SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the 49ers’ red zone offense.
Q: In the past two games, seven trips to the red zone but only two touchdowns. What has been the problem? Execution? Play calling?
HARBAUGH: “There was a couple there where I really thought we were going to knock it in. The last drive, I really felt we were going to knock that in. Tamba Hali made a great play. We were at the 9 yard line. He cut the fat, skimmed the edge, went straight to the running back and got Carlos Hyde at the line of scrimmage. When you talk about pursuit, that was pursuit at the highest level.
“And then the next play call was mine. I really felt, if he was going to pursue like that, then we could run the quarterback keep around the edge. And Tamba played it different. So that hurt us on that last attempt to really get the ball into the end zone. He played it different. Kap made a spectacular effort of not losing too many yards. I got outsmarted on that one.
“And then, thought we made a really good throw and had a chance for the touchdown with Anquan. We were attacking. We were calling and executing the plays that we thought would get us in the end zone.
“Earlier, go back the first drive, we called the reverse pass. Anquan Boldin does everything great. I mean everything great. But there is a tendency when you’re throwing a reverse pass, or halfback pass, for the back or the receiver…they forget that it’s a run-pass option. I should have done a better job coaching that and alerting, “Don’t forget to run if it’s there.” I’ll do a better job of coaching that.
“Something happens to the mentality of football players when they’re in that…if they’re a receiver or a running back and they call for the halfback pass, come hell or high water they’re throwing the halfback pass. If you call a reverse pass for a receiver, come hell or high water it seems like they throw it.
“Anyway. Could have done a better job coaching there.”
Q: Michael Crabtree was open on that play, wasn’t he?
HARBAUGH: “He was. He was open for a quarterback that is into the game, loosened up, that will make that throw on the run. I don’t think he was open like he’s open for a receiver or a running back that would make that throw. That’s just something I’ve noticed back to Pee Wee football. Whether it’s Pee Wee or high school or college or even pro football, come hell or high water they try to drop it in there on a dime.
“Anyway. I take responsibility.”