SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said about Colin Kaepernick at the head coach’s Monday press conference.
Q: You mentioned yesterday that the play-calls weren’t getting out of the huddle fast enough, and you had to burn a couple timeouts. Were they getting to Colin fast enough? Was he having some issues?
HARBAUGH: I think it was happening after the play got in. The plays were in good, in a timely fashion, felt like. Now there’s been times that hasn’t been the case. But I thought in this game they were. I thought the personnel substitutions were made in a timely fashion.
It looked slow on those particular plays, the calling of it in the huddle and then the breaking of it. Getting up to the line of scrimmage, from the Pop Warner days coaches have been on you about, ‘get up to the line of scrimmage, get set., sharp, crisp, the way you break the huddle and get lined up. Shift, motion.’
That was a little slower.
Q: Is that his responsibility?
HARBAUGH: Well, I mean it’s… his responsibility, it’s everybody’s responsibility, yeah, the tempo of how you operate needs to be better.
Now it was all part of a 17-play drive, did that have something to do with it? You know, we need to be better with that. And that’s happened before… we just have to, just like your Pop Warner coach would tell you: Call the play, break the huddle, get up to the line of scrimmage, get set.
Q: Do you take the responsibility for the play-clock from him? Looked like he wasn’t even looking at the clock–you were the guy who made the timeout calls.
HARBAUGH: Yeah, that’s true. Help managing that part of it.
Q: So you tell him not to worry, that’s you handling the clock?
HARBAUGH: No, no. He needs to be aware of that and operate it and run it.
Q: That’s one area you might like to see him get better in…
Q: So what areas have you seen him grow the most in these four starts in areas we might not see?
HARBAUGH: In a lot of areas. I think he’s throwing the ball on time, I think he’s throwing it with really good accuracy. He’s operating the offense, getting us in the right plays, getting us in and out of the huddle, executing. For a guy who has only started four games now, I think he’s doing it at a pretty darn high level.
Q: It seemed there was one pass Kaepernick threw that could be called off target – the one to Crabtree near the end zone.
HARBAUGH: The shake route, yeah.
Q: Were his other throws pretty much on the money?
HARBAUGH: Right. Missed on that one by maybe a yard or so. There were a lot of throws he made that were pinpoint.
Q: What about the short pass to Vernon Davis? It seemed there was some heat on it that Vernon had trouble with.
HARBAUGH: Yeah, that was pretty well covered. That third and long situation – even if you complete it, you’re only going to get three or four yards. But he was under some duress there.
Q: Should Randy Moss have made that catch in the end zone?
HARBAUGH: Yeah, that would have been a… It was a great throw. He had some adversity trying to make that catch (laughter). There was some adversity involved there.
Q: You’ve noted that he’s been throwing the deep out really nicely. Do you see defenses playing that a little bit more?
HARBAUGH: Yeah, those windows are starting to tighten. We’ll have to continue of doing a good job of seeing what defenses are trying to take away and go through his reads. Go though his film study and that will all be part of his progression.
Q: How has he doing in that over the last few weeks?
HARBAUGH: Good. Good. He’s really good at that. I think what you see is what he is and who he is. He is a very focused guy. Very locked in. I would call him a man of enough words. Just kind of the facts. You talk about things, you ask questions, he gives you the details and the pertinent information. But there’s no fluff. He’s really about football when he’s here with us.
Q: Robert Griffin III got hurt yesterday. Do you tell Colin that you don’t want him to take that many hits? Maybe don’t run the ball that much because you don’t want him to get hurt?
HARBAUGH: Those kind of guys are unique guys. They have a little bit more callus built up. Like a big toe would have, like a foot would have if it runs a lot. A lot of callus on the bottom of that foot. Or a guy that works with his hand a lot. RG III, Colin, they got a pretty good callus of running the ball and knowing how to run the ball.