In the wake of being named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2016 as a contributor, former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo appeared on the NFL Network's "Total Access" show on Wednesday and addressed some topical matters regarding his former team -- including his admiration for the 49ers' most recent coach. This despite Jim Harbaugh being seen as forced out by DeBartolo's family
When it came to the current Niners team, which is now run by his nephew Jed York, DeBartolo said York told him everything would be "fine," despite a tumultuous offseason.
"I think it will be," DeBartolo said. "They had a year from hell when it came to the players that either got hurt or the players that left. I had a group of those players in Tampa for our gala; Patrick Willis was there, Chris Borland was there and two or three others. I can't explain it ... I never saw anything like it."
DeBartolo also said he was a fan of the former coach, as well as gave praise to current general manager Trent Baalke.
"I personally like Jim Harbaugh; he was my type of guy and he was a friend of mine," DeBartolo said. "I don't know Jim Tomsula but hopefully he will be able to bring this team back to where they should be.
"Colin Kaepernick is a good quarterback; he's got a lot to learn. Just hopefully with the draft and free agency they can get back to where they were and that's in the championship games or back in the Super Bowl."
DeBartolo, who presented Charles Haley for induction in Canton last month, was also asked his mindset on being named a finalist.
"My first thought, besides being totally, totally humbled and totally honored, I have to tell you I had my football life kind of flashed in front of me," he said. "It started back in '77 but I saw Bill [Walsh], then I thought of all the players and all the players from the other teams. Those years that went by and the relationships; the good times, the bad times.
"Something that I never thought would happen coming out of that group, which was a very good formidable group today. I was just blown away. I can't tell you how honored, thrilled and humbled I am."
DeBartolo owned the team from 1977 through 2000, when he was forced to give up control to his sister Denise DeBartolo York due to his involvement and pleading guilty to a felony in a gambling scandal in Louisiana.