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Jim Harbaugh talks Dontae Johnson, Lawrence Okoye, Daniel Kilgore, Perrish Cox

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Where is CB Chris Culliver in the protocol?

"Right on schedule. Should be good to go."

Has he gone through the --

"Final?"

Yeah.

"[Nods]."

So, would CB Perrish Cox be the starter on the other side?

"Well, no sense to say exactly what our next plan would be."

Do you a sense a difference in Perrish Cox this year versus previous years?

"He is always somebody that is excited about football. He's one of the guys that stands out the most to me, whether it's in practice and especially in games. A guy on the sideline who is most excited, most like it's he's on the playground. Excited to play the game of football. It jumps into my mind like that, like it's recess, playground, you know, really fun to play the game of football for him. He's very excited about."

He obviously bounced around various rosters last year and he said he didn't want to do that anymore and that's why he went into this season with a renewed focus. Has that been apparent to you guys this year?

"Well, he's just always been a guy, everybody likes him. Everybody likes Perrish. All players like him. All coaches like him. He's been a real good individual and good teammate. And what you're talking about, he's playing really well. He's done that all through training camp and practicing very well right now and that's a good thing."

You guys have had some run-throughs but this is the first real trial in the new Levi's Stadium. This is it, the first big game. How are you guys feeling about it? Do you feel like the energy of the new stadium is going to be a boost to the team?

"Very excited about it."

Give me a little more.

"What would you like me to give you? You tell me what you want me to tell you and I'll help you out. We'll save each other both time."

Sure, no, just, I mean, how are you feeling about it? You know, this is the first, the big day?

"Very excited. Very excited about it."

What about the grass?

"Good. And we're going to take [Bay Area News Group writer] Cam Inman's suggestion, as he so astutely pointed out, gives us this opportunity to go practice on it tomorrow. We're going to hold a practice in the new stadium tomorrow."

You guys don't usually practice at stadiums the day before.

"No, we do sometimes, but it's not a habit to. We didn't at Candlestick. That was a lot farther away. We changed the routine quite a bit. And we never did. We never did practice at Candlestick the day before the game. Sometimes, on road games we had practice at stadiums. The majority of the time, though, we've not. I don't know what that says."

K Phil Dawson and P Andy Lee have been over here practicing, obviously, a lot since training camp.

"And we had three practices in the stadium and two preseason games."

Have they had a chance to kick off this new grass since it's been installed?

"Yes."

And the reports back were?

"Positive."

Noticeably better than the old turf here?

"Their reports were positive."

You talked about [inaudible] CB Dontae Johnson when you were recruiting him. Is he kind of the same guy once he got here? Is he the same guy you remember?

"No, I mean, that was four years ago. Certainly got that now that I'm with him daily, so now I feel like I really know him now compared to when we were going through the recruiting process. There's nothing not to like about Dontae. Noticed that, a very smart, young man, good heart. I like being around him. There's just nothing not to like about him. And now, being with him every day, could say that's who he is."

Were you relatively confident he could handle that situation he was thrown into last week?

"Relatively confident? I was confident in him, yes."

LB NaVorro Bowman said that he's been sprinting now for a couple days. Have you been watching him?

"Mhm."

What do you feel about how he's progressed since that surgery he had in February?

"Good. I must admit that maybe there's a time I'll look out the peripheral vision and see them doing their workouts on the turf over there. It looked like he was moving pretty good, so that was very positive. His attitude is great. Every time you ask him about it, he feels like it's progressing well."

How have you been handling this issue, the domestic violence issue, all the conversations that have been going on with the NFL? How have you been handling it with the team?

"We've been working on football. And how we handle ... what our conversations are ... I don't think is for public consumption. I think everybody is learning. Everybody is more aware. Is taking the opportunity to be aware of domestic violence. Just how many people it affects. Just see what we can do to grow and learn. And that's really what the conversations have been about. Hopefully we'll be better for it not just as a football team but as a society."

Question about DL Lawrence Okoye. Do you still view him as solely a defensive lineman or is your mind wide open to maybe switching him over to the offensive line?

"It's wide open. The objective is more football for Lawrence, and he's taking reps as an offensive lineman and as a defensive lineman. So, he's really doubled his work in practice and I think that's a real positive thing. His attitude has been open about it. Just more is more. That philosophy that more is more, is what we're applying here, that belief. I'm excited about it. I'm excited about the way he's attacking it as well. I think it's got a chance, it's got a chance. If there's a chance, why not try to investigate that?

What do you mean by he's got a chance? He's got a chance at the one specific--?

"He's got a chance to work. He's got a chance to work. And if it does then you want to see if it can be given a chance. And also he's playing more football. As a defensive lineman, he's learning what an offensive lineman has to do and vice versa. It seems like a good idea. It seems fundamental to give it a chance and we'll see how it goes. As I said, I like the way he's approaching it. His approach on it, his angle of approach, his attitude toward it has been very good and positive."

What'd you see from C Daniel Kilgore in his first start? What were the pleasing signs from his performance?

"Some very good play. Athletic. A couple of very physical plays. He was mentally ... that's the first thing that you look at with the center just in terms of just making calls and assignments and communication is so important. And I think he did very well. And now going into his second game there are things that he can grow from, too, and make improvement. That's another of our objectives this week. But very pleased with the way he played."

Is G/T Alex Boone ready to go back into the starting lineup?

"The team's had a very good week of practice this week. I feel like they've really, they're attitude, their angle of approach this week has been A-plus-plus. And then you hope that transpires to the game. But it usually does. More times than not that how you play in practice is how you play in the games. Accurate in practice, accurate in the games. Fundamentally sound in the practice, fundamentally sound in the games."

Does that mean Alex Boone's practiced well?

"I'm talking more of a big picture team perspective. I sense I'm disappointing you now. After I mentioned how I used your idea and everything and thanked you for the use of your idea. Leaving as a disappointment I can tell. Guess this is probably the time to end it, huh?"