The 49ers are back in practice a little later this afternoon, and they had head coach Jim Harbaugh speak with the media at lunch time. He had a chance to speak on a variety of topics, including the Tarell Brown contract situation, Lawrence Okoye's first padded practice and some of the wide receiver work.
Coach Harbaugh has six more media appearances between now and the end of preseason Week 2.
Tarell Brown situation
Coach Harbaugh was asked about Tarell Brown's contract situation, and he went into some interesting detail with his comments. He indicated he felt bad about the situation because as he put it, it was a "real torpedo" that came out of nowhere. Harbaugh stated that he was confident that if anybody knew about the offseason workout requirement, it would have been mentioned. He also stated that the thing to do now is find a solution. He did not know what that solution would be, but he did think that there was a solution to be had, and that it was a matter of everybody thinking on it.
There could very well be a solution, but for now we might also want to consider that Coach Harbaugh could be playing a little good cop in this situation. He's certainly not going to say the team is going to do nothing for Brown, but his desire to fix the situation financially does not mean that will actually happen. After all, Coach Harbaugh also said the team should re-sign Josh Morgan and Dashon Goldson.
I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Paraag Marathe and Trent Baalke have been discussing this situation. I suppose the need to appear might have been forgotten, but given how good this front office is, it's hard to think that nobody knew about the situation. This could be just as much good cop/bad cop as anything else at this point. We'll see in the coming days and weeks if anything gets done.
Lawrence Okoye gets into pads
Coach Harbaugh had a chance to discuss Lawrence Okoye as well. Okoye went through his first ever padded practice on Saturday, and per Matt Barrows yesterday, he was not terrible. Given that he had never put in a padded practice before yesterday, that strikes me as a good thing.
Coach Harbaugh elaborated a little bit, and my favorite line of his might have been when he said that Okoye got all the pads on properly. That gave Harbaugh a chance to take a trip down memory lane and talk about his own first experience wearing pads. It happened in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1973, with a pee wee football team called the Packers. Harbaugh indicated he had a bit of trouble with the thigh pads.
Harbaugh said that Okoye was actually a better player in pads than out of pads. Okoye has incredibly long arms, and in non-contact, non-padded work, he is not really able to use those arms to engage blockers. Now that the team is working in pads, he can use his arms to gain some leverage.
Coach Harbaugh was also asked about Marlon Moore's work thus far. Based on the practice reports, it sounds like Moore has made some highlight reel catches. Coach Harbaugh indicated that Moore had stood out due to his consistency. He said Moore was doing a good job learning the system, and has been able to play multiple wide receiver positions.
The wide receiver competition behind Anquan Boldin appears to be fairly wide open. With Crabtree and Manningham likely out for some time, there is one, if not two wide receiver spots open alongside Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins and Quinton Patton. Moore, Ricardo Lockette and Chad Hall would seem to be among the early favorites.