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Jim Harbaugh talks Stevie Johnson, Daniel Kilgore, Glenn Winston

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Monday and talked about everything from Stevie Johnson's roster chances to the turf at Levi's Stadium to Marcus Martin's injury status. We've got the transcript for you.

Noah Graham

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Monday afternoon, and he had plenty to discuss following Sunday's preseason win over the San Diego Chargers. He was asked about Stevie Johnson's roster chances, and acknowledged feeling very good about it. He also talked about Daniel Kilgore's success with his line calls, and Glenn Winston's big game against the Chargers. Here's the full transcript.

Do you have an update on C Marcus Martin yet?

"Yeah, it's coming in. He had an MRI this morning and, can't go into all of the details because I don't know them all, but it doesn't appear that it's an ACL."

Two months, is that the timeframe you're hearing?

"I don't want to put a timeline on it right now. Where'd you hear two months? A source?"

It's been reported.

"Do you have a source in the medical profession?"

Somebody reported that he had a dislocated kneecap.

"I don't think that was exactly the medical term for it. What do your sources tell you? Maybe you've got better sources than I do. Somebody at Stanford University?"

Are those your sources?

"I'm asking you."

It's been reported elsewhere. I haven't reported it. Will he return this year?

"It appears that way, yes. We'll just hold off on any definitive comments."

Who else can play center? Will G Ryan Seymour and G Adam Snyder get snaps there?

"Yes, Adam can play there. [G] Joe Looney can play there."

G/C Dillon Farrell?

"He can play there."

Are you making the cuts today or will you make them tomorrow, or I should say the roster moves?

"Yeah, by tomorrow."

How many of the guys who are currently on NFI or PUP would you expect to move onto Reserve-NFI/PUP?

"I think we'll let those, as always, let those transactions speak for themselves rather than start talking about it because we'll make some transactions today, as I've been told. So, until you have a chance to talk to people face to face and individually, I'd rather not get into a lengthy discussion on that and then the transactions will tell the story."

S Bubba Ventrone left with a hamstring yesterday. Is that a serious injury?

"He does have something he's working through there, but not a serious one."

Not a season ending grade?


Anything else jumped out at you from watching the film from yesterday's game in terms of guys that stood out better?

"Well, yeah there were a lot of good things, a lot of good things. Such as? Does anyone want to ask me that? Do you have a specific question?"

How about defensively? Defensively, it seemed like there were a lot of good plays.

"Sudden change situation where the offense turns the ball over, the defense comes out with no points on the board and a heck-of-a fourth down stop. Got some good hard tackling. Playing very good as a unit. That definitely stood out in the game."

What about RB Glenn Winston? It looked like he had a real nice fourth quarter there?

"He did. He ran physical, pushed the pile. There was a part of the game where you could see that they had lost some defensive linemen to injury and then later in the game when they were not playing their starters anymore, they were thin on the defensive line. So it was an advantage for us. I think Glenn took advantage of it and it was impressive."

When you brought him in, what did he have to show you in order for you guys to give him this opportunity to be on your roster and play?

"We've seen good things in practice and he's come along with understanding the system and we wanted to give him an opportunity. Again, there was a point in the ballgame where we had an extra offensive lineman in the game and two tight ends and an extra offensive lineman and they only had three defensive linemen in the game. They didn't have the personnel really to matchup with what we were putting on the field. So, you've got to understand that as well."

My point is that he's had a pretty rocky road, starting at Michigan State and then everything that led up to that. How comfortable did you have to be just with him character-wise to bring him into the locker room?

"It's the land of opportunity. I've always thought that about California and the National Football League. He's been good here since the day he got here, as a teammate, as a person and acquitted himself well on the field. We'll see where it goes. But, he's done some very good things in the game, scored a touchdown. He was very excited about that after the ballgame and some of his other runs. So, I was happy for him."

I know you don't game plan for preseason games, but even given that, was it important to develop some rhythm with the offense in the second quarter and second half the way you did just to have confidence moving forward?

"It was a step, definitely. Improvement was made. I felt like our guys had a great week of practice and nice to have that example. The way we practice during the week carries over into the game. Good in practice, good in the games. But, it's a good example for our team and we look forward to another good really only two-and-a-half days before we play our next game."

You guys have known for about five months that you were opening with Dallas. At what point does that formal game plan get worked on and instituted?

"As always, I don't want to talk about the game plan. Do you want to know what date? Right after the Houston Texans game."

Without specifically talking contract negotiations, your depth on your offensive line took a hit. Do you reach out to G/T Alex Boone or do you just, I mean, how do you approach it?

"I answer that question the same way as we've been answering it."

It seems like we're going to be talking about the grass a lot longer. Have you been briefed on the latest? Is there anything you can tell us about what's going on out there and what you expect in a couple of weeks?

"No, no update on that. Nothing's changed. Told that after the game a more permanent surface was going to be put in and I believe they're in the process of doing that."

Do you get some input on that?

"No. As [Santa Rosa Press Democrat columnist] Lowell [Cohn] very astutely pointed out last week, I am not an expert in grass. And he was exactly right. He made a wonderful point. Besides cutting grass, that's all I know about grass."

K Phil Dawson said it may take him a while before he ever truly knows this stadium for kicking field goals. What adjustments did you see from him this game?

"Phil would probably be better to talk to as far as what adjustments he made."

Does WR Stevie Johnson have a spot on the 53-man roster?

"As always, that probably just leads to the next guy and the next guy."

No, just one guy.

"Well, usually, if I go by past history predicting future questioning. But Stevie's done an outstanding job. I feel very good about him being on the 53-man roster, yes."

What do you specifically work on with the offensive line this week to give QB Colin Kaepernick better looks and more time?

"Just continuing to get reps, get reps at the looks that we're going to see. In a preseason game where it's going to be a short week that'll be difficult to do, but we'll attack that."

What does C Daniel Kilgore do well at center?

"Quite a few things. He's a very athletic center, good combination of strength and quickness. He's got a quick mind. He's done a very good job with making the calls and understanding the system. And he's on a streak of not missing a call now for ... I can't remember the last time he missed a call. It's been good. We're very pleased. Knock on wood. He's continuing to get those reps and take care of his business."

Are the calls he's making, is that just for the line's blocking assignment or is that also for Kaepernick in terms of reading defenses? Can you elaborate on the calls he makes?

"Not really, no. They mic up all these centers. You could probably go listen to what they're saying."

That's something they instituted a couple years ago.

"They did. Was it three years ago or two years ago? It's been around a while."

Did you guys worry about that as coaches of signals giving up in that facet?

"Yeah. Sure do."

So, do you disguise certain ways to avoid it?

"Not to go into how we handle that."

The change in rules, or at least the point of emphasis on the defensive side, in terms of dealing with pass-receivers, you can't [motions arms]. Does that change the way you coach offense too, in terms of what the receivers and what techniques they use? I was thinking about that the other day, watching that and what the new rules are.

"The emphasis, we'll see. Sometimes it starts out as an emphasis and then changes. We'll see what actually takes place from week-to-week."

Have you noticed anything in these games about that?

"There's been a few more flags. I've seen them start to decrease a little bit but I don't have any facts on that."


"Yeah, anecdotal, thank you. But I have seen an emphasis this preseason, yes."

Now, are they staying with it consistently or have the flags decreased because the players are adjusting or because the officials - in your mind?

"In my mind, I don't have any facts. I'm just up here guessing right now. I'm telling you I don't know. I'll tell you we'll monitor it, we'll see. I think that's probably the best that I can say for the information that I have. Leave it there. Otherwise, I'd just be guessing."

So when can I ask you about it again?

"After we played a regular season game or two, sure."

Do you like the increased emphasis or does it slow down the game?

"No comment, really. It's the same game to me."

RB LaMichael James' blitz pickup was a big part of that scoring drive. What kind of steps have you seen him take since coming into the league in that part of his game?

"He's definitely improved. He's always been a tough kid. He'll always stick his nose in there. Amount of reps and technique and fundamental and coaching and seeing it, he's improving."

Little bit of a surprise knowing he has an arm injury. Were you surprised to see that knowing that he's coming off that injury?

"To see that he protected?"


"No. He probably changed his technique somewhat. And he adapted, he adjusted."

Have you guys made a decision on who's going to start alongside LB Patrick Willis at inside linebacker?

"Probably won't announce that today. [Defensive coordinator] Vic Fangio's very - maybe you can get it out of Vic."

If we can't get it out of you then we're not getting it out of Vic.


Any techniques we can use to get it out of him?

"I don't know. Maybe you can get it out of Vic."

We'll tell him you told us to try and get it out of him.

"No, I didn't say try to get it. I said you maybe you can get it out of Vic. Not coming out of me."