There was no, “What’s your deal, man?” as Carroll once asked Harbaugh back in their Pac-10 days, and no dead fish, phony handshake (at least not visually) as has taken place between the two men in the past.
Both men knew they probably were meeting for the last time as rival coaches in the NFC West, with Harbaugh likely moving on after this season. One close observer said Harbaugh told Carroll, “Thanks for the rivalry. It’s been fun.”
But neither man confirmed what was said between them. During his Monday news conference, Carroll was asked if the longtime foes had a brief, warm moment.
"I don’t know if I would refer to it as a warm moment,” Carroll said. “We had a moment. You’ll have to ask Jim if he felt it as a warm moment. It was a nice exchange, just two coaches talking.”
OK, maybe a warm moment is stretching it, but I’d like to think two men who had often been at odds, realized they had made each other better. And they knew the fierce competition between them was ending, at least for now.