49ers minicamp: Jim Harbaugh talks Tank Carradine, wide receivers, Dockers

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh spoke with the media before the 49ers Wednesday practice session. We've got a transcript that includes discussion of the wide receivers, Tank Carradine, Anquan Boldin, and his choice of pants.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Wednesday afternoon, and we've got his transcript down below. He got a little feisty when he got some questions about the holdout situation. He did not go into a ton of detail elsewhere, although he did clarify the plans to practice with the Ravens during the preseason.

The 49ers have an open roster spot with Eric Wright's decision to retire. Harbaugh said the team will eventually use the roster spot ("in a timely fashion"), but it sounds like it will not come until after minicamp ends. I don't imagine that player will be Brandon Flowers, and who knows if it will even be a cornerback. The 49ers already have a sizable contingent of cornerbacks, so they could very well look for more depth elsewhere. I'd mix in a safety or maybe a linebacker, but they have some flexibility.

The media session wrapped with some discussion about Coach Harbaugh's pants. Coach was in a Dockers commercial with his wife, but he was still wearing his old Dickies. Naturally this led to some discussion.

Yesterday, I was just noticing WR Anquan Boldin how he practices and just what that means. Just him on the field and the way he goes about his nature. They were doing just warm-up drills, he dropped a ball, goes back in line to do it over again so he can get the catch. What that shows to the rest of the team.

“A-plus, plus, at all times. Anquan is the prototypical guy that way. Comes to practice, goes straight home, comes back and kicks butt the next day. And then he goes home, comes back and kicks butt again. You feel showered by the attributes that he has in terms of seriousness of being great, and seriousness of our team improving and winning, in all regards. Everything he does.”

Do you see him taking a WR Quinton Patton or a WR Bruce Ellington, young guys, do you see him working with those guys, whether it’s out here, in the film room, those types of things?

“The young guys, and everybody, really. You watch Anquan and you take things from him every day. That’s just being smart. But he goes a step past that. He will go up and talk to a guy, whether it’s the quarterback or the wide receiver, an offensive player. I’ve even seen him do it with defensive backs, and he’ll give them a tip. It gets quiet when he’s talking because people are listening.”

Are there any plans to, now that you’ve established your offense and your defense and you have sort of an older team, to rest players more during the season and that sort of thing? Cut back on practice, possibly? Have you thought about that?

“There’s a plan and then there’s a feel as you go along daily. But everything is still evolving, whether it be offensive, defensive, special teams schemes. It’s the nature of football. There’s evolution.”

Is DE Justin Smith working through something specifically or is he just getting veteran days off during the minicamp and offseason programs?

“Yeah, something specific. He hasn’t been cleared to practice yet, but he will be for training camp.”

Did he have a procedure in the offseason?

“Yeah, got something he’s going through.”

What is that?

“Again, I don’t like to talk about players’ health. If they choose to, then that’s something I let come from them.”

Why move LB Patrick Willis to the mike linebacker spot with LB Navarro Bowman probably out for some weeks to start the season? What’s the logic there?

“That he’s going to be in there in the base and also in the nickel. He’s a great football player. We want him on the field as much as possible.”

Both those positions play the nickel, right? They’re on the field for the nickel.

“Yeah.”

What does one do that the other doesn’t that makes it advantageous to move him to mike?

“We don’t get into talking about scheme or why we’re doing something, other than that’s where we want Patrick. We think that’s what’s best for our team. We think [LB] Michael Wilhoite and others that are competing for the other inside spot will be better served there.”

On the no-show of TE Vernon Davis and G/T Alex Boone, you said yesterday that was not the 49er way. Can you elaborate? Is it just the fact that they’re not here or the way they’re going about it that you feel is not the 49er way?

“We covered that pretty thoroughly yesterday.”

You know, I wasn’t here yesterday for that and I apologize, but I have some questions along with Scott so please let me as my two questions before you tell me to kiss off.

“I’m not telling you to kiss off.”

Well, let me ask my questions first. The first question would be, you said you were disappointed and I’d like to know what the nature of the disappointment is, and if he stays away, I’m talking about Vernon, can it hurt the team?

“As I said yesterday, I’ll just reiterate that I was disappointed in the decision not to come to the minicamp. Didn’t call anybody out. There was no call out of anybody.”

I didn’t say it.

“I know some people did, though.”

OK.

“I thought that was ridiculous. And then, the second point is that we’re going to keep the focus on what is going on here, who is here and the players that we’re coaching. We’re going to have a heck of a day today, and that’s where the focus is going to be. So, we covered it yesterday and today we’re focusing on guys that are here.”

In a general sense, as a former player do you understand contract issues and what goes into that? I mean, can you see it from that perspective still?

“To answer the three, four, five follow-up questions, it gets to be badgering. It gets old. I covered it thoroughly yesterday. I don’t feel like there is anything more to say about it at this time.”

Looking ahead to camp, you guys are staying in Baltimore a few days after that game, what’s your guys’ plan during that period of time when you guys are having the joint practices with the Ravens?

“The plan is to have joint practices with them. We’re going to have four joint practices with them Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.”

All at their facility?

“One will be at M&T Bank (Stadium) and the Saturday, Sunday, Monday practices will be at their facility.”

When we talked to former 49ers head coach George Seifert a little bit yesterday, he mentioned that when you guys beat them when you were with the Colts that after the game you kind of gave it the airplane thing. Has he talked to you about that and do you remember that at all?

“Yeah, we’ve talked about it. I remember it.”

Any elaboration on that?

“My emotions, the great thrill of winning the game, got the better of me.”

Do you expect Justin Smith to be ready for training camp?

“Yes.”

How has DT Tank Carradine been looking to you?

“Very good. Really, all of our defensive line is really doing everything that we ask and doing a very good, precise job. It’s been a real good offseason for all of our defensive lineman, including Tank. Excited to see him when he gets the pads on and play football in pads because you see the flashes and the strength and the ability. Kind of gotta pull him back because we’re not in live situations out here in practice. But very excited for where he’s at right now.”

You touched on this yesterday, you’ve got a lot of good defensive lineman. You play a 3-4 defense and one of those guys comes off the field in nickel. Will you try to carve out other roles for some of those guys like you’ve done in the past with TE/DT Demarcus Dobbs and FB Will Tukuafu? Will anybody be doubling up at positions?

“If it’s necessary. Definitely think we have talented guys to be able to do that role of pass-rusher. That will happen out of necessity and talent that we have.”

Have you filled the 90th spot yet?

“No.”

Do you plan to before you guys depart for the offseason?

“I think we’ll keep it open through today and tomorrow, but we will fill it before training camp. In a timely fashion.”

Are those the good pants you’re wearing today?

“The good pants?”

Yeah, the one in the ad when you were barbecuing and stuff. Are those, those pants?

“No, no.”

How many pairs of those do you have? The good pants.

“Quite a few. Quite a few new ones.”

Yeah, you oughta wear’em down here sometime.

“Okay.”

Snap up the image.

“I still kind of like the loose fitting.”

Yeah, OK. When you get older.

“I’m already old.”

Me too.

“I’m proud of that. It’s a blessing to grow old. Some people aren’t afforded that luxury.”

I understand that.

“Or that blessing.”

Some data says you guys face eight-man fronts about 75 percent of the time. Do you view that as a problem that maybe you want to correct, maybe force defenses to not stack the box so often against you guys?

“Yeah, that’s a reality and we have to have ways to make defenses pay for that. Excited where our offense is evolving to and continuing to improve so that we can do that. Have shown the ability to do that and continue to strive to get better at that.”

And that’s been a focus this offseason with what you’ve been doing?

“That’s one of them, one of the focuses. It has.”

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