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Jim Harbaugh talks injuries, negativity, Colin Kaepernick's development as a passer and more

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Jim Harbaugh talked about stuff like his rushing milestones and negativity regarding the team's current standing. We've got a transcript.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has some pretty entertaining press conferences. Whether he's joking with the beat writers or getting overly poetic about something really silly, they're just ... pretty great in one way or the other. Other times, Harbaugh says basically nothing and answers every question with a non-answer. Sometimes it seems like he'd rather be anywhere else than there.

This was one of those press conferences. I mean -- it's long, and there's plenty to read, but the whole press conference was essentially Harbaugh throwing his hands in the air and saying "I dunno!" That's not atypical or anything, of course.

Things picked up a little when Harbaugh started talking about negativity, and then again when he was made aware of the fact that he's ninth all-time when it comes to rushing as a quarterback. He seemed genuinely surprised of that. But anyway, other than that it's basic injury talk and things like that.

Will you guys have enough time with T Anthony Davis to go through the protocol before kickoff?

"No."

He's out?

"He's out."

Can you share anything of just what he's gone through? Was he still having symptoms?

"Yes."

Greater than initially feared after the game or--?

"Well, you can't know what it's going to be. Hard to predict."

How much do you look ahead, with the Thursday game on the horizon, for this game coming up? Do you try to rotate more than usual? Give guys fewer snaps than usual?

"No."

Regular game and then go from there?

"Yeah."    

How comfortable do you feel just knowing T Jonathan Martin has already started five games at right tackle this season?

"Yes. Feel good about Jonathan Martin."

LB Patrick Willis just posted that he had successful surgery. Do you have an indication if he'll be able to participate in the off-season program or when he might be able to get back on the field with you guys?

"No, I don't."

What about LB NaVorro Bowman? Did he meet with the doctors and did they plan the course of action for next week, practice, anything like that?

"The latest is Dr. [James] Andrews is flying into town today to meet with him."

Will that meeting result in a plan of action for Bowman as far as returning to practice?

"I think that's a good way to state it. I don't think we're going too far out on a limb to state that that would be the case."

Do you think he's going to play this year? Do you know one way or the other?

"No, I don't know."

A couple weeks ago, we saw him on a Friday doing some change-of-direction stuff. Has that been scaled back as far as what he's been doing as far as pushing it on the field?

"No, I saw him doing the same. He's done the same routine."

So there have been no setbacks that you know of?

"Not that I know of."

CB Chris Culliver has come back from his ACL injury pretty well this year. Just what have you seen out of him these last couple weeks?

"Just really competing at a high level and playing very physical, tight coverage. Got a real competitive fire, which he's always had. I just think things are really coming together for him. The health, confidence. Just everything. Tumblers coming into place. That's what I see."

Are you guys being defended drastically differently in the red zone this year than you have in the past three?

"No."

So the struggles you would say, I think you guys were around 52 percent touchdown rate last year, now you're at 39, it's more emblematic of struggles on offense with you guys, not what other teams are doing?

"Characterize it how you will, want to score touchdowns in the red zone. But, to answer your question, I don't think that people are playing us drastically differently than they did last year."

TE Vernon Davis' production has not what it obviously has been throughout his career.

"You guys are starting to sound like Perfunknik (referring to Li'l Abner character Joe Btfsplk) from Li'l Abner. The guy that walks down the street and he's got a cloud over his head. It's always dark and rainy over the top of him. So, you guys are like Perfunknik. We can go through the top-10 list of things that we could be doing better. Perfunknik." [Laughter]

That being said, it is odd that Vernon Davis has been a Pro Bowl tight end, his production is way down. He has had some injuries.

"I just feel like he's ready to break out. I really do. You use the old olive jar analogy. The olives are packed in there real tight and you open up the lid and you can't get any to come out. You can even dump it upside down and it doesn't come out. But if you get that one to come out, then they just want to all come out and plop out. So, I think that's the case and I think it's going to happen soon. Hopefully this weekend. Get that one big one and then they start coming out." 

Do you, as a coach and as a staff, how do you keep from harping on the things that you aren't doing well, while staying positive about the things that you are doing well? How do you balance that when you really try to self-analyze what you guys are doing?

"Well, we're just after trying to get a mile per hour faster every day. Better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today in all phases of our football team, individually, collectively. That's our aim. Like the NASCAR boys trying to get a mile an hour faster. It's just Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, I get to come in here and see Perfunknik." 

Do you have any staff members who are Perfunkniks?

"No, we don't." 

They're all positive?

"Relentlessly positive." 

I have, I guess, an open-ended question. You rank ninth all-time in career rushing yards by a quarterback.

"I do?" 

Yeah, congrats.

"I did not know that."

Yes, you do.

"That's positive [Laughter]."

Nice feather in your cap.

"Ninth all time?"

Ninth all time. Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young was third. He has theorized through his experiences, he said his ability to run delayed his growth as a pocket passer. I'm asking this, obviously, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and QB Colin Kaepernick are going to be on the same field Sunday. Can that be an issue for mobile quarterbacks? That their feet can bail them out sometimes and so, therefore, their growth as a pocket passer can be delayed?

"He's growing and growing and growing as a pocket passer. I think he's one of the most dynamic pocket passers in the game of football today. And he's one of the most dynamic runners. "

What was your experience like?

"Pretty mediocre. For me, personally?"

Yeah.

"Yeah, I was mediocre. I was a mediocre player. Kap's a great player. That's a big difference."

Ninth all time, though.

"See if you can spread the word on that. Try not to keep that to yourselves. See if you can kind of get that out there a little bit." [Laughter]

You repeated it like four times.

"Well, I don't want to carry my own water. Humility would prevent me from doing that. Just see what you can do. Spread the word."

How is DT Justin Smith doing?

"Great."

He's starting to take Wednesdays and Thursdays off. Is that just a concerted effort to keep him fresh? Why do this when you didn't do that last year, for example?

"Well, he's not taking them off, that's for sure. He's working extremely hard. We're monitoring the practice reps that he has and doing what we think is in the best interest of a player and the team, as we always do."

Was there a sense that last year he got worn down at the end of the season? Why change things up? Just a normal guy getting older and you just want to keep him off the practice field as much as possible?

"Well, how's he doing? He's doing great. He's doing great. You can see it on Sunday when they play the games. This past week I thought was one of the, when you look at the two defensive tackles, [DT] Ray McDonald and Justin, the way they played, both individually and just as a tandem, it was one of the best of the year. They made plays when we were exposed, going to get a big gainer hung on us. Those two leveraging the blocks, coming off the block, making the tackle really covered up for us."

You guys listed DL Glenn Dorsey as out with a forearm. Is that a different injury than what he experienced?

"I don't know. I don't fill out the--."

Injury report?

"Yes. Thank you."

Is it something that could be a long-term type of thing, this forearm injury?

"We'll see. He was getting a second opinion on it last night so we'll see what the results of that are. I haven't gotten that yet - that information."

Has DT Tank Carradine been benefitting from Justin missing Wednesdays and Thursdays?

"Tank benefits from the reps, yes. So does [DT] Quinton [Dial] and [DT] Kaleb Ramsey's getting some reps, too. So, yes."