Harbaugh says Jenkins “needs play time.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Sunday afternoon. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.

 

You got four receivers back and added two on Friday. Why add two receivers to the mix when you were already going to be getting all those guys back today?

“Well, we were hoping that we would get guys back today and that it would kind of flip a little bit. The numbers were so low on Friday, down to like four guys that were practicing. And we were hopeful that we’d get some more guys back today. We brought the guys in for a workout, it was really good and we decided to sign them.”

 

Is it tough to get all those guys reps when you have I think 12 guys are out there today or whatever that number was, 11 today full practice?

“Yeah, 11 full practice.”

 

Is it tough to get those reps for all of them to really get a good look at them?

“Well, we did have a lot of reps and we spread them around the best we can.”

 

WR A.J. Jenkins returned to the field today. What did you see out of A.J. and how is he coming along?

“Well, he was slowed by not practicing. And he needs reps. We’re looking forward to him getting those this week, and in the ball game as well. He needs time. He needs play time.”

 

Do you guys have a rule that if you’re not practicing the week of the preseason game you’re not going to play in that game?

“I’m not aware of that rule.”

 

He seemed to suggest that he needed to get back today if he wanted to play on Thursday.

“Well, he does. He needs the reps. But, I’m not aware of any rule like that, no.”

 

With WR Austin Collie and WR Lavelle Hawkins, they have NFL experience. Was that I guess a bonus for them, a plus for them, because you look at a lot of the receivers and they don’t have tons of game experience?

“Yeah, I would say that’s a bonus for them.”

 

When you saw them in the workout, what jumped out about them to you?

“First was the way they were catching the ball. All three of the guys were really doing a good job catching the ball from three of our quarterbacks were out there throwing, including [QB Colin] Kap [Kaepernick]. So, it was good.”

 

How will you determine who will play how much and how will that process play out this week?

“How do we determine it? We think about it, and then determine it.”

 

Do you know that today? Or will you work on that this week? Or will the coaches decide on Wednesday? Or when will you start, I guess hardening that plan for Thursday?

“Yeah, we’ve already started to talk about it.”

 

Do you know if there are any vets who will definitely be out this preseason and won’t play at all?

“Yeah, I anticipate they’ll be a few.”

 

You don’t want to say who those are yet?

“Not at this time. [LB] Patrick Willis. There you go. Patrick won’t be playing on Thursday. I’m not going to go through the whole list though.”

 

Have you had any contact with CB Eric Wright since CB Chris Culliver went down?

“The organization or myself?”

 

The organization.

“I believe so.”

 

What is the plan with him? Have you had an opportunity to have him come in for a physical?

“We’re assessing. There’s a process. Won’t really lay out the plan right now.”

 

Do you see him in the team’s future?

“Again, don’t have the crystal ball. But, there’s a process.”

 

How much further along is RB LaMichael James in this training camp as opposed to a year ago when he was a rookie?

“Great improvement. Vast improvement from one year to the next. You talk about it, and you say that usually players from the end of their first year to the start of their second year have the chance to make the greatest amount of gains that they’ll ever have in their career. Just like college players who are freshman that go from their freshman year to their sophomore year. LaMichael’s a real, living example, current example of that. And it’s noticeable in all areas.”

 

He said he’s added 10 pounds from last year to this year. Where has that 10 pounds, where have you seen that on the field in his game?

“I’m not sure that I specifically see the 10 pounds.”

 

Like in the way he’s running through the tackles, or the way he’s pass protecting? Those types of things?

“Yeah, those have been improvements. He’s improved his technique, his base, in terms of pass protection. His knowledge of the scheme. I think I said technique. But, yeah there’s been a great improvement there. Great improvement in his vertical running, his insert between the tackle. Running, his returning, the way he catches punts and kickoffs now, you look at him as a trusted agent back there to field punts and kickoffs. That’s been a lot of time on the jugs. A lot of time catching balls from punters. There was a time there when him and [asst. head coach/special teams coordinator] coach [Brad] Seely and [special teams asst.] Tracy Smith were doing 20-30 minutes of jugs after practice. And that’s where I see the improvement. I wouldn’t ring it up to 10 pounds as much as I would that day-in and day-out work ethic that he’s shown.”

 

Will he get the first crack at punt returns on Thursday?

“Yeah, I would anticipate that.”

 

I noticed that during offensive drills you very often go into the huddle before the play happens. What do you do in the huddle?

“Give the play to the quarterback.”

 

So, you tell them what play they’d be running at that time, as if you were on the headset at a game, that kind of thing?

“Yes.”

 

I have a kicker question. K Phil Dawson talked about obviously he’s played in a lot of inclement weather during his career in Cleveland. Is that appealing, obviously he’s just very good. But, was it appealing to you guys that he’s had that experience and is not going to be too daunted by Candlestick?

“Yeah, that and his whole body of work through his career and he’s been a consistent high 80s in terms of percentage making field goals. And he looks very, very good all through camp. Coach Seely feels he’s the same guy that he coached in Cleveland. So, feel really good about that.”

 

When newcomers come into the squad like a rookie or undrafted free agent and they see Pro Bowler or All-Pro guys ahead of them on the depth chart. What do you say to them to try to get them going for the exhibition season to win a spot on the roster?

“I don’t say much to get them going. They’re self-motivated guys. I think everybody understands that this is, less than 2,000 people make an NFL roster, a final cut down roster, what’s at stake and what it’s going to take taking another man’s job away from them..”

 

How’s your adjustment to the iPad playbooks gone?

“Good.”

 

Have you had experience with those before?

“No.”

 

What’s the advantage of having them that way as opposed to the binder stuffed with paper?

“Not to get into an argument about binders, or paper or Ipads but, the biggest thing is video. You get the video on the Ipads. These guys can walk around and download today’s practice and be watching it wherever they are. Back at the hotel or sitting in the cafeteria eating or in the training room. They can watch video more often than they would otherwise. That’s huge.”

 

No drag time right?

“It cuts drag, sure. It gives the opportunity to, if they find some time off and they just want to chill, get the iPad out and start watching some football video. It’s really good. It really creates an around the clock ability to be in football.”

 

Did you have to be convinced at all to change?

“Now I could see that was happiness. I could see how happy that would be to be able to watch football all the time. We do a lot of practicing, a lot of meetings. But, this gives the more opportunity for football.”

 

What were your impressions of S Eric Reid today–?

“Sometimes guys complain about, ‘what do I do with my down time. I have nothing to do. I’m just sitting here staring at the four walls. Where do I go, what do I do?’ Get out the iPad and start watching video. That’s how I chill now. Sit on the couch and watch the Ipad.”

 

At home or?

“At home, at the office. It’s really good.”

 

What were your impressions of Eric Reid today working with the first team?

“Good. There’s been rotations in there. [S] C.J. [Spillman], Eric, [S] Craig [Dahl] have all gotten a chance to be with the first team. It’s come around to Eric to be in there and get him in more and get him reps. So that’s taking place now.”

 

Any early impressions of CB Carlos Rogers this camp so far?

“Good, good, good. Same guy, doing well.”

 

What are your expectations for him this season? How important of a guy is he for that defense?

“Very important.”

  1. Can’t wait until Thursday night. All eyes on Jenkins I imagine. This is exciting. With the new veterans added….it’s going to be a battle royale.

  2. Grant,
    The topics of the questions were not solely about Jenkins, but I get it, AJ has been the flavor of the week so far.
    AJ is becoming a central figure in TC. He was our #1 pick last year, and (because of Crabtree’ injury) is in position to earn the #2 WR spot.

    The question now is whether he is hungry enough to go after the #2 position or be content to becoming an enigma.
    It’s all on him now.

  3. While I am a big fan of Jim Harbaugh’s, I sometimes wish he spoke more like his big brother John. Except when praising his players, Jim’s answers and responses are perfunctory, terse, and antagonistic. Some times he is outright snarky even when responding to the most innocent of questions.

    1. If you were dealing with some of these reporters, you would probably be the same way. Just be glad we no longer have to hear .I’ll have to look at the tape.

    2. I love his answers. For example how will you answer such a foolish question, one that is not well formed, one that sounds like coming from a 4 year old?

      “He said he’s added 10 pounds from last year to this year. Where has that 10 pounds, where have you seen that on the field in his game?

      GREAT ANSWER “I’m not sure that I specifically see the 10 pounds.”

      After Jim’s answer the individual asked the right question and was given a better answer. I think some of these reporters lack a command of the English language and therefore and unable to express themselves well enough to elicit the right right response and Jim knows this and tries to vent his disgust by giving a terse or literal answer (i.e I will answer in the same fashion as your question because it does not make any sense, so can you re-formulate?)
      Anyway, I find his answers OK. Ask a meaningful, sensible question get a meaningful, sensible answer.

      1. Naco, before you take a shot at anyone’s ability to use the English language, you should find a period and use it. It’s incredibly hard to read a thought that isn’t punctuated.

  4. It seems like Jenkins does well in non-contact drills and not so well in 11-11 full pad drills. The bad news for him is that NFL games are all contact and lots of it.

  5. Grant how has D. Dobbs looked so far. He has been a practice and exhibition game warrior the last 2 yrs. I have a feeling he will have to shine in more than practice games and special teams this yr or we won’t see him in 14

    1. seems like niners have dropped the practice of trying the defensive guys on offense..at least I have not heard of dobbs playing tight end or tukafua playing fullback

  6. Grant

    If you haven’t seen the Parcells tribute program on the Network, check it out. It might help you to understand Coach Harbaugh’s sideline behavior, and the real value in it.

    1. When I read that I literally LOL’d… When he’s on your side you love him for it… If not..?? Let’s just say I’m glad he’s “our” coach… Best signing in two decades IMO : )

    1. Packers have confirmed that LT Bryan Bulaga is out for the season with a torn ACL. Rodgers was already one of the most sacked QB’s in the league last year. This doesn’t bode well for them.

      1. Wasn’t Bulaga their best OL? The Pack’s flip-flop-sides bondo-patch plan for the OL was already questionable, and I think Bulaga was the centerpiece.

      2. Yes he was Brotha. With his injury reports are that they will probably have rookie David Bakhtiari playing one of the tackle spots with Marshall Newhouse (currently at RT, but played a lot of LT last year) playing the other.

    1. Brotha:

      What was the point of the article other than to provide a vehicle for Lowell to take a couple of passive aggressive shots at Harbaugh? The elder Mr. Cohn isn’t half as cute or clever as he thinks he is. And while I thought Grant’s anti-Harbaugh piece was agenda driven, he at least had the stones to be up front with his criticism.

      1. No Jack I’d say CB is pretty accurate with his description of the article. LC is an excellent writer and always has been, but much like Grant oozes bias when he writes about certain topics (Jenkins, Harbaugh), you can easily sense within a couple of sentences that Lowell is writing based on his dislike of the way Harbaugh conducts himself with the media.

        If somebody wanted to do a true comparison of Harbaugh vs. Walsh then Harbaugh would win hands down because he accomplished a lot more in his first two years than Walsh did in his. No I’m not saying Harbaugh is a better Coach than Walsh; I’m saying it’s a silly comparison to make at this point and LC makes it because it’s one of the few ways to poke at Harbaugh the HC instead of Harbaugh the guy in the press conferences that he doesn’t like. When one is arguably the greatest Coach in the game and the other has been a Pro HC for two years and been to the Championship game in his first year with no offseason, and the SB in his second, Harbaugh is in good company.

      2. Jack:

        And here I thought I was just calling them as I see them. What makes you conclude that I am too sensitive?

      3. Jack,

        I consider sensitivity to mean over reacting to something that you really shouldn’t. In this case nobody has reacted angrily or bitterly, but simply pointed out the writer’s preconceived bias towards Harbaugh the aloof and condescending Coach from the press room.

        LC has made no secret of his dislike of that side of Harbaugh, he has even written about it previously. Comparing Harbaugh’s methods to Walsh’s is folly considering he is the most successful HC in the league right now with his small sample size. I understand these types of articles when the current guy isn’t getting it done, but with Harbaugh’s track record, who cares whether he’s holding a pad or sticking his head in the huddle? Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.

      4. CB,

        What didn’t you like about the article?

        It brought a smile to my face. Sure LC was pointing out that JH is quirky and a bit of a kook, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

        The article ended with a compliment to JH in that he has the team conducting themselves as winners, despite having lost the SB. Based upon history, that’s no mean feat, and I thought it was a complinentary for LC to acknowlege that fact.

        I would venture to guess the reason SB losers have such a bad record the following year is mostly due to wallowing in the pain of that loss. That JH has the 49ers behaving like winners, bodes very well for their chances this season.

      5. exgolfer:

        I don’t think Lowell meant it as a compliment that Harbaugh has the team acting as if it won the Super Bowl.

        I also don’t think he was accurate.

      6. FAKIA,

        Don’t you think part of LC’s point is that great head coaches are often a little different, and that he was contrasting the two HC’s different eccentricities?

        BTW, the article wasn’t terribly complimentary of BW’s style, either.

        At the end of the article it seemed that LC was saying that the 49ers are behaving like they won the most recent SB proves just how good of a HC JH is.

        I get that it seems that LC is no fan of JH personally, but, to me, this particular article didn’t read like a “BW was a better HC than JH, and here’s why” kind of piece.

      7. CB,

        While I can’t say for certain that’s what LC was trying to convey, here’s the line that makes my opinion:

        “If you employed that last argument about winning and losing Super Bowls in comparing Harbaugh and Walsh, you would be wrong.”

        To me, there is nothing to be read between these lines, LC is saying what he thinks. The rest of the article merely explains why LC thinks it would be wrong to say BW>JH simply because of SB wins/loss.

      8. “Forget that Kaepernick could not get the 49ers into the end zone in four plays with the game on the line. Lots of people say he should have got them in, almost got them in, would have got them in nine times out of 10, and it was a pure fluke he didn’t. It’s like he gets credit for engineering the game-winning touchdown drive.

        LC is taking at shot at JH and even Kaep. I read it as the 49ers got the accolades and self confidence
        but they haven’t yet accomplish anything.

      9. exgolfer:

        I think the paragraphs that follow the “you’d be wrong” sentence completely undercut that sentence by mocking those who supposedly act like the 49ers won the Super Bowl.

        That said, reasonable minds can differ on their interpretation of what Lowell wrote.

      10. AlbertS,

        That’s how I saw it too. There was an undertone of sarcasm in many of the points he made about Harbaugh and I certainly didn’t see the paragraph about how they are conducting themselves and some thinking they won the SB as complimentary.

        LC has made his feelings known on how he views Harbaugh’s handling of the media and it’s not favorable. That sentiment comes across every time he writes a piece like this, just as it does with Grant. I have no problem with them continuing to write about Harbaugh (like I have a say in the matter anyway), but when you make your feelings known about the way a man conducts himself in a negative way, then you have pretty much destroyed any semblance of objectivity on the subject.

      11. In general, I find the elder Cohn’s writing to be a discordant composite of juvenile petulance, nuanced insight, and well-crafted, albeit occasionally overwrought, prose (yes, E, I am aware that my criticism re: overwrought prose may be a somewhat ironical criticism for me to make). As such, I do not frequently read Lowell Cohn’s writing unless prompted to do so by a comment here. Given the discussion above, I decided to read this one, and I was pleasantly surprised by it.

        While I do find Cohn to more critical than complimentary toward Jim Harbaugh (and CK, in passing) in this piece, the criticism is neither juvenile nor mean-spirited (which is contrary to my expectations for a Lowell Cohn piece on Harbaugh). Rather, we see in it Cohn’s nuanced insights on Harbaugh’s coaching style as framed by Cohn’s knowledge of Walsh, and in that framing, we see Cohn’s concerned bemusement regarding the efficacy of Harbaugh’s decidedly non-Walshian methods. Put another way, Cohn is critical of an approach that, to use a common meme, has him “shaking his head” not because it is unsuccessful, but because it is successful even though it seems like it should not be, and because Cohn is concerned that continued success may be problematic.

        To help us see his concern, in this article Cohn prompts us to exam whether the current success is sustainable, or even “real” in a philosophical sense. However, he does so not through his usual direct sarcasm (his often bemoaned tendency to “snarkieness”), but rather through a more subtle tact. His comparison with Walsh is not a comparison of efficacy – i.e. who is the better coach – but is a contrast of fundamentally opposed coaching philosophies. And it is through this contrast that Cohn wants us, the readers, to view Harbaugh and ponder what Cohn has pondered – whether what he is seeing on the field is sustainable as a coaching philosophy, as Walsh’s philosophy was, or whether we should be concerned that Harbaugh is piloting unchartered waters, and that while everything is smooth sailing now, we do not know what dangers are lurking unseen ahead.

      12. JPN
        Interesting take. I think your description of ‘bemusement’ is what I took also, but with less implication for anything else. Just a simple contrast in styles.

    2. Gentlemen-
      Everybody’s take on this is fine even where we disagree. I actually found this one to be refreshingly light on biased agenda by Lowell and a bit more realistic view than Grant’s piece. Both have written before in ways I thought were, …what? snarky, I guess. This article contrasted styles.
      F’ing-
      My reaction to your comparison of the first two years is that its apples & oranges. Harb’s inherited a talented roster that was underachieving. Walsh inherited a kennel with only a few good mostly demoralized players. So 2-14 vs 13-3 seems a bit unfair.
      I admire both coaches. Walsh’s record is marvelous. Harbaugh’s is excellent and encouraging.

      1. BT,

        I wasn’t trying to portray a serious comparison; just stating that if you were trying to do that, then Harbaugh wins by a landslide on the first two years.

        You can debate who had the harder task, but it’s two very different situations in that Walsh had less overall talent, but he also didn’t have a salary cap or FA to deal with either. Harbaugh also got to the Championship game with no offseason in his first year. There are merits to both, but overall a comparison between the too is folly because Walsh has a history, while Harbaugh has two seasons.

  7. I don’t really care what the yardage totals are in practice. What I want to see is catches being made and for the first time it appears Jenkins did that and didn’t drop any easy ones.

    I also like the fact he is aware of the perception that surrounds him and wants to do something about it. He knows there is an urgency to make an impact and silence the critics who are referring to him as a bust already.

    I was concerned about his lack of progress, but I was even more perplexed about his seemingly passive attitude toward the importance of the challenge he was facing. With what he said yesterday I now know he understands the stakes and is ready to tackle them head on. I still don’t know if the kid will turn into anything, but at least I now know he isn’t Rashon Woods and looking forward to his next fishing trip.

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