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Jim And John Harbaugh Reveal Origin Of Famous “Harbaugh-isms”

The NFL’s coaching brothers— Jim and John Harbaugh— broke down where their now-infamous “Harbaugh-isms” stemmed from.

During his nine years as head coach at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh compiled a laundry list of clever catchphrases. From instructions on how his players should “attack” each day to repeated mantras designed to instill togetherness, Harbaugh peppered the Wolverines with a steady diet of wise yet clever messages for his team to digest.

Earlier in the week, Harbaugh sat down with his brother, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, and the LA Chargers’ media team to break down where all of his funny phrases were first uttered. 

To kick off the comedic tell-all, John snuck in a cheeky reference to Michigan’s sign-stealing ordeal in 2023:

It would be difficult to estimate just how many times Jim Harbaugh has asked his Wolverines team, “Who’s got it better than us?” But I am curious to know how many players have responded with an answer other than “Nobody!”

Fitting with that same brand of positivity, Harbaugh often instructed his squad to approach each day with the maximum amount of intensity possible— an enthusiasm never before seen. The two Harbaughs discuss whether or not that is even possible to accomplish.

The 2023 season was a magical string of 15 games that encapsulated what Michigan Football means to so many. So, in Harbaugh’s estimation, which of his players last year truly encapsulated an “Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind?”

That honor would be bestowed upon Kris Jenkins.

The Harbaughs have never shown fear when it comes to taking a novel approach to problem solving, and National Championship-winning former Michigan coach has his own creative proposal for a new member of the coaching staff.

Throughout his coaching career, Harbaugh has preached for his players to operate with an “attitude of gratitude,” but the Chargers coach analyzed the word in a brand new way— well, new to everyone not named John Baxter, Michigan’s special teams coordinator in 2015.

Who is the rightful owner of their term Force Multiplier? According to John Harbaugh, that phrase likely has it roots embedded in the armed services, but the Harbaugh brothers still borrow the term on occasion. 

Finally, the Brothers Harbaugh ripped the band-aid off of a recent squabble between the two clever coaches and called upon their father, Jack, to settle the score— like old times.

Did the Harbaugh brothers leave out any trademark phrases? Let us know and be sure to follow @EricJRutter on X / Twitter for more Wolverine Digest updates.