Jim Harbaugh’s Wednesday press conference transcript from Youngstown, Ohio, courtesy of the 49ers.
How was the walk through back there? Seemed like old times being back in the parking lot?
“Yeah, very familiar.”
Are the buses a new addition this year?
“Yeah, that was, Lou [Pezzola] added that.”
Who’s Lou? Help me out.
“Lou’s one of our security personnel.”
So he came up with that one on his own?
“Yes he did.”
It’s obviously a unique setting to hold practice typically, but in conditions like this with rain having come down just a little while ago, is it a little slick out there? Do the players worry about that? Or just a walk through and everything’s fine.
“Didn’t hear any concerns or see any slippage.”
Do you practice outside today regardless of the weather?
“I wouldn’t say regardless. There’s an indoor building that we’ll have access to, and we’ll make that decision.”
What’s the biggest challenge in keeping this week the same or similar to what you would have if you were back in San Francisco?
“The challenge, see how much you can get out of a day. We have today; it’s a new day. We’re extremely excited about it. How much we can get out of today as it relates to preparation for the Jets game. Don’t know that there’s any rule that it has to be exactly like it was when we’re back in San Francisco or even similar. Challenge is to see how much we can get out of today.”
What’s your reaction to all of the fallout given the end of the Monday night game and there’s been, from the President on down, everyone has weighed in on the replacement refs. What’s your reaction to what you’ve seen in the last few days?
“I don’t really have a reaction to it or feel a need to be another person to weigh in on it.”
With that being said, do you manage a game differently at all when it comes to the replacement officials, the challenges or anything like that?
Obviously, CB Darrelle Revis isn’t there, but they have another good cornerback in CB Antonio Cromartie. What do you see from him as far as his ability?
“Outstanding ball skills. Very aggressive. Talented, prototypical type of corner. Big challenge for us.”
What about their wide receiver WR Stephen Hill? Did you meet with him before the draft? And if so, what did you think of him at the time?
“I thought a lot of him, as you know, could picture or imagine, there are a lot of good players that are in the draft. The odds are they’re going to be playing against you. You have one pick. Other teams have quite a few picks. I think he’s a very good player.”
He seemed like a very unique guy, size, speed. Are they using him in that way and kind of just sending him downfield and taking advantage of that speed?
“Yeah, he’s been used and productive and doing a good job with it.”
What kind of leadership has CB Carlos Rogers provided your secondary since he’s been here?
“Very good. Consistently good. His approach to how he goes about his business, how he takes care of his business, both on and off the field. A lot of the times, you say, ‘a guy’s been consistent,’ but he’s been consistently good.”
Do you think he’s helped out with CB Chris Culliver’s development as well?
“He’s been a great teammate with, I would say, Chris and others. We have a really good group of veteran guys. You are just aware of it, that our young guys follow their lead because it’s a great example. With our team, I don’t know if we’ve ever pointed this out, I think we have, but when your best players are your hardest workers, it’s an outstanding thing. It’s one of the best things we’ve got going for us.”
When you guys came here last season, you were coming off a victory in Cincinnati. This one you’re coming off a loss in Minnesota. What is the mood been different this week with guys here that you’ve noticed?
“I think when you come off a loss, you want to get back to work and make darn sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s the mindset we have every day, including today, to work on that mindset in preparation for the game on Sunday.”
What sort of jumps out when you look at the Jets and prepare for them and what kind of football team they are?
“Very good, physical football team. Very aggressive team. One that you have to be well prepared for. It will be a great football fight on a big stage. A great place to play. All those factors and more.”
Have you noticed the closeness? Last year you talked about how you learned something about your team and the players learned about each other. Have you noticed that again this year?
“Yeah, we’re noticing it.”
Anything pop out?
“Any anecdotes or stories? Not an anecdote or story at this time.”
QB Alex Smith has really worked the short and intermediate routes and he’s talked about learning as he’s gotten older as a quarterback, take what the defense gives him and not necessarily forcing things down field. How has he done in that regard this season?
“Done well. Done very well. He’s playing at a very high level. None of us are 100 percent on all of our decisions. No player, no coach. I’d say he’s operating in the “A” category.”
Could you just talk about WR Mario Manningham? He’s from this area, obviously. Just how he’s developed as a player and how much you expect from him and his role.
“He’s a part of our team. He’s been a contributor in every game that we’ve played. Just has a knack, has a savvy, very talented. High character guy that makes plays. He’s fit in real nice here.”
You know one thing about the Jets, obviously this season, is them getting QB Tim Tebow. How curious are you to see how they would use Tim Tebow in Sunday’s game?
“More than curious. You have to be prepared for it. That’s our job.”
You mentioned the leadership on the team and how your hardest workers are your best players. Have you seen something different from them this week coming out of the loss? Did DT Justin Smith say anything? S Donte Whitner? Anything like that from those guys?
“Just their usual approach. Their belief is in work and in preparation and they go to work in what they believe in. I’ve seen what I’ve always see out of them. Consistently good in that regard.”
How has LB Aldon Smith come along from the decision making standpoint or the run-pass diagnose, and dropping and setting the edge and doing all the things that he wasn’t necessarily asked to do last year?
“Very well. I’ve commented on it. Pretty much every game that he’s played this year, that he’s been one of our top performers on defense. Doing a very good job.”
That swing pass to Minnesota WR Percy Harvin was very effective for the Vikings in that game. What should have been happening to kind of combat that one play?
“It was a breakdown on our part. We’ll work to get that rectified.”
As a full program, how far ahead are you than maybe last year when you here when you were a first year coach and didn’t have the offseason stuff, things like that, coming here this week?
“Farther. I don’t know the percentage of it. I think we’re farther along”
Any conversations with the Youngstown State University staff since you’ll be going their today at all? I know you’re busy, but any conversations with those guys at all?
“Yeah, I look forward to that. Seeing coaches and staff that we met there last year, and look forward to talking some football. Congratulate them on their great start.”
Are you going to see your dad this week? Is he going to come down?
“No. I’ll see him next week or the week after.”