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Jim Harbaugh talks Lawrence Okoye, Quinton Patton, Colin Kaepernick and more

The 49ers held their final open practice of training camp on Wednesday. Jim Harbaugh preceded the practice with a media conference. We have a transcript.

Ezra Shaw

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Wednesday afternoon and spoke on a host of topics. He addressed Lawrence Okoye's development, Colin Kaepernick's work to become a better quarterback, Quinton Patton's one-handed catches, and so much more. Here is a transcript.

Do you expect all four quarterbacks to be able to play against the Kansas City Chiefs?


Do you expect the starters to play a little bit more?

"Little bit more than what? Than they played in the first game? Yeah, well we don't put any set number on it, but it's possible. Depends how the game goes."

Is that a case of if you go three-and-out on the first possession, you might want to get them back out there, but if you have a long drive, then that's enough? Is it just feel like that?

"There's a plan and then we'll see how the situation plays out. There's a plan and there's a feel as well - so not every starter will be in the exact amount of same reps as another starter would be. That really would take a while to get real specific with the plan for each guy."

Last year you described QB Colin Kaepernick's absorbing of the offense and everything as savant-like, during the playoffs you mentioned. Is he still kind of on that track? Do you still see him as soaking in things at the same rate?

"Yes, becoming very expert in the system. He's the type of player that studies the game plan, studies the ready-list, studies our practice tape, opponent tape, and somebody that contributes to the game plan and formulates ideas, asks questions, knows what everybody on the offense is doing and getting very good at understanding defenses and what they're trying to accomplish and what their adjustments are. So, still evolving and looking for ways to get better in areas that he can continue to learn, so it's not something that is finite. He continues to grow. But he's always eager to learn, always eager to understand and eager to have input as well."

Will T Joe Staley make the trip to Kansas City?

"I believe he is on the list to not make the trip, but I'm not 100-percent sure on that."

QB Colt McCoy obviously is a coach's son. What has your experience been with him as far as him learning the offense? The give and take with you.

"It's been good. How much of being a coach's son or not being a coach's son weighs into it, I can't really comment on that. I know it's a learning process for anybody, coach's son or not, to understand a new system, new terminology. From experience knowing what quarterbacks go through, they improve as they understand where everybody is, what everybody's assignment is without having to think. If you think about something too much, then you're not playing fast or playing ahead of the play. You're kind of reacting to things. Like any player that's in a new system, especially at the quarterback position, because there's more volume, that takes time."

He's still somewhere in thinking mode?

"Yeah, I think so. And as he understands it better, he'll be able to think less and play more. It's a focus-loose kind of thing at the same time that allows any athlete to play his best, actually when he's thinking less."

In regards to WR Quinton Patton, how would you evaluate his development as far as route running, knowledge of the playbook and overall grasp of the offense?

"Same thing, process. That's coming along very good. He's almost been able to, even though he hasn't been cleared to catch balls, he's been improvising and running routes, getting the muscle memory from those routes. At times now, he's catching balls one-handed. But it's been a positive. There hasn't been any negatives to that. He's doing the best he can."

He made a great first impression on you making the first trip out here. Does he still maintain that? Is he still a guy you look at as what you want, eagerness and enthusiasm?

"Yeah, he's somebody that's shown to be very eager, mentally and physically. Mentally in studying the game plan, studying the ready-list, understanding the concepts, physically preparing himself every day for practice to get better and hone his skills. So I think it's been plus-plus in both those regards."

What are your thoughts on DL Lawrence Okoye's performance? Will he get a little bit more playing time?

"That's possible. He played six plays in the game, two were kneel-downs. But he didn't get knocked down. So that's a step in the right direction and could be more time for him this week."

A couple of Colin's teammates have said, that in terms of football personality, both in games and in  practices, that you and Colin are almost twins. Do you agree with that?

"Twins? I'll take that as a compliment. He is A-plus-plus in all those areas, all his physical, his mental preparation. There's definitely something that really drives him to be great, to be successful. We hand out a goal packet every year and guys list their individual goals and their team goals. Just for fun, I went back and looked at his goals from last year and it was darn near verbatim what he achieved. There's something special there, in terms of what drives him. He lives in, I think, one of those worlds where he's motivated for success and for achievement. Not satisfied, no matter how good it is, and I think there's people that come along like that. I relate to that."

Will you share a couple of those things that you read?

"No, that's a personal thing, yeah."

At what point did they turn those in or write those down?

"They did last year, I think it was the third or the fourth week of preseason."

Is that ability, to see what he can do and then make it happen remind you of the way you saw the game?

"No, I don't make any comparison between him and myself. I've said it before, sometimes I dream about football and that's how I look in some of those dreams, the way he plays."

Did you go back and look at anybody else's goal sheets from last year?

"I do from time to time, yes."

Anybody else you'd want to share?

"No, no."

It's worth asking, right?

"Yeah, yeah, it's their personal, individual goals. And I collect them and read them and that's something that I feel like is a privilege to be able to see and not something I'm not going to publically air out."

Just for a better understanding, is there like a list of just short things or do you write stuff out or how does that--? Everybody handles it differently, with those goals?

"Yeah, everybody has different personal goals."

Are they type-written?

"I plowed that ground about as much as I'm going to plow it. And I share with you what some of Colin's were and the way it played out was pretty much verbatim."

Anybody else that you can share who isn't going on the trip to Kansas City?

"It's a list of eight or nine guys."

There appeared to be a bit of a skirmish yesterday, during practice. Do you feel like that can actually help a team bond or infuse competition or do you feel like that's something that really just has no place in practice or training camp?

"I think it's something that has no place in practice or training camp."

Is that something that you needed to address with the team or just the individuals, just to kind of move on?

"Not to go into what the policy is right now as it's happened. It's been addressed."

Will those players, are they playing Friday?

"It's been handled, it's been addressed."

College football is about to start, these guys are grinding with academics and football. Did you ever, when you were at University of San Diego or at Stanford did you drop in on any of the classes there to see what the atmosphere was like?

"In the classroom, yes."

Did you do it at Stanford often or just once or twice?

"On occasion."

As far as P Colton Schmidt goes, are you satisfied with the short time that he's been here with his cadence, particularly with TE/LS Jennings and LS McDermott?

"Colton Schmidt?."


"Yeah, he's done a heck of a job. He's opened up a lot of eyes. A very talented, young punter and kicker. So, saw him boom a couple the other night. Made a heck of a tackle on one of the fastest men in the world. So, he's caught the attention of everybody."

Colin's on the cover of GQ this month, any thoughts on that?


Do you know when CB Eric Wright might join the team?

"Not an exact time, no."