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Jim Harbaugh talks Texans play-action

Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Friday to wrap up the week heading into 49ers vs. Texans. Coach Harbaugh talked a bit about the Texans play action, but otherwise worked his way through things fairly quickly. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

What's the outlook like for LB Patrick Willis for Sunday's game?

"We'll see. He's progressing good every day. So, we'll see what the chances are tomorrow and the next day."

How did LB Michael Wilhoite look this week in practice?

"Good, good. He's done a nice job in games and practice."

Is he at the point where you can just plug him in and keep everything else the same as far as the defense goes?

"Yeah, trusted agent."

As far as the offense goes, is there another team that you've faced the last few years that's similar to Houston in the sense that their run-blocking scheme and their play-action, is there an offense that you can kind of draw similarities to that you've faced?

"Well, they do a great job in their run-blocking schemes. And really nobody does as good a job as the Texans do at simulating the play-action pass and making it look exactly like the run, making the bootlegs look like the run. Yeah, I can't say that there's anybody that does it as well as they do."

Who does that affect most on defense? Is that something that the safeties have to be cognizant of? The inside linebackers?

"Yeah, safeties and outside backers, ends, those players that are responsible for contain. Because a zone stretch play, a wide nine-hole hitting play to the left looks exactly like it does when they're rolling out and trying to break contain back to the right. Eyes, you've got to slow down and make sure you're doing your job of containing. It affects those players the most, and the backers, inside backers. And then, really good pass catching tight ends. Their play-action is very effective."

So, it's not as much as Texans QB Matt Schaub selling the play-fake as much as the scheme itself?

"Yes. It's everybody that sells it. It's the quarterback. It's the linemen. It's the backs. And they do a tremendous job making the run play look exactly like the pass play."

He's coming off a rough game down there, Schaub is. As a former quarterback, can you sympathize what he's going through and just what he probably is wanting to get accomplished getting that next game under his belt?

"Well, yeah, you don't have to be in somebody's mind to know what they're trying to get accomplished and that's trying to get a win. That's the best antidote for losing is a win. So, there's no mystery, that's our mindset as well. So, we've got two colliding wills and two different plans colliding on Sunday night. It should make for a very exciting game."

When we spoke to you on Wednesday, QB B.J. Daniels was still in limbo. Obviously he's not with the team. What's your reaction? Are you disappointed that you don't have him anymore on the squad?

"Yes, we would have liked to have had B.J. back on the practice squad and we don't. So, rolled the dice there and now we don't have him."

Did you, was that a risk?

"Risk that we thought it could happen? Sure."

But, them in particular, the Seahawks, did you know that the Seahawks were interested in him during the draft? Did you have a sense of which teams might be interested in B.J. if you put him on waivers?

"Speculation, yeah. But we knew that they had worked him out, etcetera."

Did the fact that QB John Skelton worked out for the Titans on Tuesday, did that play into your decision? Did the decision come sooner than maybe you would have liked to have made that decision?

"No. I mean, the decision came when it came. Called him up and we wanted to sign him."

The fact that he was working out for the Titans didn't affect it?

"No. It did not."

How do you define stature? Is it just height?


What stands out to you about Texans WR Andre Johnson?

"Just about everything. He's a competitive-for-the-ball receiver. I think that stands out the most. A very fluid, very accomplished route runner, blocker, a top notch player."

You said Patrick will be questionable?