Vic Fangio and Jim Harbaugh met with the media today, and we've got a couple transcript for your reading pleasure. Fangio actually opened the press conference, and Harbaugh followed, but Harbaugh's transcript is first. Harbaugh was scheduled to talk tomorrow, but with the trade, the team decided to make him available today.
"As you know we've traded [WR] A.J. Jenkins to Kansas City for [WR] Jonathan Baldwin. And, feel like it's a fresh start for both young men and hopefully it can be a positive for both of them and for the two teams."
Did you know that that was a possibility going into Friday's game? Were you able to look at Baldwin in a ‘we might be trading for this guy' sense?
"No, not on Friday."
Did 49ers general manager Trent Baalke start talking with Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey on Friday about this, about the trade possibility?
"I don't think there's any importance to timeline. The people we talked to and then the idea came, whose idea it was, etc. etc. Where we stand right now is ... both players are on planes, A.J. heading to Kansas City and Jonathan Baldwin heading here to San Francisco where they will both take physicals. If both pass, then Jonathan will be a 49er, A.J. will be a Chief and I anticipate that that will happen. Both appear to be in excellent physical condition."
Almost a year ago you gave a really strong statement about A.J., what happened? Why didn't things work out?
"A.J., the why and that kind of thing, I'll just speak from personal experience. I was rejected by a team, sent to another team and then with the next team my signature years came. So it can be a real positive and that's what everybody hopes for in this situation. A.J. is a very talented player. He has never been an issue or a problem as a teammate. He competes. He works very hard and there's no reason that both these guys can't end up having a great career. Another example, won't use myself but we'll use the great [WR] Cris Carter. Receiver in Philadelphia, Buddy Ryan sent him to Minnesota and then a Hall of Fame career ensued. Those are opportunities that both of these young men have and I think they definitely have the ability and license to get that done."
Is two weeks enough time to fully evaluate Baldwin to see if he deserves a shot on the 53-man roster?
"We'll do the best that we possibly can, we'll see. To really start talking, ‘what ifs' and ‘if this, if that,' ‘what if,' let's let the two pass the physical and be a 49er or be a Kansas City Chief. And then we can start talking about some of those things."
Baldwin has seemingly all the measurables; great size, great speed, can jump, before you get a real good look at him, is he pretty intriguing to you? Do you see the wide receiver he could possibly be?
Have you seen much of him?
"I've known about Jonathan Baldwin since he was a junior in high school, Aliquippa High School."
RB Tony Dorsett's high school.
"His dad played with him."
What advantage do the 49ers get out of this trade?
What advantage do the 49ers get out of this trade, to make this?
"I think the advantage is of what both teams and both players can get out of it. Opportunity, a fresh start, getting a chance to show what kind of players they are."
Did you recruit Baldwin?
"I said I've known about him since he was a junior in high school."
How, how did you know?
"Very aware of him. He was the number one receiver as a junior in the country in high school football. And then more so, my brother-in-law [Indiana University Men's Basketball head coach] Tom Crean, who was at Marquette at the time, heavily recruited Jonathan to Marquette. That was the only non-football school that Jonathan was considering at the time was Marquette. At the end, decided to go to Pitt. He was Tom's number one basketball recruit that year."
What about the overall play of your wide receivers, where they're at and how does that have any impact on your other decisions, your quarterback? Is it making your job a little tougher?
"As far as the wide receiver position, it's been very competitive. I detailed that out pretty well yesterday. As far as the quarterbacks position, also very competitive. On an even keel at this point between the three youngsters that we have on the team. Every day is valuable, every day is important, every day is a competitive environment and opportunity both at wide receiver and quarterback."
What's your feeling about this depth? It seems to be developing across the board. In these first two preseason games it seems like everybody you put in will do well defensively.
"Yes, we've been able to develop some good depth at some places, other places not as quality as we have at some of the other places. But, we've had [DT] Tony Jerod-Eddie, [DT Demarcus] Dobbs, [DT Glenn] Dorsey, those guys have gone in there and done a good job up front. The four outside backers in [LB] Corey [Lemonier], [LB] Cam [Johnson], [LB] Dan [Skuta] and [LB] Parys [Haralson] have gone in and done well. [LB Michael] Wilhoite and [LB Nate] Stupar and [LB Nick] Moody have done well up front there also. So when they've gone in the game, they've played well. In the secondary, [CB] Nnamdi [Asomugha] has gone in and played well. I'm trying to think who else. You know [S] Eric [Reid]'s been playing with the second team there, he's gone in and done well. So yeah, we've had some guys go in there and play pretty good these first two preseason games. We haven't been stretched a whole lot these first two preseason games. In other words, teams haven't been attacking us down the field a whole lot. So, sometimes the preseason games can be a little misleading."
One of those plays where you guys were stretched a little bit, Nnamdi was matched up with Kansas City Chiefs WR Jonathan Baldwin on that particular route. How did he fair on that?
"Are you talking about the third-down play?"
"Yeah, he did well on that play. He stayed on top, had good tight coverage and got us off the field on third down, so he played that play very well."
I think I'm thinking of an earlier one. That was the one that went out of bounds. This one was more of a post in the end zone.
"Oh, the one in the end zone? Yeah, he was in good shape there and our free safety C.J. [Spillman] was in good shape in the middle of the field. The quarterback overthrew it. But we were in pretty good position there. I think we would have had a chance to make the play if the ball was thrown better."
How high of a priority was it to develop that depth a little bit more?
"Well, the whole goal of training camp and preseason games, which preseason games are part of training camp, is number one, to pick the right 53 players for your team and to prepare your team for the regular season. The more we get to play those guys, the more it helps us pick the right 53 for the team and the more depth we can develop will help us play a 16-game schedule because invariably a lot of them will get called upon. So, it's been good up to this point."
A year ago, it was tough to find anyone after Parys' injury at outside linebacker other than the starters. This year it looks like, are five guys going to make the team at that spot?
"Well, I don't know that. That remains to be seen what numbers will be kept exactly at every position. But, we definitely have six players that have stepped up and played good in training camp at the outside linebacker position and they're making the decision tough for us."
How tight has the cornerback race been? It seems like everyone's doing well there as well.
"Well, at corner we'll traditionally keep five, potentially keep six. I think we've got the three guys that have started - I'm talking about in nickel - and then we've had Nnamdi playing and [CB Tramaine] Brock playing and [CB] Perrish Cox has done a good job, too. We've got six guys there and we have the two young guys that are coming; the draft pick and the free agent. We've got eight guys there that are competing and we'll be able to, I think, find a good five or six guys out of that group."
When it comes to cornerback, do you need to look into the future as well? Are you totally interested in 2013, or do you need to start thinking about which of these guys you're going to have in 2014 and beyond?
"Well, I think the priority is 2013, but you always have an eye for the future. So, if it's close, then maybe the future takes over. If it's not close, we've got a season to play here."
Do you expect CB Eric Wright to figure into that picture at all?
"I have no idea. I haven't heard. You guys know as much about that as I do to be honest with you."
Coming off last year when he didn't play, is Parys Haralson noticeably different for you in camp this year compared to years past?
"Not really, he's playing about the same. I do think he's trimmed down a little bit and it's helped him move a little bit better on defense. But, I do think that's contributed to his better play so far."
Is his mindset any different?
"I don't think so."
You talked about S Eric Reid, just because he's a first rounder does not mean he's handed a starting position. How close is he to being the starter?
"He's close. He's close. He's done well all camp. We'll probably start him in this game coming up and we'll see how he does with that."
Can you talk a little bit more about [Parys Haralson] and how is he doing? Have you seen a new dimension in him? How has his camp been?
"I don't see a new dimension. I just see him playing good in the style that he's capable of playing in, which is a physical style, relentless-type player. I see the same player we had in 2011. We didn't get him last year."
Is CB Tramaine Brock still the guy at the nickel position, or not nickel position, the third cornerback?
"Him and Nnamdi right now are those two guys."
Are they both, is there any separation between those two?
"I think there's starting to become but we'll see."
You mentioned free agent cornerback Darryl Morris is playing pretty well. He hasn't, I think he's just played one defensive snap in the preseason, why is that?
"Why is that?"
"First off we've had, he's the eighth corner of an eight corner group. So, it's hard to get them all in there for significant time. I think you do a disservice to put a guy in there for four or five plays, which knocks off four or five plays from somebody else. We'd like to get him some action where he can play in double-digit plays and feel comfortable out there and get rolling. He's done well here lately in practice so maybe we'll be able to get him a snap, a couple snaps in these last two games."
Can you tell us who's leading that third cornerback battle?
"You guys can keep watching."
If I guess it right will you tell me if I'm right?