SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said Friday about Alex Smith’s injured middle finger on this throwing hand.
Not committing a turnover has been a big emphasis for this team and QB Alex Smith after being stellar in that last year, four interceptions in the last two games. What do you most attribute that to?
“Well, we had one game that was out of our character, out of his character. It was just a bad run there in that game, led to three of them. But, it’s all on us. It’s a team thing as well. The situation that you’re in. We all take responsibility for that. So, it’s not attributable to one thing. I think there are several things that you can attribute that to. But, I believe it was a one-time thing. And you never say that in football because anything can happen. But, for the most part our offense was moving last night. We were gaining the field position advantage. Got it early. We gained it late. But, we were in a better situation in this particular game, in terms of field position, than we were in the previous game. And there were a couple drives where we stalled and got a three and out. But, especially when we had the good field position after the big punt return by [WR] Ted Ginn [Jr.]. We had the ball at mid-field and before the half we would have liked to have converted that for some points. One of the throws … it’s not impossible to throw the ball when you’re helmet is turned and you’re looking out the side of the ear hole. But it makes it a lot harder. And it was amazing that that ball wasn’t intercepted, because that’s hard to do. Not insurmountable, not insurmountable. But it’s very hard. That’s a little win though.”
Would that make its way in your notes to the league?
I’ve asked this before, you said no. But, his interceptions have coincided or come after his finger injury. Is that affecting him in any way? His accuracy? His velocity?
“I can’t say for sure. He’s not the kind of guy that would ever say it. And none of us are, that would publicly make any excuse or rationalization. So, I know him and I wouldn’t disgrace him by saying it was, publicly. I know the kind of guy he is and the kind of competitor he is.”
You’ve had that conversation with him privately?
“A lot of conversations, yeah, privately. Definitely. But, it’s good. It’s good. It’s getting better and I think we’ll have a pretty strong and healthy team coming out of this weekend and going into the game Monday night. I think we’ll be really, really in a good place physically with our team.”
If that finger was an issue you feel like this layoff obviously will give him a chance to completely heal up?
“I think it’s going to help our whole team. First, just getting rest. And just let the bodies come back. That was a tough, physical game on a very short amount of time to play it in. So, I think our whole team needs some rest. And before we start preparing for the Monday night game. I know our coaches do. And I really tip my hat to all of our coaches. After we played our game against the Giants, it wasn’t but two or three hours after the game that every coach made it into the office and worked, in some guys’ case, until 5 in the morning the next morning. Caught a couple hours sleep and did the exact same thing the next night. The players lounge was full of coaches for a couple hours, sleeping from 5 to 7 a.m. But, it was a great effort on their part.”