The San Francisco 49ers had their last practice of training camp on Friday. Jim Harbaugh met with the media, and had plenty to discuss. We got a little bit of insight into the instant replay process the team uses. We got to hear about the backup quarterback position. We got a minor update on Marcus Lattimore's recovery process. We even got some quick comments about Aaron Lynch. Here's the transcript.
On a side note, the 49ers will hold one more open practice next Wednesday, but otherwise are closing their practices the rest of the way.
When we got back we found out about LB Blake Costanzo. What happened to him for the season-ending injury?
"I don't know if it's season ending. I don't think it's that serious. Something with the knee."
So, he was placed on Injured Reserve. That's something he could return? The thought is right now he could be back later?
"I don't think it's a season-ending injury. Again, I hate to talk and then be wrong and then get criticized for not having all the information."
You talked about the backup quarterback job being up in the air still.
"Well, I didn't really say that. I was asked that question and I said, ‘There's jobs up for grabs'. My comment was speaking globally as a team."
Is that job up for grabs?
"There's a lot of jobs up for grabs at this point. Nothing is set in stone, but very pleased with the job [QB] Blaine Gabbert's doing."
There won't be any different order in which the quarterbacks come into this game on Sunday?
"No, I don't anticipate that."
Do you anticipate QB Colin Kaepernick playing more than he did the first game?
"Possibly. It's going to be the same plan going into this game."
Does the fact that you guys got so much work ones versus ones after the game in the three joint practices, do you take that into consideration when you want to put together a plan how much the starters are going to be playing in the exhibition games?
"It could but it really hasn't. It's independent of that. I suppose you could factor that in. Every guy's different. I can't just say the starters are playing this amount or the starters on defense are playing this amount or certain backups are playing this amount. It's more individualized to each player, each position."
Will you guys be suiting up in that locker room or are you going to move into the stadium locker room?
"Game day will be in the game day locker room."
So, all 90 guys will be in here the first time on Sunday?
You've showed it off to them before already? The locker room?
"I'm sure all of them have seen it, yeah. And already are starting to use it. Some are using it, yeah, they've used it throughout the camp."
There's the treatment facilities in there, that's another way they can use it, right?
"They've evaluated it as a good nap place at times. Guys that are tired in camp usually start looking around in every room they walk into they evaluate as a place to take a nap if they have a little time."
What's that going to be like playing here for the first time, 70,000 [fans]?
"Be very exciting. Very exciting for the players, very exciting for everybody."
Are you telling the team anything different in case they might be overhyped or feeding off the crowd or anything like that?
"No, no. Nothing significantly different than another game. Hope they're excited, hope they're hyped, hope the crowd's hyped. I think they'll be very excited. I think they'll have the excitement and the energy, yeah."
Another Gabbert question: As you may have gleaned, his performance was criticized last week. Is that criticism fair? I guess, what was your overall takeaway of how he played?
"Made a couple very good throws, missed a couple as we said right after the game. Think it was a good first step. He's continued to compete well. I thought he did in the game and he continues to do that in the process of the preseason, of the training camp. Feel good the way he's coming along."
What do you like to see out of FS Eric Reid and S Antoine Bethea now, just how that's coming along so far through camp and how that new partnership is working out?
"I think it's coming along really good. I think our safety play has been very good. Has been in practice and in game. I'll say that for [DB] Jimmie [Ward], [S] Craig Dahl, [S] C.J. Spillman. They're playing very well as a group."
When LB Aaron Lynch was drafted, you said he'd need a good structure. You were pretty candid about creating a good environment for him, guys he can look up to. How has that gone and how has he done in this structure?
"He's done well. That process is well in place. I feel like he's doing a good job. I enjoy being around him, like the way he practices. He's continuing to learn how to be a professional football player. Taking the right steps."
Have you seen an increase in his strength since he's been here?
"He's a very strong guy. He's continuing to work on that - get really fit, get in great shape. It's coming, it's coming along. He's eating better. He's doing the things that create really good habits and lead to being a young captain in the Marine Corps. He's coming along."
Was eating, I don't want to say an issue for him, did you and the team encourage him to eat more to kind of gain more mass since he got here?
"Fat is the enemy of speed. His body fat, we're trying to bring it down."
What's the latest on RB Marcus Lattimore?
"He's doing well. There's been gains, but that's where we're at. Not quite there yet."
Is it at the point where he hasn't stepped on the field with pads on in such a long period of time that he's almost destined at this point to start the season on NFI (Non Football Injury List)?
"I wouldn't make any assumptions at all. He's making gains every day. Reports are going well. Nothing to elaborate deeply on."
Have you watched him in rehab and what are your thoughts on just how he's moving?
"No, I haven't seen personally, but I was talking about it today with [49ers head strength and conditioning coach] Mark Uyeyama and [49ers vice president of football operations] Jeff Ferguson and got a good report."
With his new role, is tight ends coach Eric Mangini still someone that you're going to consult with on replay challenges during games?
"Yes, and there's others. But, Eric's a go-to guy on replays. [49ers defensive coordinator] Vic Fangio's been very good in the past and [49ers offensive coordinator] Greg Roman as well."
How tough is it to go through this camp, now finishing up I guess this part of camp, without clarity about what's going to happen with LB Aldon Smith? What's the challenge been like for you and your staff managing that?
"We control what we can control. A lot of things that challenge us, we think about those first."
Do you feel like it's a challenge of managing his snaps or getting other guys more work?
"It's a process. We've said that all along. It's a process that's transpiring. It's in its final stages. But, the process that we're looking at is Aldon. Now, this month, this year and the rest of his career and on after that. I'm pleased and proud to report that things are going extremely well. He's doing what he says he's going to do and that's the opportunity that we were all hoping that he would take the reins on and do a great job with. I'm proud to report, so far so good."
Will you be dumping a bucket of ice on your head anytime soon?
"Yes. Yeah, I'm very excited about that. As usual, late to the internet party on that. Twitter and Instagram, etcetera. I always seem to be behind, not on the cutting edge, cusp of those things happening. But, I've heard about that. I'm not taking [Seahawks head coach] Pete Carroll's challenge though. I've got another challenge with him. But, I'm looking forward to doing that and I know just who I'm going to challenge. Now, I get to challenge how many people?"
"Okay. I was going to challenge [CSN reporter] Matt Maiocco, [San Francisco Chronicle writer] Eric Branch, the Cohns, [Sacramento Bee writer] Matty Barrows, [San Jose Mercury News writer] Cam Inman, [ESPN.com writer] Bill [Williamson]. That's more than three. [49ers.com reporter] Taylor [Price]. How about we - I'll just challenge the San Francisco beat writers. How's that?"
"And President Barack Obama."
He's been challenged.
"Has he already?"
Did your brother challenge you? Is that the challenge?
"And I challenge George W. Bush. President Bush."
Did your brother John challenge you?
"Apparently, yeah. Apparently I'm just finding this stuff out. The trending things, I'm just never right up there. Speed on the trends. Apparently he did."
What's the other challenge you've got going with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll?
"I think you know what that is. The big one."