SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium after the Broncos beat the 49ers 34 to nothing. Here is a transcript.
Q: Last week you said your guys got pushed around. Did that happen again today?
HARBAUGH: Didn’t think we executed well enough in any area today. I’m sure we will see some good individual play, but, as the units go, there might have been a kickoff return that was a nice job. Offensively, I thought the offensive line was good. The running game was good, OK. The passing game, we’re turning the ball over too much. We need better timing, better accuracy. We’ve got to get better. It’s going to be an important week for us. It will be a big week. We need improvement and we need to make decisions on who we’re playing. We’re not going to keep experimenting. We’ve got to tighten this down fast.
Q: Are you concerned about what you’ve seen?
HARBAUGH: It’s off. It’s off right now. It’s definitely off in little correctable ways. That’s what I see. I feel like we can get it corrected. I think we need a great week. We need to get better in all phases. It’s a guy here or a guy there. We’re taking turns with it. Can’t really pin it on one spot right now. Believe it will be a big week for us, an important week to make strides.
Q: What did you see from Blaine Gabbert?
HARBAUGH: Right now in terms of a backup quarterback, it’s simple. It’s whoever doesn’t turn the ball over. They’re turning the ball over. All of them have. There is nobody to elevate. Whoever doesn’t turn the ball over will be the backup quarterback.
Q: Will you bring in another backup quarterback?
HARBAUGH: No. We’ve got good quarterbacks.
Q: Gabbert didn’t push the ball downfield very much. Was he just executing the game plan?
HARBAUGH: The throw was a deep ball that got intercepted, I think Quinton (Patton) could have turned earlier. We’re off. It’s that kind of off right now. It’s little. It’s correctable. But it shows up. That’s football. It punishes mistakes. It rewards execution and precision. That’s where we’re off right now. We’re not a precise team. Our precision isn’t there right now and we’re being punished for mistakes.
Q: Did Stevie Johnson sustain an injury in the game?
HARBAUGH: No, not that I know of. No.
Q: Was the plan not to play the top receivers much?
HARBAUGH: Yeah, they didn’t play a lot. But Stevie had a nice route where he got open. We missed that throw, didn’t have the precision that you’d like to see. That’s where we need to improve. That’s the difference right now.
Q: Any indication of how serious Antoine Bethea’s concussion is?
HARBAUGH: No, not the level of it.
Q: Is Carlos Hyde OK?
HARBAUGH: Carlos is good. We brought him out of game but not for any physical reason. And he ran well. He had a run where he really stuck it up in there. He did a nice job. I thought Bruce Ellington had a heck of a good game. There are going to be things to point to. There are going to be guys that played well individually. To sum it up again, team. There needs to be more precision in all phases.
Q: What did you see from Chris Borland and Michael Wilhoite?
HARBAUGH: Saw some good plays. Again, we will look at it very closely and I think we will see some good individual play. I think we will see overall us playing as units — it needs to be a heck of a lot more precise. We’ve got to drill down now and see who we’re playing with and see who can rise to the challenge this week.
Q: Will you look to play Justin Smith and Patrick Willis in the next preseason game?
HARBAUGH: I think it’s on track for that, yeah. They practiced this week. We held them out, wanted to see another week of practice. Ian Williams is another example of that.
Q: Is Gabbert’s confidence OK? Is that an issue?
HARBAUGH: No, I don’t see that at all. Like any quarterback, there are going to be good days. The precision right now though is on the unit and that’s where I see it needing to get better. I’m just straight-up honest with you — I don’t put it on one guy. That’s what we’re going to be attacking, so you’ll know what our goal will be this week — it’s the unit playing team offense. Precise. No penalties. Zero defects in penalties or missed assignments. We’re off in that area. We’ve got some defects there. We’ve got to get better.