San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke with the media the day after the team's Week 7 loss to the Denver Broncos, and we've got the transcript for you. Coach Harbaugh said the team will return to practice next Monday, giving the players a chance to re-charge their batteries over the next six days. Players will get treatment as needed, and coaches will self-scout and prepare the Rams game plan, but otherwise the players will get some time off.
Coach Harbaugh also discussed the center position. He said Daniel Kilgore will have season-ending surgery on Tuesday, and Marcus Martin is the front-runner to start at center following the bye. Coach Harbaugh also went into recovering from the Broncos loss, Aldon Smith's situation, how the young players performed on Sunday, and more.
C Daniel Kilgore, will he require surgery on that leg?
"Tomorrow, he's going to get surgery."
Will he go on IR?
We all remember how bad the NT Ian Williams fracture was. Are we talking about the same type of injury to Daniel?
How's he doing, just talking to him?
"He was disappointed. He played well in the game. So it's an obstacle to overcome and he's made of the right stuff. No doubt that he'll overcome it."
How will you go about finding his replacement? Will it be a tryout of sorts between C Marcus Martin and G/C Dillon Farrell?
"I wouldn't call it that. We'll be moving forward and making that determination as we go."
You said he was playing well yesterday. How well has he played throughout the season and how big of an impact could this have on the offensive line? Obviously, the center has a lot of responsibility?
"He's been playing really well. Better and better each week. Like I said, I thought he played really well in this game. We'll say a prayer and hope the surgery goes real well tomorrow, which I'm confident it will, and then he'll start healing."
There was a report yesterday that LB Aldon Smith's suspension could be reduced by one or two games. Have you ever heard that throughout this process, that it could be less than nine games?
"I saw that report and I don't know anything about it."
How's Aldon doing?
"Good, very well."
He still working out daily, attending meetings? What have you seen from him during this time? I know you had talked about some of the promises he made the organization. How's he following through on everything that he said he would do?
"Very well. Excelling at his community service and when he's around the facility, very well."
You've been obviously around the game a long time. You've gone ups and downs as a player and everything. Something like last night, can you just shake it off and say, ‘OK we'll go on' and it's just ‘a game' and we go on?"
"Well, to your point, it happens to everybody. Not what you want to have happen. Understand that the opponent played extremely well. And then, where can we learn? Where can we learn and what can we learn from? Take that approach."
How did with the players, did they watch the film today? What's your plan as far as their bye week?
"I want them to enjoy their families, enjoy their children if they have them, play with their kids and come back mentally stronger, physically stronger. We resume next Monday."
With the exception of Kilgore, are all the injured players, LB Patrick Willis, DB Jimmie Ward etcetera, do you hope to have them back for the week of practice for the Rams game?
"Yes, we would hope to."
How did CB Tramaine Brock come out of that game yesterday physically?
"Well, as far as I know."
Do you have a big group of guys sticking around? Some guys sticking around here? I know some of them do live here, but that you've heard of so far?
"I know some are and haven't talked to every single guy."
What about the coaching staff? Will they be continuing to work through or are they are on the same schedule as the players?
"No, we'll continue to work. We have work to get done this week."
What specifically or what can you say about what kind of work you guys need to get done this week?
"Preparation for upcoming opponents and self-scout and there will be players that will come in and we'll be available to those players."
Can you be available to them after Thursday?
"No. Coaches, as far as going out on the field and working out with them, no. Not my understanding and we wouldn't. We won't be. The way I understand the rule, it's four days off and consecutive and two of them Saturday and Sunday."
So, can you even talk football with them in film room?
"No, we won't do it, no. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday."
Why were you unable to get the running game going last night?
"There's definitely, as we said last night, with the exception of special teams, I thought special teams was a wash, I can't say that we won it or they won it, but the other two, offense, defense, the Broncos did better things. They outplayed us. Not going to go over every single specific phase of each of those two phases. There's going to be some obvious, ‘Why didn't this? Why didn't that?' Right, didn't."
After the game got out of hand, you stayed with QB Colin Kaepernick for a while. Why was that? Did you just want him to finish on a high note? Why not take him out when there were some injuries on the line and there were some issues in that game?
"Well, the drive started with about 10 minutes and I was still thinking with three timeouts and a quick score, an onside kick, three timeouts to stop a drive, another score and an onside kick, I was still thinking of the possibilities. That drive extended quite a bit of time, longer than I was hoping for, and I did think about, in the middle of the drive about the six-minute mark, of taking Colin out, but didn't."
Is TE Vernon Davis a little rusty right now as you look at him or do you see him as 100 percent?
"I see him as 100 percent."
How did LB Chris Borland play?
"Same as we talked about last night. It was some valuable experience gained by some of our young players. Borland, [WR] Bruce Ellington, both did some real good things in the ball game, things to build off of. [LB] Aaron Lynch, Farrell, [G Joe] Looney, [DB] Dontae Johnson. There was some good experience had by some of our younger players. "
Was there anything that Johnson could do on that first touchdown? As far as avoiding the umpire?
"It's one of those things that happens."
Looney played some center at the end of the game. Is he someone who could potentially fill in for Kilgore?
"He's a versatile player as you saw in our center plans."
Will you look at him as the potential starter going forward at that spot?
"We'll evaluate that as we go. But, I think right now the first shot at that is going to be [C] Marcus Martin."
Before he got hurt, how was he looking and how do you feel about his ability to step in above the shoulders and handle all the mental aspects of that position?
"He's exceled at the mental aspects - before and after he was injured. I've been real impressed with that. Even when he knew he was hurt, knew he was going to be out multiple weeks, he did not ease off in terms of the classroom and the study. I think that bodes well. Bright youngster and he's champed at the bit to get back on the field and didn't take the opportunity to let the injury linger. So, good signs. Excited about his progress and I look forward to good things."
Are you going to watch the World Series at all?
Do you have any predictions?
"No. Both great teams, both resilient teams. Be very exciting to watch, I'm sure. I will try to catch as much of it as I can."