On a day where Greg Roman, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis were scheduled to speak to the media, it suddenly turned into Joe Staley being subbed in for Crabtree. Then once the pressers were underway, head coach Jim Harbaugh made his way to the podium after Roman had wrapped up.
It was a surprise at first considering Harbaugh spoke on Friday and was not scheduled to address the media Sunday. It then occurred to me that Harbaugh had something to say:
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh makes unsked visit to say critics of WR AJ Jenkins are "making themselves look clueless" if they call him a bust.— Cam Inman (@CamInman) July 29, 2012
Head after the jump for coach Harbaugh's comments and more.
Harbaugh went on a tangent directed toward the media regarding their negative perception of A.J. Jenkins -- and my first thought was, "Maybe this was overdue." The 49ers head coach has a specific way of doing things, and it's worked well for him. That includes being protective of his players.
I've said again and again that it's too early to make any sort of judgements about A.J. Jenkins, but in the media's defense, what first-round NFL rookie isn't immediately under the microscope?
Harbaugh took to the podium in an attempt -- hopefully not futile -- to put an end to the unfair criticism being hurled at Jenkins. Sunday marked the 49ers first day of padded practice, and yet Jenkins has been in the media dog house for months. How is that possible?
Harbaugh's opening statement on Jenkins:
"He was an outstanding football player when he got here. His progress has been very, very good and exceeded expectations. For those, the described pundits, so-called experts, who have gone as far as to say that he is going to be a bust, just stop recommending that because you're making yourselves look more clueless than you already did. To go on record, A.J. is going to be an outstanding football player. So far in camp, what he's done in the offseason, has led us to believe nothing but that he will be an outstanding football player in the National Football League"
Harbaugh fielded a few related questions from the media after his opening sentiment.
"I expect him to have a great practice today. He's had two outstanding practices since we've been at camp, and it's been consistent steady improvement every time he's come out here on the field. And it's already been outstanding to begin with," Harbaugh elaborated.
Before he left, he left the press with a few more shots to get his point across.
Harbaugh then stated, "So, I'm keeping track of all these names of people who are making these comments, and there is going to be an 'I told you so.' I foresee that happening."
"You want to keep saying what you're saying, it's motivation and fuel for all of us. But do it at your own peril of looking clueless."