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Jim Harbaugh talks Cardinals, Mario Manningham injury, running game

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Friday afternoon to wrap up the practice week. We have a transcript for your viewing pleasure. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Al Messerschmidt

Any trouble keeping guys focused this week on the game rather than looking ahead to the playoffs or looking into all of the playoff scenarios? How do you do that?

"No. No, they seem very focused."

Is this a good game in that the Cardinals are a playoff-caliber team and it's a nice warm-up for the playoffs, given how good they are?

"It's a football game. Your words have no meaning to me whatsoever. I mean, it's like 180 from how I would think of it. Big game."

They could finish with 11 wins and not make the playoffs. What's your stance on that? You might have three teams from the NFC West that are playoff-worthy, but not making it. Do you like the way the playoffs are setup now? Do you think that it should be looked at in another way?

"Well, players, coaches, don't control who you play, don't control where you play, when you play. The thing you control is how you play. We have complete control over that."

S Donte Whitner talked yesterday about how it seems like he takes a lot of pride in really adjusting how he hits to make it, to do it the right way. Have you sensed that he has that kind of conscientiousness about making sure that he strikes where he's allowed to strike?


How difficult is that to do for a guy to adjust the way he plays that for so many years?

"I don't know the percentage of difficulty, but he's done a very nice job of it."

Do you almost think that he should be held up as the guy that does do it the right way, what the NFL wants?

"I think he's done a very good job. He's a top-flight player. He's having a great season."

Is there any updates on WR Mario Manningham at all?

"No. Doctors are, he's consulting with doctors. We'll do what's in the best interest of his career. He's got input on that. It's really a conversation between doctors and Mario at this point."

Is it a residual from last year's injury?

"For me to talk about it, I'm not a doctor. To tell you what level of last year or this year, if it's something different. The doctors and Mario are the people to talk to about that."

Has he re-damaged the ACL?

"Again, the doctors or Mario would be in a better position to comment on that than I would."

He's out this week though for sure?

"Yes. I don't foresee him being in this week."


"We'll see. I don't foresee him being in this week."

They're going to announce the Pro Bowl players later today. Are there one or two guys on your team that don't get a lot of recognition that you would like to see recognized in this way, they don't get as much recognition as some other players in the league?

"Recognition. Comparing recognition. We're focused on winning a football game. Think that's the greatest share of what the guys care about. That's the mission."

I'm not asking you to compare anybody. I'm just asking you to give somebody some praise that might not otherwise get it.

"And I answered your question. I think our guys, our particular players here that you're asking me about, their mission is to win and their concentration's on this football game. And I'm with them on that. I think that is the most important thing."

Is TE Vernon Davis the kind of guy even-keeled, so whether he has a good game on Sunday or a bad game on Sunday, you wouldn't be able to tell in practice with the way he goes about his business?

"He takes great pride in his own personal performance as well as the team's performance."

Donte was saying yesterday that this is a chance for you guys to get another hard, tough, tough win on the road. It sounded like he was intimating that that's what might have to happen in the playoffs. Do you feel the same way? The, ‘look, we're battle-tested on the road and this is another time to show that?'

"It's our next game. It's a big game. Again, you don't control where it is, when it's played, but you control how you play. We have complete control over that. So, yeah, it's a great opportunity to play the game and play well. Got a really good chance of winning. You don't play good in this league, probably not going to have a very good chance of winning."

Has that been your message to the guys this week, that what you can control is how you play, not where or what?

"I don't think there's been one message."

Even without FB Bruce Miller, your running game's looked real strong. What's your assessment of the running game now without Bruce? You're going up against the number one rushing defense this week.

"Yeah, a big challenge. The task will be hard, like it is every week. This is only for the tough."

How would you say you compensated without Bruce? Bruce is obviously a big part of that running game.

"Yes, Bruce was and will be again."

How well would you say you've compensated without him?

"I think our guys are excited for the challenge that you talked about. Players that will be filling in for Bruce are more than up to the task."

Do you sense that this game meaning any more to WR Anquan Boldin? It's his first game back in Arizona since he was traded.

"I haven't had that sense."