SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.
Q: Do you expect the starters to play a little bit more in this preseason game?
HARBAUGH: A little bit more than they played in the first game?
HARBAUGH: We won’t put any set number on it. It depends how the game goes.
Q: Is it based on feel or is there a plan?
HARBAUGH: There’s a plan and then we’ll see how the situation plays out. There’s a plan and there’s a feel as well. Not every starter will be in the exact same amount of reps as another starter will be. I’m not going to take a while to get real specific with the plan for each guy.
Q: Last year you described Kaepernick’s absorbing of the offense as savant-like. Is he still on that track?
HARBAUGH: Yes. He’s become an expert in the system. He’s the type of player who studies the game plan, studies the ready list, studies our practice tape, opponent tape and someone who contributes to the game plan and formulates ideas, asks questions, knows what everybody on the offense is doing and getting very good at understanding defenses and what they’re trying to accomplish and what they’re adjustments are. He’s still evolving and looking for ways to get better and ways he can continue to learn. He’s always eager to learn, always eager to understand and eager to have input as well.
Q: Will Joe Staley make the trip to Kansas City?
HARBAUGH: I believe he is on the list to not make the trip, but I’m not 100 percent sure on that.
Q: Colt McCoy is a coach’s son. From your experience, how has that helped him learn the offense and the give-and-take with you?
HARBAUGH: It’s been good. I’m not sure being a coach’s son or not being a coach’s son weighs into it. I can’t really comment on that. It’s a learning process for anybody, coach’s on or not, to understand a new system, new terminology. From experience knowing what quarterbacks go through, they improve as they understand where everybody is, what everybody’s assignment is without having to think. When you think about something too much then you’re not playing fast. Instead of playing ahead of the, you’re reacting to things. Like any player who’s in a new system, especially at the quarterback position because there’s more volume, that takes time.
Q: Is McCoy still in the thinking mode?
HARBAUGH: I think so. As he understands this better, he’ll be able to think less and play more. It’s a focus, lose kind of thing at the same time that allows any athlete to play his best actually when he’s thinking less.
Q: How would you evaluate Quinton Patton’s development?
HARBAUGH: Same thing, process. It’s come along very good. Even though he hasn’t been cleared to catch balls, he’s been improvising and running routes and getting the muscle memory in those routes. At times now, he’s catching balls one-handed. It’s been a positive. There hasn’t been any negatives to that. He’s doing the best he can.
Q: You said he made a good first impression on you. Has he maintained that?
HARBAUGH: Yeah, he’s somebody who has shown to be very eager mentally and physically – studying the game plan, studying the ready list, understanding the concepts, physically preparing himself every day for practice to get better and hone is skills. I think it’s been plus plus in both of those regards.
Q: What are your thoughts on Okoye’s performance? Will he get more play time?
HARBAUGH: Possible. He played six plays in the game, two were kneel downs. He didn’t get knocked down. That’s a step in the right direction. There could be more time for him this week.
Q: I’ve heard that when it comes to football personality and demeanor the field, you and Kaepernick are almost twins. Is that true?
HARBAUGH: Twins? I’ll take that as a compliment. He is A++ in all of those areas, his physical and mental preparation. There definitely is something that really drive him to be great and to be successful. We make out a goal packet every year and guys fill out their individual goals and team goals. Just for fun I went back and looked at his goals from last year. He was darn near verbatim what he achieved. There’s something special there in terms of what drives him. He lives in one of those worlds where he’s motivated for success and for achievement, not satisfied no matter how good it is. There are people who come along like that. I relate to that.
Q: Is his ability to see what he’s going to be able to do remind you of your ability to see what you were going to be able to do?
HARBAUGH: I don’t make any comparison between him and myself. I’ve said it before, I dream about football. That’s how I look in some of those dreams, the way he plays.
Q: There was a skirmish yesterday in practice. Can that help a team bond, or does that have no place in practice?
HARBAUGH: I think it’s something that has no place in practice.
Q: Is that something you need to address with the team or just the individuals who were involved?
HARBAUGH: Not to go into what the policy is now. It’s been addressed.
Q: Will those players play Friday?
HARBAUGH: It’s been handled. It’s been addressed.
Q: What’s your impression of Colton Schmidt?
HARBAUGH: He’s done a heck of a job. He’s opened up a lot of eyes. He’s a very talented young punter and kicker. The other night he made a heck of a tackle on one of the fastest men in the world. It caught the attention of everybody.
Q: Kaepernick is on the cover of GQ this month. Any thoughts on that?
Q: Do you have an idea when Eric Wright might join the team?
HARBAUGH: Not an exact time, no.