The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their week of practices on Friday, as they relocated to Allianz Park for the day's work. The team had been out at The Grove in Watford, Hertfordshire, 20 miles north of London. However, the team conducted Friday's work a little bit closer to town. Allianz Park is approximately halfway between Watford and London. According to 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, the team moved closer for two reasons. First, the field was a bit soggy from rain, and second, with plans to do some sight-seeing on Friday, the team wanted to get a little closer to "cut some drag" on the trip.
Above, I've posted some pictures from the practice session, which come courtesy of NFL UK's Sean Ryan. Below, I've put together a transcript of Coach Harbaugh's media session. It is not a word for word transcript, but it should be pretty close for most of the answers. The 49ers did not provide a transcript this time around, but does have audio and video from the media session.
One of the highlights might be when Coach Harbaugh pulls out his list of places the team will be visiting. He wanted to get to Winston Churchill's war room, but according to Cam Inman (who ran into Harbaugh in front of Buckingham Palace), it was closed by the time the 49ers got there.
How's this week's practice gone?
Everyone's focused, preparations have gone well. Team's excited to play.
On Mario Manningham
I said soon, didn't say Sunday.
How's rest of guys shaping up?
Health is good. Fully-loaded team we brought here. Some guys that were working through things last week are good to go health-wise this week
How do you guard against complacency against Jaguars?
They've watched Jaguars on tape all week. Respect the team. See a good football team on tape. Maurice Jones-Drew is top flight back. DL has gotten hits on every QB they've hit. Great effort, very physical.
What can fans expect on Sunday at Wembley Stadium?
What we'll strive to do is play as hard as we can, as fast as we can, as long as we can. And not worry. And hopefully we'll play our best football. We play good football, and I think we can play better.
About getting season back on track?
I think we're playing good football, but I think we're capable of even better. There's evidence on the tape that we can play better, and that's what we're shooting for.
How come practice on turf field on Friday?
Because a couple reasons: 1) The field we were on was a little bit soggy and 2) some of the players and coaches are going on a sight-seeing trip, this was halfway London. We thought we'd head hear to cut some drag, make it easier to get into the city.
On NFL and concussion lawsuit
I'm not the authority. I'm not Dr. Harbaugh. But just speaking to somebody that's in the game, cares about the players, I believe the NFL is doing a good job making the game as safe as it can be. I look at the game now compared to when I was a player a long time ago. It's a much safer game. It's a much safer game than it was, even three, four years ago.
Sight-seeing itinerary for Friday
10 Downing Street is gonna be the highlight for me. Looking forward to going there. [Pulls out a list of places]. We're gonna go to Marble Arch, Park Lane, Hyde Park corner, Buckingham Palace, Parliament Square, 10 Downing Street, and Trafaglar Square (yes, he mispronounced it!).
Could franchise based in London?
Again, that's a little bit beyond my reach and scope, my responsibility. I just coach the team. I'm not gonna predict the viability of that. The owners are probably the better ones to talk to about that.
How do account for travel miles with preparation?
It's something that we're used to. We've been consistently 30,000, 32,000 miles traveled per year, which has been the most traveled by any NFL team, or in the top one or two or three each year I've been the coach here. You know the old saying, we'll play you anywhere, any time any place.
Any history you're most interested in seeing while you're here?
Yes, as much as I can soak in about Winston Churchill. He's my favorite figure of all time. As the decades go on, I think the world appreciates his leadership, his character, the titanium in his spine, the iron will of Winston Churchill. So, looking forward to this afternoon, hopefully, getting a chance to see his War Room. That would be one of the real highlights of my life, if I could experience that.
Will you use any Churchill quotes on Sunday?
Yes...yes. "history will be kind to us because we intend to write it."
Manage the distractions well this week?
Yes. Dan Skuta said it pretty well yesterday. It's your mental approach. It's how you look at things. you can choose to look at it as a distraction, something negatively, or you can choose to look at it positively. One of the things he said was we took a looong flight to get here. But on the other hand, it was the nicest plane he's ever been on. Sometimes it's your attitude. I think our guys did a great job. They packed their playbook, their tooth brush, and a great attitude. We're looking forward to a good game Sunday.