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49ers vs. Chargers: Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick, 49ers transcripts

We've got a full set of transcripts follow the 49ers win over the Chargers.

Thearon W. Henderson

And here we go! The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their second home preseason game, which means we get one last set of preseason transcripts. During the season, the 49ers provide post-game transcripts of Jim Harbaugh and the players after home games. The home team generally handles transcripts, so I don't get them for road games. There is not usually a ton in them, but there are a few interesting nuggets.

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - August 24, 2014
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

What did you see from the first offense today?

"Some good things. Moved the ball. Thought our precision was better offensively, defensively and in special teams."

It looked like QB Colin Kaepernick was under a lot of pressure. G Mike Iupati gave up a few of those. Does that concern you, that the pass protection, or lack thereof, today?

"Well, I know we got edged on the one. Then the second one, they got us on a twist where we got hit and fumbled. Go to work on that. Got to be good in that area."

You switched around the composition of the o-line some times in the first half. What was the thinking behind that?

"What are you referring to?"

G Adam Snyder was in at right guard for a bit then he was in at left guard and then C Marcus Martin was in at center. Was it just to get guys different looks with the first-team unit?

"Yeah, it really wasn't that dramatic. We were rolling some guys in."

You said the precision was better. Give specific examples to your eye that you saw that.

"Just productive plays, execution. Had some plays that were cleanly blocked. We had some passes thrown and caught and the runners were seeing the holes. Just all eleven playing together in a more precise way. Thought it was better today. Good week of practice. Was confident that it was going to be better this week because of the way our guys worked during this past week."

You were referring to some positives you saw. Did a lot of those positives come from that fourth drive?

"Throughout the game I just thought we were executing better, getting in and out of the huddle. There was no pre-snap penalties and the execution was better. We improved. That's what I was referring to."

With specifically QB Blaine Gabbert, it looked like, obviously, he put together a good drive there at the end of the first half?

"Thought so, too. Thought he was getting the ball out on time. Thought our quarterbacks were more accurate this week and there was improvement made."

How about defensively? It seemed like the defense was fine. They're looking a lot better than they have the last two games. With the addition of DT Justin Smith and those other guys, what has that meant to the defense?

"Playing much better. We definitely weren't getting pushed around. People were playing their responsibility, executing their assignments and playing as a unit much better, I thought."

Speaking about improvements, TE Vance McDonald has been contributing offensively in this preseason. How much really of a step forward has it been, including in this game, for him?

"He's had a great camp. Vance has had a tremendous offseason, great camp, catching the ball very well. Big improvement, I think. Everybody has a lot of confidence in Vance. He's a go-to guy."

Can you tell us your quarterback plans for the last preseason game? Will Colin play at all?

"Yes, he'll play."

The other guys will all play too, or no?

"We'll go into it like we have these other games."

Colin took a fairly significant hit running one play. Would you like to see him try to avoid that in the preseason? Can he avoid that?

"He's playing football. Yeah, would like to see that be avoided. Can't necessarily program that. Just got to play the game."

What's the early indication of Marcus Martin?

"I don't know. No indications yet."

Was it his knee, though?

"That's the area, yeah. Don't have any indications of how serious."

Can you talk about RB LaMichael James' return to the field and what were your views of some of his blocking in the backfield?

"Thought he was good. Thought he was good after he knocked a little bit of rust off. I thought his course on his first two carries was too wide, but I think after that he got in there and had some good carries. And I feel good about him right now. Good to see him knock that rust off and get up to speed quickly."

Is WR Quinton Patton your No. 3 receiver?

"We don't have that yet for you, the ordering. I thought he did well."

WR Stevie Johnson didn't play with the first unit. Where does he fit in right now?

"He fits in. He was out there. He was with the starters."

The turf was a big issue coming into this game here. Your opinion on how that all worked out, were there any issues with that today?

"I couldn't tell if there were. It didn't seem like it. Players, their comments were that it was much better than it was last week. They seemed satisfied."

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed a lot of passes today. Are you concerned at all with the pass protection of the defense?

"He's a very good quarterback, no question about that. I think our defense really improved today."

What did you see from LB Aaron Lynch? In the second half, it looked like his pass rush was really impactful in that second half.

"Yeah, he got a sack. He's playing strong and he's coming along, coming along pretty darn good. Just making improvements every day, really. He's learning and he's listening, so, that's really encouraging. Got high hopes for him."

How have you felt the preseason's gone as a whole so far from what you've seen in the three games that you've seen your guys play?

"Just grinding. A lot of opportunity for us. Lot of opportunity to keep improving, keep working. Just staying after it ,that's what we're in the midst of."

WR Quinton Patton had his helmet knocked off. He had that first down. He celebrated quite a bit. Is that just great enthusiasm or is that bordering on being emotionally hijacked?

"We don't want to see that."

Was it too much?

"Yeah, I talked to him about it."

Did you feel the earthquake?

"No, I did not.

QB Colin Kaepernick
Press Conference - August 24, 2014
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

Colin, how do you evaluate today's game for the first-team offense and yourself?

"We have some things to improve on before we get to the season."

Such as?


You seemed to not have a whole lot of time in the pocket to throw even, I'm sure, on plays that you were designed to get the ball out quickly like three-step drops. What do you think the issue was?

"Execution. We have good plays, we just didn't execute."

You got hit a few times on those opening series. Is that acceptable to you or is that something that you don't mind because you are getting ready for the season?

"To me it is football. You're going to get hit."

Did you talk to your linemen afterwards and tell them not to let you get hit though?

"Of course."

In the third preseason game you said it is execution. Is this about average for how you execute in the third game or are you beyond what you usually do or maybe a little behind?

"That's tough to say. I don't know what the standard would be to say whether we are above or below that."

But you played and I don't play. I mean you must actually be aware of the standard.

"To our standards no, this was below."



Does that concern you?

"No. It's preseason."

I assume you want to play in the next game. Are you lobbying to play more to get the execution more precise?

"That's coach's decision."

You had a really good pass there to Michael Crabtree. What did you see on that play and how good did you feel about that?

"He was one-on-one backside. Like I've said in the past, I'll take that every time."

Did you see that guy underneath?


Were the field conditions better today Colin?

"Yes, they were."

How was the wind, to throw the ball in this stadium?

"I haven't noticed it very much, so I'm going to say it is good."

What happened on that first series where you overthrew TE Vance McDonald? Was it that execution, precision thing you are talking about?

"Yeah, I just tried to elevate it over a backer too much. It needs to be a little bit lower."

TE Vernon Davis
Post-Game Quotes - August 24, 2014
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

Feel good to finally get a win?

"Feels great to get a win. We've been struggling a little bit, but like I said, I like to stay optimistic about everything and I think we have a pretty good chance."

What'd you think of the first-team offense? You guys got some run up there.

"One thing about the first-team offense, once we get rolling, once we get into our zone, then it's all downhill after that. We can do whatever we want, whatever we put our minds to. But, it's just about getting in that zone. You have to find that zone and it's hard to find sometimes. I think later on, we started to gel and started to play really well together."

Do you think you've found that zone yet or not necessarily?

"It's still training camp. Still training camp. I'm very excited about where we are as a team, as an offensive unit and I think we still have plenty of room to grow. We just have to continue to keep that bond in practice and keep getting better, work on the timing and just take care of our responsibilities individually."

What positives can you take away then?

"I can say that we still have it. We're still able to come out and play together. We're still that same team that we had last year. But, we just have to keep it together, keep it tight, because if one guy, two guys fall off and they're not on the same page as everybody else, then it could be a disaster. So, we have to keep that relationship with [QB Colin] Kaepernick, the receivers have to be on the same page and everyone has to know their assignment."

K Phil Dawson
Postgame Quotes - August 24, 2014
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

Was there any trepidation about the field?

"Well, fortunately I missed two last week so my focus was solely on trying to make a field goal. So I didn't have enough room in my brain to worry about the field. Every Sunday or every game day has its challenges competing for your focus, so you just have to zero in and focus on what you have to do that day. I think we handled the situation well as a team today."

Was there any sigh of relief when you nailed the first one today?

"Oh, absolutely. It never gets old in this business. People think you've done it so long, but let me tell you it's preseason Week 3, I felt all the pressure in the world to come out and try to get some good experience in this stadium. What happened last week was not what I wanted to have happen."

If they were to use that kind of field, is that field good enough? Do you feel like it held up?

"I think there are a lot smarter people out there than me who can tell you the quality of the grass itself. I'm just amazed that it was that playable given it was put in on Friday. We'll have a couple weeks now where they can figure out what they want to do. I expect it to be better when we come back from Chicago."

QB Blaine Gabbert
Post-Game Quotes - August 24, 2014
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

What was the difference between getting that chemistry going this game versus the other game?

"I think the biggest thing is we stuck to the process. We focused on the game plan all week, got a lot of good quality reps in practice and everyone did their job. Everyone was on the same page, communication was at a high level. When we do those things, you can see the level we can execute at."

You had a good rapport going with your tight end Vance McDonald. Had you been working with him a lot like you said in the run-up to this game?

"Yeah, he's another guy that just goes out there every day with the same mindset and that's just to get better. We work on individual routes with those guys because there are so many opportunities for tight ends to be singled up on linebackers and really 1-on-1 situations. So, we kind of have to maximize those opportunities when you have a talented athlete on a linebacker."

Obviously, you didn't have a touchdown drive in the first two games. Did you feel pressure going into this?

"No, if anything I apply pressure to myself and that's just to go out there and get better. We wanted to put some drives together. I wish we would have scored on a couple other drives I was in there on, but we'll look at the tape and learn from those mistakes we had."

It looked like RB LaMichael James did well in blitz pickup. Did you notice that?

"He did a tremendous job. And there were a couple times he's 1-on-1 with the linebacker and the linebacker's blitzing the A-gap and he stepped right up, cut him down a couple times and stuck some D-linemen on some pass pro too."

RB Carlos Hyde

Postgame Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

That one run where your legs just kept churning, twisting, and turning, reminded me a lot of those Big Ten runs we've seen the last couple years.

"Yeah, I've got to give credit to the line. They did a great job, also my receivers, helping me push for extra yards."

What's it like playing on the same team as RB Frank Gore, obviously a great example of a guy who's carried the mail for a long time in this league?

"It's a blessing to be able to play with Frank. As a rookie, to come into the NFL and learn from a veteran, a guy who's already been where we're trying to get, it's a blessing to play with Frank."

What was the goal of the offense today? Obviously with those three points in the first couple games, you wanted to put some points on the board today I would imagine.

"Oh yeah, the goal was definitely to get some points this game, get in a rhythm, get things going."

What would you say is the strength of your game coming into the league? Are you looking at yourself as a blocker, receiver, runner from scrimmage; what's the strength of your game?

"A hard-nosed runner, a guy who refuses to go down."

LB Corey Lemonier

Post-game Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

How do you assess your progress from the start of training camp to where you are now?

"I think it's jumped up a lot. I think I know a lot more about where I need to be around the field. The mental part of the game is a lot easier, knowing where to be at the right time. That allows me to make plays."

What about working with these guys who have been here a while?

"It's great; that veteran leadership that they bring and coaching me up every single day. It's been great so far and I appreciate it."

How important is the amount of reps?

"Every rep is important. You have to take every rep as seriously as the next rep. That's what I'm trying to do right now."

LB Aaron Lynch

Post-Game Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

You hit the quarterback as he was getting ready to throw. Did you think you got it before he unleashed the ball, that it should have been a fumble?

"Yeah, I thought I got my hand on the ball. But, on the screen, I didn't get my hand on the ball, I just pushed the tackle all the way into him. So, that set up for our other end to come in and just nail him and it worked out for the best."

What does that do for your confidence to know you're able to get in there and make these plays right now just as you're starting out?

"It makes me happy because when I do that, it's better for the whole defense. If I can get a good bull-rush off, that sets up the tackles and the ends or the blitzing linebackers to get to the quarterback. If you know you can push the tackle into the quarterback's lap, it stops him from being able to make a pass and it helps out our DBs and it helps out our linebackers and our other guys on the defensive line."

Has confidence ever been an issue for you?

"No, I've always been the same person. I just want to go out there and play the best I can play, key in on all my assignments and just playing tough."

DT Ray McDonald

Post-Game Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

How'd you feel about the first-team defense? How'd you guys play?

"I think we did okay. We've got some things we've got to clean up. That's what game planning does. We didn't really game plan or blitz this week, but in the future we will."

San Diego went no-huddle and they were able to move the ball a little bit.

"Yeah, they moved it pretty good. [Chargers QB] Philip Rivers is a good quarterback. They're pretty good at the skill positions. Their offensive line is pretty good. And they did what they do. They're a good offensive team and they played well. Hats off to them."

Feeling good about your team's defense? A couple weeks away from the opener at Dallas.

"Yeah, I am. Feel real good. Like I said, there are some things we've got to clean up. That's what we've got these next couple of weeks for and we'll clean it up."

DT Justin Smith

Post-Game Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

Was the goal here to feel what it's like to win and also get no injuries?

"I don't think you really have goals like that. You go out there to play football. You don't go out there not to get hurt or anything like that. So, just go out and play and I think we played pretty good for the first part."

Your first game and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said you played 32 snaps in the preseason last year. How much do you need and how much do you want?

"It was a good start right there. I'm thinking about Dallas and I think most guys in here are. So, good tune-up and we're ready to go."

How much of a read do you get from a game like this with you and the veteran D-line intact for the first time today?

"A little bit. We'll go back and watch the tapes, see what happened. Overall, we felt pretty good about it though."

DB Jimmie Ward

Postgame Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

How did you feel?

"I felt good. At first I felt tight a little bit, but as the game went on I felt loose."

Tight physically or just tight like you were nervous?

"Just tight physically."

And that loosed up as it went along?

"Yeah, it loosened up as it went on. The more times I played, the more comfortable I got. So, I think I did a good job."

How do you think the first-team defense did?

"I think they did real good. A couple plays were made, the defense got pressure on the quarterback."

What was the grass like out there?

"I didn't have any problems with it. I don't know if anybody else had any problems with it, but to me it felt good."

What's it like to get the ball in your hands? You had the interception and almost a fumble recovery.

"Oh yeah, you should've seen my enthusiasm on that play. I was just too much in it and I tried to celebrate with my team a little bit, but I'm just glad to make a play."

It was a tip, another tip and then a catch?

"I have to give credit to the D-line and also to [CB] Dontae Johnson because I believe Dontae Johnson was the one who tipped it. So, I congratulated him on that, but I still was able to make the play."

How do you think you've grown in the role of nickel back?

"I think coach [defensive coordinator] Vic [Fangio], coach [secondary coach Ed] Donatell and coach [assistant secondary coach Greg] Jackson did a good job of pampering me a little bit because of my foot injury. But, now since I've been back, (CB Perrish Cox) P-Cox was the other nickel back, he's been helping me out a lot. I think film study, because before this game I was watching a lot of film and I think that helped me out too. So, I think good coaching and a lot of film."

LB Michael Wilhoite

Postgame Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

How was it to get some sort of momentum against the run game early?

"It felt good because honestly in my head we had played that play a couple times in practice, and [LB NaVorro Bowman] Bow kept telling me to play a little different and shoot the gap. I did and so it felt good. And, not only for me to make it, but to make it with [LB Patrick Willis] Pat, it was even better, because I've seen him and Bow make so many plays together in the past two years. It just felt good to share that excitement and share that play, whether it had been Pat or Bow, but especially with Pat."

How was Chargers QB Phillip Rivers able to move the ball efficiently against the first team defense, even the front seven? What comes to mind, how was he able to do that?

"What comes to mind for me is the few plays that I didn't do well. On the play I let [Chargers TE Antonio] Gates catch the ball on me, I felt like I should have cut that out or undercut it better."

You didn't think that was a fumble, it looked like you forced it out?

"They didn't call it a fumble. It was a good catch by him. He held onto it but I felt like I should have played it better and got it out. Another play that sticks out to me is the run they had for I think 15 yards. I should have stayed outside. It's the kind of stuff where if we clean that up, we'll be fine, we'll be right on course. But, those are the little things that separate good teams from great teams. We'll eliminate them and become a great team because of that."

LB Patrick Willis

Postgame Quotes - August 24, 2014

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

What was the energy level that you wanted to see out of that front seven?

"Really just go out there and play no matter that situation. I think for the most part we did that, with the exception of a couple of plays which could have been my fault. That's what we wanted to do. We finally had a chance to have our guys back out there and really just showcase a little bit of our defense. Granted, as I said, it wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better than it has been."

You and LB Michael Wilhoite came up with a great third-down stop. You've played and started with him before, but is that communication just seamless with him?

"It is. It's easy to communicate with Mike because Mike has played both the ‘Dime' and ‘Mike', and he's also played the ‘Jack' and ‘Mike' in the base defense that we have, so when things get hectic or things get a little crazy, we can talk to one another and we can play whichever spot that calls for the moments."

I know it might be different this season, the defensive front, but QB Philip Rivers, in his three drives, really was able to move the ball. When you look at the film, what are you going to be looking for defensively, how you can stop him, because he was 9-10 today?

"He got some check-downs in there too, if you add those in. But I think for the most part he completed passes. He's a good quarterback and there's going to be days like that, going to be games like that, where quarterbacks complete some downs, but you've just got to fight until the end. Our biggest thing is that we don't want to give them anything, whether they drive the length of the field or not, we just want to give them three points or give them nothing. Like I said, we've done alright, but then we gave up some big plays in there which we have to correct and get better, but it just felt good for us to all be back out there again."