San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Friday afternoon, and it was a fairly limited session. The 49ers coach talked primarily about the team's injury report, but also had a chance to comment on changes in travel plans, and the success of the San Francisco Giants.
Where is G Mike Iupati along the return to play concussion protocol?
Obviously, you've seen good stuff from G Joe Looney. Talk about what you've seen from him in the times where he's been able to play this season or been asked to play?
"Yeah. Been good. Feel like he'll be good Sunday night."
Does Mike still have a chance to play on Sunday? Can he still --
"No, I don't think he does. I think he's out. I don't think there's enough days in the protocol."
What have you seen from LB Patrick Willis and DB Jimmie Ward?
"Patrick's still in a boot. Doesn't look ... doubtful or out for this game."
"Not as sure with him. That's more of a strain that heals as it heals. It's a lot of information. I'm not used to giving that kind of information."
How are you feeling right now?
"I feel used, manipulated."
What's going on?
"I don't know. Can we change the subject?"
How'd you guys practice out there today?
"Good. Good week, good practice. Really feel good about it. The team's energy is good. Excited to make the trip and play well. That's a good thing. Like where the team's at right now."
Has this practice schedule been honed throughout your tenure here, as far as coming off a Monday night game, have you gotten to the point where you've gotten it down to a science, as much as you can?
"No. Feel like you're asking questions that I don't have any answers to or have it down to a science. I mean, there's a plan, absolutely, but there are battlefield decisions that are made along the way as well. Hope you're right. Hope you're making the right decision."
But you feel like the energy on the Friday before the game, is at a good level?
"I do. I really do. And I feel like the preparation's been good, the practice has been good. And the focus is there and a lot of that has to do with the Broncos. Such a good team. That tends to hone your focus as well."
You guys do have, as you mentioned, a few guys, very notable players who aren't going to be on the field Sunday. Do you see this as an opportunity against a really good opponent for those guys, the Borland's, Looney's, so on and so forth, to really step up their game and so that you guys don't lose a step?
"Absolutely. That's very exciting for them. Things that they prepare for for a very long time and week-after-week to get their opportunity. And Joe's been there before and Chris is doing it for the first time. Very excited for them."
When was the last time you broke out the Saint Crispin's Day speech?
"Playoffs. That's a playoff thing. How do you know about that? What's going on around here? Infiltration. Snakes in the garden."
This wouldn't be a Saint Crispin's Day scenario? You just wait until the playoffs?
"What the heck's going on around here?"
Given the quick turnaround too in two road games, was there a concerted effort to get the guys more off their feet this week? As far as shorter practices, maybe more time in meetings? That type of thing.
"Yeah, some. Some adjustment. Mainly what they do every week. They recover, they play, they recover, they get their focus on their next opponent and do what they have to do to get ready to play that game, win the next game."
Have you guys always traveled Fridays for every Sunday game?
This is the first year?
And why is that?
"That was something, some of the players had suggested that. [RB] Frank [Gore], [LB] Patrick [Willis] and some of the other guys, [DT] Justin [Smith], and pulsed the team on it and something they felt like was the norm now, what we do. Six out of the eight games per year are two nights before the game and they felt like that's what they're used to and they wanted to do that for all eight out of eight. Obviously, playing in Oakland this year we wouldn't do that."
This would have been a normal Saturday trip right? To Denver?
"No, more like the Arizona and the Seattle. That's been a one-day, a Saturday trip in the past."
Have you observed LB NaVorro Bowman coaching up LB Michael Wilhoite and LB Chris Borland and how beneficial is that to have NaVorro's extra set of eyes on the sideline in games?
"I have noticed that and it's very beneficial. He does a great job communicating what he sees and I don't see everything, but did happen to catch it a couple times in the Monday night game. Like, ‘Right on.' Taking not only a mental rep, but he's giving a verbal rep. Taking a verbal rep, giving a verbal rep, coaching up. That's good on both those levels there. Two levels."
We were talking to Chiefs QB Alex Smith a couple weeks ago and he said that the Chiefs were getting a nice lift, sort of emotional lift from the Kansas City Royals, practice right across the street from them. Do you sense anything from the San Francisco Giants doing so well, going to the World Series? Is there a buzz among your guys at all?
"Yes, I heard some conversation about it on the field today and in the locker room earlier. So, I'd have to answer yes to that. Personally, I definitely have great admiration for what they've done. Just keep doing it and doing it. It's wonderful, wonderful."
Did you see that San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy used your ‘Who's got it better than us?'?
"Did he? That's really my dad. I can't take credit for that. That's Jack Harbaugh. He used it?"
He said, ‘Nobody has it better than us.'
"I'd have to agree. Hopefully future us can have it better than everybody."