Yesterday morning, head coach Jim Harbaugh chatted with the media, and seemed in a fairly gregarious mood. I meant to post this transcript earlier but forgot. With defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, linebacker Larry Grant, and defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois meeting with the press in a little bit, I thought i might as well get Harbaugh's comments from yesterday posted.
Coach Harbaugh discussed what he thought about the first game of the season, and had an interesting comment about how it is important to remain sort of in the moment. The Texans game was important, but a few days later it is not quite as important. I would think there is still value in using that to build upon, but given that the team is building towards week one against the Packers, I can see where he is going with that.
It is not surprising that he found plenty of positives to take from the game. The offense did not commit any turnovers, which is a positive, although they did leave some potential opportunities on the field. Even with some of the potential missed opportunities, we're talking about a team that is likely hiding some of its ideas from film for now. Coach Harbaugh said a lot of what the team might do is on previous tape. Given some of the additions, I am a little skeptical about that comment, but maybe he's preaching the truth.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - August 20, 2012
San Francisco 49ers
You mentioned Saturday night, you didn't know if it was you guys or the Texans. What was the final analysis? How do you feel you guys played Saturday night?
"In a lot of areas, real positive. The physicality of the game on both sides, two physical teams, playing strong. Both teams were good not turning the ball over. Those were positives. In several areas, the thing we've got to keep striving for is zero defects when it comes to turnovers, mental errors, penalties. That's striving for perfection. Zero defects in those areas. Things that are very correctable. Get the feeling that we're a well-oiled machine, that's what we want to accomplish over these next couple weeks before we get to our opener. Several areas, we could talk about a lot of them. The thing about preseason is, it's so very important the day that you're in, and then two or three days later, what happened then is of much less significance. What we can learn from it is very important. That's what we'll strive to do, take as much from it as we can."
Both teams that you've played so far have done a heavy amount of blitzing not unlike what the Saints did last year. Do teams blitz more in the preseason versus when you were a quarterback? It seems like it's a lot more common nowadays.
"That could be right. I'm not a hundred percent sure. It used to be real vanilla, now it's changed? Couldn't say one way or the other if that's right or wrong."
Do you welcome that, insofar as it gets you ready for the regular season and that type of blitzing?
"It's a pressure league. Every team has a pressure package. Every team needs to run their pressure packages. Their most common blitzes, you're going to see in the preseason. That's what I think I do know for sure. That was the case in both of our first two games. That's the case with us defensively."
Do you prefer your own team to be more vanilla in these four games?
"I think the things you've really shown a lot - it's already on tape. You're going to get to work at it, get the timing of it down."
Are you talking about the carryover from last year?
"We were real accurate with that after the ballgame. That assessment was accurate in both cases."
LaMichael said that he wanted to practice today. Do you anticipate him being able to do that?
Is Brandon going to be available for the opener?
"Brandon for the opener is possible. Again, we just have to see how the treatment goes, how the body responds."
You've talked about making the jump from year one to year two, making a significant leap there. As far as RB Kendall Hunter goes, do you see him being able to make that jump in the second year?
"We've certainly seen that so far. Been talking about it for months now and it's happening. It's real encouraging and bodes well for our ball club."
Does it have something to do with the speed of the game, has he adjusted to that? Is that part of it as a running back?
"Yes, and experience, being there. Get better at football because you play football. It's one of those sports that you really need to play football to get better at it."
How did TE Demarcus Dobbs fare, coming out playing all three phases?
"Good. Really good. Really came out well. Some things to clean up, but really did some good things. Physical on all the coverage units that he was on. Did a nice job both offensively and defensively. Very encourage[ed] with the way Dobbs is approaching this and preparing himself for each of these games."
Do you ... he's done such a good job prepping the quarterback. Do you need to get him regular snaps doing that during the regular season?
"Could you be more specific? Are you talking about Demarcus Dobbs? Do we need to get him doing that during the regular season? Doing what? Rushing the passer?
Yeah, working him into the rotation.
"Yeah. Heck yeah. He's coming along real nice. I'd anticipate using him in the regular season in that regard."
He usually, is doing that against backups in the preseason.
"Yeah, he's got the license and the ability to be a very good pass rusher."
Anybody watching Saturday's game could tell the inconsistencies with the officiating. Is this something ... have you expressed any concern to the league office about what you witnessed in that game?
"No. Like I said the other night ... per instruction. What seems like a big deal Saturday night, here Monday, is not a big deal. We're concentrating on Monday and what we can get out of this day. Making this practice and these meetings the best possible that we can have, and have had, in our training camp, with so much to do."
Will you game plan more for the third preseason game than you did for the previous two?
"Maybe. Maybe a little more. Maybe exactly the same. Be pretty close to what we've done for the last two. That's the actual answer. Maybe just a little more, but maybe exactly the same as the first two. (laughter) I'm not trying to be funny, either."
What about less?
"Don't think it would be less."
To the untrained eye, RB Frank Gore looks really spry out there. Is he even exceeding your expectations, surprising even you with how good and how healthy he looks?
"He looks good. He looks spry, as you put it. Expectations are always really high for Frank. We've got a lot of admiration for Frank and his abilities and respect for his game. He's looking good so far. So far so good. Like a young buck. Looks good."
There was an incident where a video of New York Giants players hazing another Giants player was put on the Internet. Do you have a rule on this team about, this was a second-year player, but do you have a rule about veterans, how treat rookies?
"Yeah, I don't know what you're talking about, don't know anything about that. So, while it's linked with something else that might have happened or some image that you have in your mind that I don't have in my mind, I'd rather not comment on what our rules are here and how we do things."
Knowing how reliable RB Frank Gore has been, I know you brought running backs in, Brandon Jacobs, LaMichael James and all that, but do you think to yourself at some point, maybe eighth, ninth game of the season do you think you'll have to remind yourself that, ‘Hey, my goal was to lighten his workload,' because you might want to lean on him a little more because he's so good and so reliable? That was kind of...
"Yeah. They're always the ones you don't like to delve into. Those kind of hypothetical questions."