Jim Harbaugh talks penalties, injuries and the 49ers passing game

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Thursday. He discussed the Ahmad Brooks penalty, team injuries and some of the struggles of the passing game.

How's CB Tarell Brown doing?

"Good. Walking around and getting better every day."

Did he have cracked ribs?

"He's working through something. I wouldn't call it cracked ribs. I'm not going to define it. He's got an issue he's working through. Gonna take a little bit of time."

It's not going to be IR-caliber issue?

"It doesn't look like it, no."

Is that the same with G Mike Iupati?

"Yes."

Do you expect Mike to miss Monday night?

"We'll see."

G Adam Snyder filled in for him on Sunday. Was there any thought ... sometimes you put G/C Daniel Kilgore in there at the end of games, any thought of putting Kilgore in at that point?

"At the end of the ball game?"

Yeah. Or even for this game coming up against the Redskins?

"There are possibilities. They're definitely going to be up and be ready and be alert to play, as he always is."

After the game, QB Colin Kaepernick was asked about some of the delay of games, timeouts, things that keep creeping up. He mentioned the offense has a lot on its plate. Is there any thought to however you can streamline that play calling process or simplify it? Have you given any thought to that?

"Yeah. I've given thought to it every week, every game. Give great amount of thought to it, to the game plan."

Have you, obviously, tweaked it this season?

"Yeah. There's different game plans for different games. And, yeah, there hasn't been the same game plan each week."

As the guy who's relaying calls in to Colin, have you noticed the plays getting in a little later recently, or has there been any trend into this?

"No. Not to have a stopwatch on it. I think we'll give a lot of thought to it and we'll do a good job, do a better job."

Does Colin have a lot of, does he have a voice in that? One of the things he was asked after the game was would you liked to see it kind of condensed and he said, ‘I don't have any say in it. That's the coaches job,' or something."

"He probably wouldn't want to talk about scheme and the layers to it and what goes into it from a coaching and players' standpoint. I don't have a great desire to talk about it outside of our meeting rooms either."

I think in the Carolina game your longest pass play was 14 yards. The Saints game was 17 yards. Not big plays. Do you see that as a problem, an issue this year? Just not a lot of, aside from TE Vernon Davis, not a lot of deep plays downfield.

"I wouldn't call it a season-long issue. But, definitely, as you point out, we didn't have any big hitters in the last game. I think our longest play was 24 yards. We're always striving for big chunks when we can get them."

Is WR Jon Baldwin a guy that you hope could provide some of those, or at least take the safety downfield with him, that sort of thing?

"Yeah. You never know exactly who it's going to be. Everybody's running. Everybody's alert for the play to be made, for the open receiver to be thrown to."

There's been a lot of, obviously, talk with Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and Colin both being third-year players, just where their development of reading defenses should be at this time. Do you have any type of theory, really, like how long it takes for a quarterback coming into this league to really be able to recognize things instantly defensively? Is there a certain amount of hours or snaps or maybe there are things that you've seen from your experience where players start to get it?

"No. No theory. Don't have a theory there."

In terms of the penalty situation, not just LB Ahmad Brooks' penalty last weekend, there was a questionable call in the Carolina-New England game. I was asking CB Eric Wright about this yesterday and he says, ‘the way some of these rules are, it's almost like you're learning on the fly out there,' in terms of how to play within the rules. How do you coach up your players to these evolving rules?

"Just in general, I think I've been trained, learned, not to talk about the officiating. I understand what you're asking. How do we coach the players? What should be going through their mind? Yeah, I know."

The officials come in before the season and we've gone over that, but do you have to go over it during the season as well and reinforce some of these rules?

"Yes."

Yesterday, RB Frank Gore mentioned the last two opponents have had good defensive schemes. You kind of alluded to, I think Monday, the last two opponents have attacked you very differently as far as from a defensive standpoint. Is that, with all due respect, have you guys been out-schemed?

"No. I wouldn't say that."

When you say they've attacked you differently, I guess defensively has--?

"Different styles."

Different styles, has it come as a surprise?

"No. We prepare for what we've seen them do and we prepare for un-scouted looks."

Where would you term WR Quinton Patton's progress in terms of how close could he be to maybe regularly actually fully practicing?

"I think very soon he'll be back to practice."

And the expectation is that he'll be able to contribute this year for you guys?

"Yes."

Do you expect WR Michael Crabtree to be back on the practice field and team drills this week?

"Michael Crabtree? Yes."

And then, what determines what you decide to do from there?

"Practice."

Just how he looks in practice?

"Yeah."

And then he goes to the 53 on Tuesday next week?

"Yeah. We'll make that decision based on what we see in practice."

If not sooner, right?

"Sooner could be possible, yes."

What was your visit like going back to the 2012 combine when you sat down with Robert Griffin III? Did you ask him why he ultimately chose Baylor instead of Stanford and what was his response?

"I remember we talked about it. I can't remember exactly what his response was now. It worked out very well for him. He's a wonderful young man. He's had a great career in college and doing a great job in the NFL. He's one of those unique guys that comes right in and starts playing and playing very well."

Last year, I think it particularly before the Green Bay game when you mentioned that Colin had a laser-focus or he was really on the game plan. Have you noticed that with him recently, the last few weeks, or going into this week?

"Yes. He's been consistently good. He's been like that every week he's been backup or a starter."

Is there anything about quarterbacks while an offense is kind of going through some things? Do you need to look to a quarterback to kind of lead you out of it? Just behavior, like the way he acts, the way he practices?

"Colin's always been A-plus in that way."

I know you're not going to publicly criticize one of your players, but when fans look at Colin's performance the last two weeks and they look at the stats, a lot of people are puzzled based off of what he did last year. When the offense has struggled it looks like he has struggled. I guess, what is your response to when people say, ‘what's wrong with Colin?'

"I think he's doing a heck of a job. I guess I'd be puzzled to why people would think that. What's most important is what we see. I'm puzzled to why you or anybody else thinks that."

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