the signing quotes Moss as saying the team questioned him about being a team player.

Let’s face it, impact players are hard to come by but so is chemistry and both have value when it comes to winning football games, or in the case of a radio station, getting ratings. Harbaugh is rolling the dice that the value of Moss will outweigh any negative effects he has on the team overall.

Program directors are often faced with similar decisions.

A team of good airtalent who get along off the air and have great chemistry can take a station a long way. But one truly outstanding airtalent can be a game changer thought quite often they also tend to disruptive to the rest of the station.

That’s when a coach or a program director’s management skills really come into play. It will be interesting to see watch the 49’ers next year to see how the addition of Moss plays out. If Harbaugh is able to successfully manage the situation there may be many lessons to be learned from it about dealing with high-powered airtalent.