Jim Harbaugh says Frank Gore is getting better

SANTA CLARA — Here’s the complete transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

What do you see when you’ve looked at the Rams here? The last two weeks couple of close games coming off of a win before that. What kind of challenge do they pose to you guys?

“Big challenge. Have always had knock-down, drag-out games with the Rams. Expect this to be the same.”

 

They have only gotten one sack this year, and I know that can be deceptive as far as their pass rush. What do you see from their pass rush?

“That’s the strength, strength of their ball club. It’s a pass rush that can change the game. Great players. Have tremendous respect for them. Played against them before. They’re good across the front.”

 

Have they been getting close and just not getting the actual sack?

“The teams have respected it and they’re very conscious about getting the ball out quick. You see that on tape. Opponents of the Rams understand how good that front is.”

 

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher was saying how good your wide receiver corps is. It’s the best that he’s faced in the last few years as the Rams coach with you guys. In terms of all those guys that you have, how do you keep them happy in terms of spreading the ball around?

“As the guys have said, they’re concerned about winning football games and doing what’s best for the team. The great thing about, in terms of the receivers, is, pretty much every game here, they have stepped up when the ball has come to them and made the big play – [WR] Michael Crabtree, [WR] Stevie Johnson, [WR] Anquan Boldin and [WR] Brandon Lloyd this past week and then also [WR] Bruce Ellington. He is ascending, he is a live football player. All of those receivers have stepped up when the ball has come to them. We’ve had very little dropped balls. They have gotten open and made the big catch. That’s been very good for our team.”

 

Have you had any problem pumping WR Quinton Patton up at all? He’s the No. 3 towards the end of the last season and now, he’s having a tough time even suiting up for games?

“There’s nobody working harder in practice than Quinton Patton. I am really excited about that. He’s not getting down. He’s not hanging his head. Not getting his dobber down at all. He is working extremely hard, taking darn near every rep. His time will come and we’ll be excited when he is in there.”

 

Do you expect to have TE Vernon Davis available Monday?

“We’ll see. We’re taking it day-by-day there.”

 

Against the Kansas City Chiefs, it seemed like on a lot of RB Frank Gore’s longer runs, it seems like he wasn’t being touched until he was eight, nine, 10 yards down field. Did that pop out to you and is that just simply a credit to the offensive line and what they were doing?

“Yes, and [FB] Bruce Miller and the tight ends. [TE] Derek Carrier is really asserting himself in the passing game and also as a blocking tight end, [TE] Vance McDonald the same. I’ve seen something I’ve never seen in football on one of Frank’s long runs, a 15, 20-yarder, where Bruce blocked his man and then Frank ran between Bruce and the defender he was blocking, and then came out the other side. It was really something to be seen. Almost like those car racers, when they drive through the smoke of an accident. He just went right through it. No, he didn’t get touched. He was missing by the narrowest of margins. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a runner run between a blocker and a defender until now. Frank Gore.”

 

When Miller hit Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson and knocked him down? No. 52?

“Yeah, I can’t recall who the defender was.”

 

So it was because of the force of Bruce’s block?

“He just gave just enough room for Frank to get in between. As I said, it was the narrowest of margins.”

 

Does that speak to the chemistry between those two guys? It seems like they know each other very well at this point.

“That’s as close as a relationship as I’ve seen – a running back and full back. And if you can’t get along with Bruce Miller, then there’s something wrong with you. He’s just one of those great guys.”

 

Is Frank getting better?

“I think so. I really do. We’ve talked about it before. He is playing at the highest level. When you look at Frank game-after-game, he keeps doing it and doing it and doing it.  He’s done it and done it and done it. He keeps doing it.”

 

Kind of a silly thing, but FB Bruce Miller says he’s the best ping pong player on the team. That’s a new addition with the ping pong table. What does he do to sort of keep the mood light on a busy football day, just having that ping pong table in there?

“It seems to be in use every time I walk through there. It’s good. Ping pong is a very good sport. It can be very competitive. You can improve your competitiveness playing ping pong. It’s a good thing.”

 

You took part in the 2012 World Series parade with the San Francisco Giants. You’ll be in St. Louis and at the same team hotel as Bruce Bochy and his team. What did you learn from Bruce Bochy or anything, maybe, during that time that something you might have incorporated or picked up with your team?

“Well, really just like all of us fans, a great respect and admiration for their organization and what they’ve been able to do on the field. I haven’t had that many conversations with Bruce, but I’m a big fan.”

 

Will you look for him this weekend at the team hotel?

“I would love to run into him, yes.”

 

Will you go to any of those games in St. Louis?

“No, not planning on it.”

 

Next week would be the end of the sixth week, so RB Marcus Lattimore or some of the guys on the lists could start practicing. What’s the update on Marcus Lattimore? Do you envision him practicing sooner than later? Where is he in his progression?

“He’s done very well. The way we’re thinking about it is, he’d be eligible after the sixth week, he could have a week of practice and then we have a bye and then he’d have another week of practice. But the other option is to wait until after we come back from the bye and then have a 21-day period that is very similar to a training camp type of experience for Marcus. That’s the direction we’d like to go because I think it’s the best for Marcus. He hasn’t played football in a year-and-a-half and if we can simulate a good, three-week training camp period and then activate after that and turn him loose. But giving him the best possible scenario to help the football team and for him to be at his best. Right now that seems wise. The other, as you mentioned before, you start him for a week and then now he’s not doing anything for a week and then he’s doing something for the week, kind of gives you that (start-stop-start) kind of feeling.”

 

So you feel good about where he is physically and everything checks out, everything’s been fine, no setbacks or anything?

“Correct.”

 

So, that bye week would count as one of those three weeks?

“Yes. It’s a 21-day window where the bye would count in his days. Good plan you think?”

 

Assuming he checks out and goes through those three weeks, or however long it is, fine, he’ll be on the 53-man this year? Is that accurate, safe to say at this point?

“That’s the hope. That’s the plan.”

 

You had high praise for WR Kassim Osgood and he got released. Is he coming back at a future point?

“Very hopeful of that, yes. We’re going to make some mid-week transactions and we’re very hopeful that Kassim will return imminently.”

 

Rams LB James Laurinaitis was saying that he thinks QB Colin Kaepernick is seeing the field a little bit better, going to a third read more than he did last year. Is that your assessment as well?

“I put Kap, really, in the category of Frank Gore. He just keeps doing it and doing it and doing it at a very high level. We’re very pleased with the way Colin’s playing.”

 

Would that Osgood thing, transaction, would that happen today?

“It’s imminent, hopefully.”

 

Can we ask why it had to go down that way? It seems odd to cut a guy early in the week to bring him back later in the week.

“We’ve got a little plan here to try to get [S] Bubba [Ventrone] in, which he is. Bubba Ventrone is in, practiced yesterday, will practice today. We want to see where he’s at and see if there’s a possibility that he could also play Sunday. And we’ll just have to let the transactions speak for themselves. I’m hopeful of a plan working out that will help the football team.”

 

Is that someone possibly going to IR?

“The transactions will speak for themselves. Everybody we have, we want on our team.”

 

It’s kind of a rarity coach, but for a 24-hour period, you’re going to be sharing the same hotel on the road with the San Francisco Giants.

“How about that [KPIX 5 reporter], Vern [Glenn]? Very exciting. Very exciting.”

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    1. Hey definitely stared down Johnson, but the safety already broke away from coveryin MacDonald and was reacting to the ball.
      But at the same time, because Colin only sees the one read, he doesn’t anticipate the other WRs or progressions. Some QBs have a knack for seeing the game and the plays visually in their head. He’s not there yet. But hey he can run like the wind so that makes up for it, I guess.

      1. Fansince77: Thanks! That’s the kind of situation I was referring too. I remember watching past games when posters have claimed that certain receivers were open but on review saw that they were only open ( as in the situation you mention) because their defender was already reacting to the already play in progress.

        We as fans watch a play and after it concludes we see a wide open receiver and assume that they were always open. I remember fans and also announcers claiming a man was open based on the conclusion of changing field dynamics that didn’t exist when the initial options were still open. We and announcers get to view the field from a different and higher perspective than the QB. What we see is not what the QB see’s. He must look at things through passing lanes that not only restrict vision but also close off any direct flight of the ball.

            1. Fan, you say the same things over and over and over. You cherry pick the information you want and focus on only the elements that support the view you have chosen to have of Kap. Which is you don’t like him or respect him or think he should be playing QB. When you pass off your selective view of Kap as not hate you aren’t being honest. Your so convinced of your view that you don’t see it as hate, you’re just being honest and the rest of us are living in rose colored glasses. Even much maligned Phil Simms showed several instances that Kap isn’t a one read QB. Most of the rest of us have a more balanced view of Kap than you do. We know the mistakes he makes (like the one Grant shows above) and we see the things he brings as well. You are on a crusade for the rest of us to move to same place you are in your dislike of Kap. He has plenty of room for improvement and he’s demonstrated plenty of ability to win.

    2. Yeah, I saw that one during the game. Do you think McD pops open because Kaep released the ball, or was he coming open beforehand?

  1. Grant: Almost only counts in horseshoes. You could find similar examples with every QB if you nit picked their games as well. Brady had a stare down interception a couple of games ago. Show me a QB who has never missed an open receiver. Besides there are often mitigating circumstances involved. I do remember the play and McDonald being open but have not re watched the play to see the circumstances if any were involved. I do know your perception in cases like this can not be trusted. You have often spun or over exaggerated the details of a play or situation to fit your agenda. As It has often been stated ” consider the source”. You see Grant this is what happens to a persons credibility when they allow themselves to be absorbed by ego serving agenda’s.

  2. Yea, I saw that live action. Every quarterback misses open receivers from time to time. Getting back to the run by Gore coach was talking about. When I saw that run, I about fell out of my chair. It was like I wasn’t sure I just saw what I thought I did, but upon further review, it was….

  3. Yea, I saw that live action. Every quarterback misses open receivers from time to time. Getting back to the run by Gore coach was talking about. When I saw that run, I about fell out of my chair. It was like I wasn’t sure I just saw what I thought I did, but upon further review, it was….

    1. Finding and getting through little hole’s is what Gore always excelled in and that is a skill you are born with and just don’t lose. Unfortunately the line except for this last game hasn’t given him that much to work with.

  4. Gore is running better than he has since the first half of the 2012 season. The real key will be how he holds up during the last part of this season. If they can keep his carries down ( rotating him with Hyde is essential) he might not wear out towards the end of the year. That is unfortunately is what has happened the last two seasons.

    You see Grant- I think some of the other posters were wrong in jumping on your case about Gore using just the results from this early in the season. The key as to Gore’s effectiveness lies in his durability and that is one aspect that is affected by age that still remains to be seen. He does seem like he is on a mission this season.

  5. Grant,

    You can’t be serious. The DB covering McDonald came off in response to CK throwing to the other side of the field. CK may well have locked on to SJ, and that’s a fair criticism, but why embellish an otherwise legitimate critique with a outright fabrication?

    Maybe you’re going to play the “take away the fact that CK had already committed to throwing the ball to SJ when VMcD started to open up, and you can say that CK missed VMcD in the endzone” card.

      1. No he’s not. That’s a 3 step drop and throw situation. McDonald hasn’t even made his cut at that point. As has also been pointed out, he was open after the ball had been thrown and the Safety had dropped off.

        That’s a slant all the way and it doesn’t work because there’s no slot receiver to occupy the Safety on that side.

        1. As the play starts the safety over McDonald slides to the hash, trying to hold inside leverage. As a result you can see that McDonald is going to be open three steps before he even makes his cut to the corner.

          None of it matters though. Kaepernick had his mind made up pre-snap that he was going to Johnson and we can all see the result.

  6. The Peruvian Bird just endowed me with my first ping pong table since childhood. I’ve shaken off the rust and am now, without doubt, the best table tennis player in the Bay Area since, well, my own childhood.

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