Jim Harbaugh, Alex Smith press transcripts: 49ers move past the loss in different times

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We take a look at Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith's comments about moving past the 49ers loss to the New York Giants.

Earlier today, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh had his Monday after press conference and Alex Smith chatted with the media at his locker. They were both asked about getting over the loss, and it is a topic that is always interesting to me. Jim Harbaugh

Have you guys already turned the corner on that? Put the Giants game aside and are now on the Seahawks.

"Yes."

Is that different than a normal week? What would you be doing now on Monday?

"I think everybody handles that a little differently Matt [Barrows, Sacramento Bee], when they put a loss behind them. It could be that some people do it right when they walk out of the locker room. Others, 24 hours, 48 hours, some don't until you play the next game, until you get that taste out of your mouth. The only antidote for what ails you right now is a victory. So everybody treats it a little differently. Right now we have no choice. Got to get on to Seattle right away."
.......
You talked about everybody being able to put a game like that behind them in your own personal way. How do you put it behind yourself? Obviously, you have a lot of experience in this league, is it easier for you because you've been in the NFL so long, to put a game like this behind you. How do you do that personally?

"Just like I said, just dust off and let's ride. Got a ball-game, got a football fight coming and get ready for it."

Alex Smith was also asked about getting past the loss:

QB Alex Smith, coach was talking about how different people rebound off of a loss. Some people get rid of it right away, some a day or two, some until the next game, what about you?

"Definitely not right away, that's not me, no. Waking up, thinking about it, replaying it even today a little bit. Consciously, obviously putting this one away quick with the quick turnaround Thursday. Normally it's a little longer, but this week, putting this one aside. Big division game."

How do you get yourself past the loss? Is it a matter of "just dust off and let's ride" or will it drag on you until we get to Thursday? Often times, the uglier the loss, the easier it is for me to move past it. Adding in the short week should make it that much simpler to start looking ahead and hope for the best.

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - October 15, 2012
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

What challenges are there for you guys on the short turnaround?

"Well, what they are is - short week for both teams. And you've just got to go. You've got to go right away, starting today."

Does that give you guys enough time to go through the stuff that T Joe Staley has to go through to be cleared for this game?

"Joe will see the neurologist and he'll make that determination. But, that's the next step. The neurologist can weigh in today."

How do you think G/T Alex Boone did at left tackle and how G Leonard Davis did at right guard after that injury?

"Did fine. I don't think any of us feel we had our best day. And certainly wouldn't be human if you didn't hurt today. But, there's no time. You've got to dust yourself off and ride. So, that's our frame of mind."

Is that where you'd go? Or would you give G Daniel Kilgore some reps at guard, too? To see if he can fill that spot?

"Well, Daniel gets reps, both at center and guard."

So, would you stick with the way you went in the game yesterday?

"No. I'm not making any promise of that, or really reveal anything like that."

Why are you playing QB Colin Kaepernick so much? What are you hoping to get from him that you aren't getting from QB Alex Smith?

"We have been using Colin as an added weapon. We feel like we're getting plenty of everything from Alex Smith. We'll leave it there."

With two NFC losses now, do you kind of look at the big picture less now? And focus more on the NFC West with those three divisional teams coming up now?

"We always look at the next game as the most important game on our schedule. We have never approached it any other way."

When you're reviewing the film or whatever from yesterday and the scenarios that played out, RB Frank Gore didn't have any carries in the second half. But, it also seemed like some of the penalties or situations you guys were in dictated how you would use the running game. Is there any going back and second guessing whether you should have gotten the ball to him more often in the running game?

"Well, without going through each thing that you go back and look at and could've done that, or would've done a different thing. Certainly as coaches we look at a lot of those things. And wish we would've had something better for the guys in the certain situations because offensively, pretty much every one of our opportunities to have a drive, and put some points on the board didn't end the way you wanted it to. Whether it was just for three points, or not making the field goals, or turning the ball over, or having a penalty, or not having the right play called. Those things, sure you look at and scrutinize. And you go on and see if you can't do a little bit better next time."

When you guys fall behind by two touchdowns, first drive of the third quarter, do you guys scrap the plan and then go into catch up mode, or do you still stick with what you guys have envisioned for the game plan?

"Well at the point where we were down the three scores..."

Well I'm talking about the two right after they scored...

"No, we don't skip. No, not until we're down to three late in the third quarter did we feel like we needed to get into the no-huddle tempo to try to maximize your possessions and give yourself enough possessions to get the game won."

In the first quarter, I think you had a 22 to 7 play advantage. I think you had 100 yards to whatever. The point was you didn't complete the two drives. Looking back, if you culminate those and take a 10-0 lead or a 14-0 lead, I'm sure the game takes a different dynamic. What accounted for the stalled drives?

"Well again, different things on each drive. We could say, and we won't really go back and say, ‘Okay, here's what it was.' Break it down play-by-play. We had two good drives to start the game, two 12-play drives. And we didn't finish them like we would have wanted to. And then just offensively again, it was, every time you felt like you were getting momentum or seizing momentum, we weren't just able to keep a hold of."

You guys gave up six sacks. Did it feel that way? Did it feel like your quarterbacks were being rushed?

"Well it was what it was, and it was six. How'd it feel? Didn't feel good. Got to protect your quarterback, yeah."

The pattern of the season's kind of been two really impressive wins followed by a clunker. You guys are obviously a very good team yourself. Is there anything you can attribute that unevenness too, just that inconsistency of really two impressive wins followed by kind of a down turn the next week after that?

"Well, we lost a ballgame. And like I said, we've just got to pick ourselves up and get right back at it."

You brought up K David Akers, missed a couple of field goals and he's missed five of his last 10. Obviously, everybody's seen what David can around here, so do you not start concerning yourself with those misses and just figure he's going to work himself out of it or do you have to sit down and talk to him, talk to assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Brad Seely and see what's going on there?

"Do I have to sit down and talk to David, sit down with Brad and see what's going on? No. I think David will, have total confidence in David and sure that we'll make field goals."

Fifteen of the first 21 offensive plays came from the shotgun formation. Why'd you decide to come out and play that way this week?

"That was part of the plan. That was what we felt would work, felt like there's some new wrinkles that we could apply and have them work. You take some risk. Didn't work as well as the way we had foreseen."

Did you look at their front four and realize that they'd be that potent against your offensive line and maybe you'd try to tire them out with some pass plays early and you kept them on the field, like you said, a long time. Yet it didn't quite work out that way because your offense ...but was it the front four that was the chief dynamic of concerning yourself on defense?

"They played well. They're a good football. They really, to their credit, they took advantage of opportunities. They made some big plays, not only the defensive line, but in the secondary as well and at the linebacker position, so that's to their credit."

Was the fact that you weren't able to get much pressure, the Giants allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL. Was it more their offensive line playing particularly well or is the lack of pressure a concern for you?

"Yeah, you'd like to get more, obviously. [Giants QB] Eli [Manning] did a nice job, he really did. He got the ball out quick. He threw some very accurate passes. He took advantage of some good opportunities. Again, statistically, yardage was pretty, fairly even. They did a better job capitalizing on their opportunities than we did."

What have been your impressions of the Seahawks so far this season and maybe yesterday?

"Good football team. Tough football team. It will be a real football fight Thursday night. We'll anticipate that and prepare for them. They're very good, very good football team in all phases. They play hard, they play fast. Very competitive defensively, again really good up front. They set a high pace. They set the tone with their defensive line. Linebackers are rangy, athletic, fast. Outstanding safeties, two corners are playing extremely well. So, multiple challenges. Really good football team."

Did you know much about Seahawks QB Russell Wilson before the season started?

"Yeah. What's much? Knew a lot about him, yeah."

Have you guys already turned the corner on that? Put the Giants game aside and are now on the Seahawks.

"Yes."

Is that different than a normal week? What would you be doing now on Monday?

"I think everybody handles that a little differently Matt [Barrows, Sacramento Bee], when they put a loss behind them. It could be that some people do it right when they walk out of the locker room. Others, 24 hours, 48 hours, some don't until you play the next game, until you get that taste out of your mouth. The only antidote for what ails you right now is a victory. So everybody treats it a little differently. Right now we have no choice. Got to get on to Seattle right away."

Did you have a chance to look at the Seattle vs. Green Bay tape yet? They had like, 8 sacks in the first half. Did you have a chance?

"Yeah, saw that. Very impressive."

Was it blitzing? How did they account for all the sacks in your view?

"It was talent. There was good scheme and talent. Some were blitzes and some were just guys beating guys."

Normally does the team watch the film on a Tuesday?

"Yes."

Will the team even watch the film of the Giants this week?

"We will go over it more on paper than watching the game because we're going to have to move on right away to Seattle."

There was one play in the first quarter, you guys had the Giants back in their own territory. It was 3rd and 6 and you guys blitzed, and Manning threw the pass to Giants WR Victor Cruz that was good for 11 yards. It seemed like you guys had the right defense called, everything, you knew what was going to happen. CB Tarell Brown seemed to hesitate, should he have gone for the ball in that instance instead of playing Cruz which I think he ended up doing?

"It was a good throw. It was placed good. It was a good route. And that happened not just that time, there were several times in the game where that took place."

Your special teams coverage, your kickoff coverage has let up some big returns, not just this game but it's something you didn't do at all last season. What is sticking out in those instances that you're seeing is the problem?

"Well you're correct and again, not going to really go through the line-by-line item. We know that's our job to cover those kicks and get them contained and get them covered."

You talked about everybody being able to put a game like that behind them in your own personal way. How do you put it behind yourself? Obviously, you have a lot of experience in this league, is it easier for you because you've been in the NFL so long, to put a game like this behind you. How do you do that personally?

"Just like I said, just dust off and let's ride. Got a ball-game, got a football fight coming and get ready for it."

Were your guys, were they sort of fatigued at the end of that game? Because through three quarters the run defense was very good, and then they really seemed to gash you guys in that fourth quarter.

"I didn't sense that they were fatigued."

Some games are more physical than others, is this going to be a harder game to kind of rebound bodies, come back Thursday night, compared to other teams you play?

"Yes, but that's when the game is scheduled, that's which time the game has been put down for. So let's get ready for it."

QB Alex Smith
Press Conference - October 15, 2012
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

QB Alex Smith, coach was talking about how different people rebound off of a loss. Some people get rid of it right away, some a day or two, some until the next game, what about you?

"Definitely not right away, that's not me, no. Waking up, thinking about it, replaying it even today a little bit. Consciously, obviously putting this one away quick with the quick turnaround Thursday. Normally it's a little longer, but this week, putting this one aside. Big division game."

Do you like having a short turnaround after a loss, just come right back out?

"After a loss like that, yeah in some ways it's nice because you can't dwell on it, even as a team. You've just got to move on."

What do the Giants do that's so vexing for you guys in their coverage?

"Yesterday, I thought we started well. We couldn't end anything, didn't finish anything well. It seems like every time we got some momentum going we couldn't really capitalize on it. Then you get down a couple scores and you got one dimensional. I really feel like we gave our defense a short field. For me the two interceptions late were the ones I thought about the most. It's third down you're trying to make a play, but you're just making matters worse. You really got to see the bigger picture there, make good decisions on both those cases. That's what I was really kicking myself for."

Is it difficult, they can get away with just rushing four guys?

"That's the thing. They're so good when they get a lead like that, they don't have to bring pressure to get home. They've got a bunch of D-Linemen that can all get after the pass. So, it's tough. They're tough when they get a lead like that."

Looking back at those first two drives, what was the cause of frustration? Where did it end up and why did it go dry right at the end, those first two drives?

"The first two? I thought we had good balance. We were moving it and mixing it up, just didn't capitalize down there. Got in some third down situations where we couldn't connect. Had the one tipped ball. Forget what the second one was, but moved it, changed field position, get down there to kick a field goal and to only come away with three points, that's tough."

You started the game with more passing than usual, a lot of shotgun formations. What was it about the Giants defense that made you guys think that was an effective way to attack them?

"Different reasons. One, we're very conscious, they're a good D-Line. I think they knock down more passes than any D-Line in the NFL. They're all tall. They're all long. They all get their hands up. So a little bit get back there and get away from it a little bit. One, I think we had good balance out of that formation. The week before we had been running it well, even out of the shotgun. So, wanted to continue that and had good balance early. Like I said, just got away from it, got down multiple scores and got one dimensional and then started forcing things and then it really got bad."

In your wins, you guys have looked pretty awesome. In your losses, you've not looked, there's been some wild fluctuations. Can you point to a reason for that inconsistency?

"A lot of reasons. There's not one, for sure. You turn on the film and offensively, it's easy to look at yesterday's film and ask questions about pretty much everything because none of it looked good. And it wasn't good enough. A lot of times that is the case with a loss. A lot of times you don't have a loss and you look back and, ‘Hey, this was all great.' It was some things you've got to get better at and need to do that. I don't think there's any one thing, I guess. A lot of things playing into it. And then turnovers are just like the nail in the coffin. You're not going to overcome those, especially once you're down. In some ways it is nice to have a short week. We've got to just move a long from this one and get ready for a big division game."

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