Harbaugh: “We’re focused on winning a football game.”

Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

 

Any trouble keeping guys focused this week on the game rather than looking ahead to the playoffs or looking into all of the playoff scenarios? How do you do that?

“No. No, they seem very focused.”

 

Is this a good game in that the Cardinals are a playoff-caliber team and it’s a nice warm-up for the playoffs, given how good they are?

“It’s a football game. Your words have no meaning to me whatsoever. I mean, it’s like 180 from how I would think of it. Big game.”

 

They could finish with 11 wins and not make the playoffs. What’s your stance on that? You might have three teams from the NFC West that are playoff-worthy, but not making it. Do you like the way the playoffs are setup now? Do you think that it should be looked at in another way?

“Well, players, coaches, don’t control who you play, don’t control where you play, when you play. The thing you control is how you play. We have complete control over that.”

 

S Donte Whitner talked yesterday about how it seems like he takes a lot of pride in really adjusting how he hits to make it, to do it the right way. Have you sensed that he has that kind of conscientiousness about making sure that he strikes where he’s allowed to strike?

“Yes.”

 

How difficult is that to do for a guy to adjust the way he plays that for so many years?

“I don’t know the percentage of difficulty, but he’s done a very nice job of it.”

 

Do you almost think that he should be held up as the guy that does do it the right way, what the NFL wants?

“I think he’s done a very good job. He’s a top-flight player. He’s having a great season.”

 

Is there any updates on WR Mario Manningham at all?

“No. Doctors are, he’s consulting with doctors. We’ll do what’s in the best interest of his career (The 49ers placed him on injured reserve this afternoon). He’s got input on that. It’s really a conversation between doctors and Mario at this point.”

 

Is it a residual from last year’s injury?

“For me to talk about it, I’m not a doctor. To tell you what level of last year or this year, if it’s something different. The doctors and Mario are the people to talk to about that.”

 

Has he re-damaged the ACL?

“Again, the doctors or Mario would be in a better position to comment on that than I would.”

 

He’s out this week though for sure?

“Yes. I don’t foresee him being in this week.”

 

Playoff-wise?

“We’ll see. I don’t foresee him being in this week.”

 

They’re going to announce the Pro Bowl players later today. Are there one or two guys on your team that don’t get a lot of recognition that you would like to see recognized in this way, they don’t get as much recognition as some other players in the league?

“Recognition. Comparing recognition. We’re focused on winning a football game. Think that’s the greatest share of what the guys care about. That’s the mission.”

 

I’m not asking you to compare anybody. I’m just asking you to give somebody some praise that might not otherwise get it.

“And I answered your question. I think our guys, our particular players here that you’re asking me about, their mission is to win and their concentration’s on this football game. And I’m with them on that. I think that is the most important thing.”

 

Is TE Vernon Davis the kind of guy even-keeled, so whether he has a good game on Sunday or a bad game on Sunday, you wouldn’t be able to tell in practice with the way he goes about his business? 

“He takes great pride in his own personal performance as well as the team’s performance.”

 

Donte was saying yesterday that this is a chance for you guys to get another hard, tough, tough win on the road. It sounded like he was intimating that that’s what might have to happen in the playoffs. Do you feel the same way? The, ‘look, we’re battle-tested on the road and this is another time to show that?’

“It’s our next game. It’s a big game. Again, you don’t control where it is, when it’s played, but you control how you play. We have complete control over that. So, yeah, it’s a great opportunity to play the game and play well. Got a really good chance of winning. You don’t play good in this league, probably not going to have a very good chance of winning.”

 

Has that been your message to the guys this week, that what you can control is how you play, not where or what?

“I don’t think there’s been one message.”

 

Even without FB Bruce Miller, your running game’s looked real strong. What’s your assessment of the running game now without Bruce? You’re going up against the number one rushing defense this week.

“Yeah, a big challenge. The task will be hard, like it is every week. This is only for the tough.”

 

How would you say you compensated without Bruce? Bruce is obviously a big part of that running game.

“Yes, Bruce was and will be again.”

 

How well would you say you’ve compensated without him?

“I think our guys are excited for the challenge that you talked about. Players that will be filling in for Bruce are more than up to the task.”

 

Do you sense that this game meaning any more to WR Anquan Boldin? It’s his first game back in Arizona since he was traded.

“I haven’t had that sense.”

      1. Someone once asked Randy Cross if Bill Walsh was tense in the days leading up to the Super Bowl (not sure which one).

        Randy said something like “you couldn’t pull a needle out of his a** if you tied a rope to it.”

  1. If the 49ers beat the Cards this weekend, what a huge shadow of doubt that must put in the minds of all the Cards players. We will have beaten these guys so many times that serious psychiatric therapy will be required!

    17-14, last second FG by Dawson seals it.

    1. Willy T blocking will be like the parting of the red sea and Gore runs right on through for a touchdown. VD will avoid being poked in the eye and score for another. A 90% Mr. Crabs will haul in yet another. Give Dawson a field goal, and your score will be 24-14 Forty Niners….

      1. In my experience, playing with a visor is harder. It’s a lot like playing with a surgical mask on. Harder to catch wind until you’re use to it. Just my experience.

    1. Couldn’t agree more,

      I thin there was 1 Legitimate Question at of all the Goobly Gobb

      And it actually pertained to the game Sunday against the Cardinals…

      “Even without FB Bruce Miller, your running game’s looked real strong. What’s your assessment of the running game now without Bruce? You’re going up against the number one rushing defense this week.”

  2. Grant what do you think about Frank Gore being selected to the Pro bowl! Yes this is the same tired, old Frank that if you take away his big rushes during the season his average rush per attempt would be less than ideal. LOL, Grant are you going to give him some love now?

      1. Frank has respect around the NFL, just not with some in the media and even some fans. Grant hasn’t been the only one. Def CoOrds are selling out to stop him. He gets the Pro Bowl vote. Other teams’ players don’t talk smack about Frank. Frank gets all his bulletin board material from the media. He’s been using that as emotional fuel for at least 3 years now. I guess it helps his worn-out legs.

        1. He has fewer rushing yards than Tiki Barber, Eddie George, Corey Dillon and Ricky Watters, to name a few. Those guys aren’t in the Hall of Fame.

      2. Every last one that you mentioned all of something in common: they all had tapered off in their skill set and were no longer a key component in their respective offenses. Gore hasn’t despite being the only offensive weapon the team had for most of his career. Gore is a future Hall of Fame RBC Grant, and after he wins the Super Bowl this season there won’t be any debate about it.

      3. Ricky Watters absolutely belongs in the hall of fame his inability to shut his mouth during his career is keeping him out. Conversely Gores attitude and willingness and ability to block will be the difference in him getting in. Grant if Gore gains another 500 yards where will that place him on the all time list?

        1. Between Thomas Jones and Tiki Barber. Not Hall of Famers. Fred Taylor rushed for 11,695 yards. Edgerrin James rushed for 12,246 yards. Are they Hall of Famers?

      4. Craig/Davis had under 8400 yards and were both semi finalists. Gore will pass Dillon in yards next year and has one more Pro Bowl. The fact that he came into the league on two bum knees, dyslexia and carried the 49ers for a number of years is something I would take into consideration. His football knowledge, his running style. He runs lower than any back I’ve seen, and he has some of the best feet in football. Another 1000 yards next year, Super Bowl ring and I think they will have to strongly consider him. If Gore had only called his running play during the last three downs of the Super Bowl, and Kap listened, he’d be going for another ring…..

      5. Fact is there are so many good players deserving of HoF consideration each year it will be hard for Frank to get in unless he keeps going at around 1,000 yards a season for another 2-3 years (around the 12,000 – 13,000 yards mark, which would get him in the top 15 of all time). Otherwise it’ll be hard for non-49er fans to distinguish him from many other candidates.

        Chances are he’ll have one more year with the 49ers, and his amount of carries might start going down in 2014 if Lattimore and Hunter are fully healthy. I’d love it if he was somehow able to keep going at a good rate for another 2-3 years, but age and salary cap are likely to see an end of his 49er career after 2014.

      6. If the selection criteria were based on stats and rings then no. But if it was based on perseverance, leadership, heart, character, big play capability, he’s a first ballot hall of famer!

  3. The last few weeks it seemed coach had loosened up a bit in his pressers but he was in wicked lock down for this one.

  4. It wasn’t Grant. That’s not his style. Sounds like someone who isn’t a Niner beat writer or someone from Phoenix looking for bulletin board material…

    1. “That’s not his style” I made the same comment about the questionnaire awhile back not knowing it was Grant, and it got nuked….

    2. “Consider this game against the Cardinals a dress rehearsal for what the 49ers will face in the playoffs.”

      From Grant’s next column.

    1. You could also be describing Bryant Young.

      Loud mouth, self promoting Warren Sapp is in the HoF, Young is not. Yet looking at their careers, both are probably deserving of that recognition.

  5. The key to Frank getting into the HOF is a Super Bowl ring. For some reason the HOF voters are fixated on SB rings. For example Franco Harris would not have even sniffed the HOF without his 4 Rings even though he was a great RB.

    Other than Thurman Thomas, I cannot think off hand of a HOF running back without a SB ring. And Thomas was a special case any way because his team made it to three straight Super Bowls. They gagged all three but at least they got there. As the saying goes: It’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all..

    1. It was actually four straight, still the only team in NFL history to not only play in four straight, but lose four straight…the only offensive playmaker missing from the HofF from those Bills teams is Andre Reed, and he’s definitely more deserving of the Hall than Michael Irvin, who has something Reed doesn’t: a Super Bowl ring (three to be exact)…it’s a damn shame, too…

  6. There’s nothing about the Cardinals that concerns me. I just watched their games against the Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Eagles, and Titans on NFL Game Rewind (condensed version of course) and there’s nothing special about this team.

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