You can certainly place the comment in the What did you expect him to say? file but, still. The fact that we're even at this point is jarring.
Everything about Jim Harbaugh's contract situation at Michigan was nearly unprecedented in recent college football, the length (seven years), the extensions (none), as well as the fact that both sides allowed it to come within one year of the expiration, where either side could have walked away without penalty. Rather than reach that point, Michigan brought Harbaugh back at a reduced rate, signaling to the world that U of M isn't exactly dissatisfied with Harbaugh... but they're sure not satisfied either.
The new deal dropped Harbaugh's guaranteed pay from $8 million to $4 million, but kept him employed through 2025. The new contract arrives in concert with a largely new staff: five of the 10 are brand new, and only running backs coach Jay Harbaugh dates back further than 2018.
It's a new era in Ann Arbor for everyone but the head coach, and the AD is pledging patience.
"Given the contract, obviously I am willing to be patient," Manuel told ESPN. "But he and I understand that we need to win. This is Michigan, nobody wants to win more than Jim in football, and me overall. We want success, so did I put a number to his first year? The answer is no."
That's an answer you'd expect of a first-time head coach, not a seventh-year head coach with 71 games at Michigan and 220 total games as a head coach, one of those being the Super Bowl.
"Patience" was the exact opposite of the message when Harbaugh stormed in from San Francisco in the winter of 2014. The Harbaugh of that era was anything but patient.
That wasn't where we were then, but it's where we are now.