Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
TE Vernon Davis, is he going to be ruled out, questionable, what’s his status?
“Questionable for the game.”
Along with the others? Anybody ruled out, any of those guys who haven’t practiced all week?
“[C] Marcus Martin.”
The rest of them are questionable, like TE Vance McDonald, CB Tramaine Brock and T Anthony Davis?
“Yeah, I don’t know exactly with the rest of them.”
QB Colin Kaepernick showed up on the injury report yesterday with a back issue. Did that arise just from practice or was that lingering effects from the game?
“He just had a little issue he was working through in practice. Practiced well.”
That showed up yesterday? The first time that he mentioned it to you?
“I think we report everything. I think that’s the standard. Pretty much anything that somebody says they have or needs treatment for. My back’s a little tight, too [laughter].”
Put yourself on the injury report.
“Add myself to the list there. Full, I was full, though. I was full.”
He took a nice hit from Bears DE Jared Allen in that game to his back. Is that the source of his back injury?
“I didn’t hear him complain about anything the day after or the day after that. Still hasn’t complained about anything, but got some treatment.Practiced every day. Full.”
When you look at Arizona, and even the games that you’ve played against them recently, are they one of the most physical teams you do come up against and are they right now?
“They are. Definitely a physical ball club. A very good ball club in all phases. They will test you defensively, special teams, offensively. You could say that they’re a strong, physical, fast team in all those areas. Big task for us in the return game, as we know, [Arizona WR Ted] Teddy Ginn. Their special teams is outstanding. Big task and challenge there. Their offense, they can run, they can throw, physical up front, receivers are outstanding. Excellent in that regard. Defensively, best pass rush we’ve faced. Secondary is as good as any you’ll see, aggressive. Defensively, in terms of where their mindset is and what they are schematically. All three phases, they’re a real good football team.”
You mentioned special teams. You guys lost some veterans from your coverage units. How have those units performed? Have the younger guys who’ve stepped into those spots been doing well?
“Yes and really a chance to grow and get better, too. Not finished products but they’re really competing hard and playing very aggressively. Excited to run down on kickoffs and cover them and on punts. Excited about being the one to possibly make the tackle. That’s good to see. I thought our special teams played real well against Chicago, and you hope to take another step this week. And we’re going to need it. We’re going to need to be at our best this week.”
On Monday you mentioned that you’ve got to get up from the canvas. Have you noticed that from your players? Have you noticed any kind of extra motivational level from practice or from meetings this week?
“It’s just been good. It’s been a good week. And you always hope that that translates to the ball game. The ball club’s been good. They prepared hard and worked very well this week.”
The Cardinals have announced that Cardinals QB Drew Stanton will be the quarterback. Do they change much offensively when they go with their backup?
“As I said earlier, they’re both good. They both look very similar dropping to the pocket, throwing from the pocket. And they run very similarly. Two quarterbacks when they escape the pocket and buy time in the pocket and move the chains with their legs. They look similar in doing that as well.”
What’s your reaction to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s just announced plans to develop better policies to handle domestic abuse in the league and how will this impact the 49ers?
“Well, that’s a good question. I didn’t hear the press conference. Just got off the field. I’m sure it was good.”
Without telling you what he said, in 30 seconds or less, he basically plans to develop new policies and so forth and take it more seriously. He admits that he made a mistake, didn’t take it seriously, that type of thing and he’s going to be partnering with domestic violence organizations and try to cast a wide net to get input to develop better policies. Do you embrace that concept? Do you think that it can make a difference? Do you think it’ll help the 49ers?
“Yes. We are always looking to improve, always looking to be better. I’ve heard Mr. Goodell’s previous interviews and I share that viewpoint that there will be an opportunity for good to come for more awareness, for mind searching and policy that really is good for all involved. That has the ability, objectives, to be deterrence. Positive, positive things where we can grow and become better from it. I think we all have the ability to come up with those kind of ideas.”
I know you’re not an owner, you don’t have a vote on this. Just from a guy who’s been in the league for a long time, do you think Roger Goodell is doing a good job as commissioner?
“I do. I’ve always thought that.”
You would vote for him if you had a vote?
“I would. I’m a supporter.”
Is the DT Ray McDonald situation still a matter of your gathering information or is that entirely in the legal authorities’ hands now? You’ve mentioned facts and information consistently. You’ve been consistent with that. I assume that was partly the team gathering some information?
“Yeah, as it comes in. We’re not an investigator, as you know. When that information comes in, I knew that – I didn’t know this – but I had a feeling it was going to take some patience. There’s a process to it.”
Given there were so many teammates at the party, according to all reports, has anyone on the team talked to every single player or a bunch of them about what happened that night?
“To the authorities?”
The team itself. Did someone on the team ask the players what happened?
“The authorities have, I know that. They’ve interviewed. And I believe they’ve interviewed all of our players or personnel that were there. And that’s really about as much as I know, [San Jose Mercury News columnist] Tim [Kawakami].”
Did you have any reaction to the information that came in last night that the San Jose police disclosed about the May incident involving Ray and his fiancé?
“Once again, as I’ve told you from the beginning, I’ve never been the one to come up here and tell you what happened, how it happened, because I wasn’t there, didn’t see anything. Anything that I would be telling you would be what I hear from somebody else. Hearsay, as they say. I thought it better to not interject myself into it, mainly because I don’t know. Don’t want to purport that I do or influence in any way.”
I think one of the NFL’s things today was saying that they want all of the team personnel to go through domestic violence and abuse education. Have you guys gone through any of that yet or is that going to be forthcoming?
“Have I gone through that?”
Just the team?
“In terms of the symposiums? They’re probably referring to there is more and better ways to do that. Be very much for that.”
I know you don’t talk comparative to the past very often, but this team has had some big regular season games, a lot of them on the road. I’m thinking maybe the game at Seattle where WR Michael Crabtree made the play in your first season. St. Louis game last year. Is there something about the emotions of playing big games on the road where it’s almost good for a team, maybe, that’s taken a shot that you go on the road and you’re by yourselves? Do you feel any of that?
“You got to play good on the road to be successful. That’s part of it. You’ve got to be good at home as well. Are there positives? Probably, yeah. My old coach, [former Michigan head coach] Bo Schembechler used to really drive that home to the squad. We were going into Iowa City, Iowa, and it would be, ‘65 players and 15 coaches and that’s all we got. And that’s enough’. I believe in that. Tighten down the circle, and it’s just you and you’re going against an opposing, hostile crowd. There’s something there. But when it all comes down, there’s still 11 of them and 11 of us on the field at any one time. As a team, you’ve got to like those odds and I know our team is excited to play anywhere, anytime, anyplace.”
Do you give those kinds of speeches?
“Not as well. Not as well as coach Schembechler.”
What have you seen from TE Derek Carrier? If he needed to play a larger role with the injuries at that position, how confident are you that he’s ready to do that?
“Confident. The team’s confident in Derek. He played well the other night. He’s a good player. Confident.”
When you saw TE/LS Kyle Nelson score those touchdowns in that preseason game. Did that encourage you that this is a guy who in a pinch could step in and play tight end for us if we needed him?
Did that influence that decision to go with him over former 49ers LS Kevin McDermott?
“No, it did not. (pause) It could’ve a little bit.”
So it did?
“I don’t think it did. I thought he just earned the job. He did the best job at that job, being the snapper. Could it have added to the excitement? ‘Hey, this guy’s got the ability to also play tight end’. It might have a little bit. It added to it, maybe. Put it that way. It added to it. But he won the job as the snapper. Am I making any sense? Smooth it out for me, please.”
He had a nice tackle the other night against the Bears.
“Yeah, great tackle. Heck of a play.”
He seems to bring sort of a, more of a rough and tumble aspect to that position than maybe his predecessors did. Would you agree with that?
“No question about it. He’s a snapper that’s also like a third gunner. He’s got that kind of athletic ability. And you don’t find that often in snappers, because their number one job, and the job that’s more important and matters, paramount, is snapping the ball firm and in the right spot. To be able to do both of those? That’s quite a thing.”
Would you risk him playing tight end in a game if you needed him there, risk not having a long snapper for a stretch of the game?
“As I said, anything is possible. You always like to have those options and have your opponent think that there could be any option available.”
Do you have a backup long snapper?
Who is it?
“[TE] Vance McDonald and [C] Daniel Kilgore.”