Jim Harbaugh discusses returning receivers, A.J. Jenkins role, plans for practice and the QB shuffle

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We take a look at Jim Harbaugh's press conference before Sunday's practice. The 49ers coach addressed a variety of topics related to the team's offense.

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media before practice on Sunday, and had a chance to focus in primarily on the offense. He addressed B.J. Daniels' practice time, some additional work A.J. Jenkins might get during next week's game, Austin Collie's return and plenty more. Here's the transcript.

Do you guys change much at all with practices now? Is there fewer one's versus one's or is there more scout team stuff? What's just the complexion of practices in these final two weeks of the exhibition season?

"Not changing very much. Still be one on ones. One vs. one, two vs. two. There'll be one vs. two. Two vs. one. Similar to what we have been doing. The two's have been playing a lot. So, it might be a little less, take a little bit of a load off of them. They've been getting quite a bit in practice. The only thing I can think of changing right now is maybe cutting down their reps because they've gotten such a high volume in the games."

So the one's, you get a chance to look at the one's and they get all of their work on the practice field as oppose to the games?

"Not all. They've been getting a lot of work in practice as well. And, some of the one's have gotten less in the games yes."

The wide receivers got into the game in roughly the same order vs. Denver and vs. Kansas City. Is that where things are right now? Can that be seen as a kind of a pecking order for the wide receiver group?

"There's some guys that now have gotten into the game, gotten familiar with the system. [WR Lavelle] Hawkins, [WR Austin] Collie, they're more up to speed. They're showing good things. There's opportunity to move up or move down. I wouldn't say that there's a set pecking order, no."

It's fluid, it's still fluid at this point?

"Yes. Still showing what you can do. Still competing, yes."

What's the plan with WR Quinton Patton now? Is he a full-go?

"Yes."

How do you evaluate him in two weeks?

"He's been doing everything but catching the ball right now. Over the last three weeks he's been doing everything but actually catching the football. Now he can start catching the football so. How do you evaluate him? That continues. Being that much more that he can do in practice now which will be great."

How do you evaluate Collie knowing that he's still not going at full speed? Do you kind of keep that in the back of your mind and kind of extrapolate what he would be like at full speed? How do you make a judgment on him when you're not seeing the full Austin Collie at this point?

"There's always different things going on with different guys. Quinton Patton has been an example. How do you evaluate when you're not going at full speed or new in the system. Somebody has a better grasp of it than another player. There's all kinds of little examples of that, individual type of cases.

After watching the preseason game or watching tape of the preseason game, is there anything extra that you saw that you didn't see on the field initially?

"Yeah, there was a lot of things. When you really study the play of the units and individual players, yes."

QB Colin Kaepernick played one series against the Chiefs. Last year in your second preseason game you had QB Alex Smith play two series, why'd you decide to scale it back for Kaepernick this year in this game?

"Fair question. Just what I said after the game. I didn't want anything ‘freakish' to happen. Sometimes you gotta have a plan and you also need a feel too. So, just felt like he has gotten tremendous amount of work in practice. Though you'd like to have him play more in the preseason games, it comes down to a feel there."

And do you plan on playing the starters longer in the third game? I apologize if you answered this already, but do you plan on playing Kaepernick and the starters more into the 2nd quarter in the third preseason game?

"There'll be a plan in place. Plan to play him longer than he played in the second preseason game, Colin in particular. But no set into the second quarter and there'll be a feel."

Will WR Mario Manningham start the season on the PUP List?

"Yes."

His rehab, is that going about as expected?

"It's going very well. Been great feedback on Mario. He's really feeling now that he can put his leg in the ground and generate some power. It's exciting and he's excited about it. Also with [WR] Michael Crabtree, he's hit every single goal as far as his timeline. So, that's been real exciting and encouraging and the others as well. Everything's been positive. There's been no setbacks with any of the players that have been on the PUP."

Does the plan change for QB B.J. Daniels at all now, as far as more time that he gets in practice at quarterback and more time in the last two games at the quarterback position?

"Yes, going into what he did the other night, it was very positive. And as far as how the reps will go, this week in practice, I plan on it being even with [QB] Colt [McCoy] and [QB] Scott [Tolzien] and B.J."

Does that performance buy him more time at the position, as you move forward as far as during this period where you kind of evaluate him?

"It was an encouraging performance, and he's done some encouraging things in practice as well. So, he continues on his process and he competed well and made plays. As far as it stands for him, it was encouraging. And when somebody does a good job you give them a little more."

Had those reps been even to this point, between B.J. and Scott and Colt?

"They'd been pretty close to even. They've all gotten a pretty good share of the reps when Kap isn't in there. I'd say probably, it's been more B.J. and Colt, a little bit less for B.J., but we'll probably even those up this week."

Is it because Scott was already familiar with the offense, why he didn't have as many reps as those two?

"In what, practice or games?"

I thought you just said B.J. and Colt had been getting--?

"I'm sorry, I stand corrected if I said that. Scott and Colt had been getting the same amount of reps, B.J. a little less than those two. And this week plan on evening it up across the board."

As it relates to WR A.J. Jenkins, draft status, cap implications, does that factor into whether he will make the 53-man?

"Well, things factor in, but it's long-standing, football hasn't changed since its inception. Best players make the team."

Has he shown enough to make it? Do you think he'll make it?

"He's shown good things and is going to do some additional things this week and put him in some additional roles to see how he does with that. I think it's like any particular player when you start talking individually, there's a process there and he's going through it. He's competing and he's working hard and usually when you do that, good things happen."

Is he a guy you're counting on in the regular season?

"Yeah. We're counting on all these guys. Everybody has a license and the ability to make the football team. There's nobody that we discount at this point. Put them in a position to compete and then you let the chips fall where they may. But that's every guy that's on our roster."

When you talk about additional roles, are you talking about more than just the X on offense? Or are you talking special teams?

"Yeah, more special teams and his role on offense."

Return?

"Yeah, I think that's something that we'd like to see this week."

Were you pleased with, or what's been your evaluation of RB LaMichael James handling punts so far?

"Well, I talked about it before. He's done an excellent job. Where he was last year to right now, it's been remarkable. Credit to LaMichael, to the coaches, just how far he's gone and come in one year. Back to your original point about projecting or discounting, I think you can make mistakes when you do that. It's better to put him in an opportunity to compete and improve and then see what happens."

What have you seen from S Eric Reid in the preseason games and do you think he's pushing and getting closer to getting some time with the first team in the preseason?

"It's been very positive. Yes, I think everything that he's shown, there will be looks for him with the first team."

Just to clarify, you're talking about A.J. on the kickoff return?

"Yes."

You mentioned a lot of different guys, WR Lavelle Hawkins, WR Austin Collie, Jenkins, are you getting any definition for those #2, #3 roles at receiver for the opener? Kind of got any definition about where things stand there as far as guys that are cemented in certain roles, those top roles next to WR Anquan Boldin?

"Wouldn't say anything is cemented, but there's been excellent play from Anquan Boldin. [WR] Kyle Williams, we feel like we know what Kyle can do and we've been a little bit cautious there. I'm not going to go through every single guy, but there's some framework there. [WR] Marlon Moore has done an excellent job. I think everybody is in a very competitive role after those three."

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