SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Thanks for adjusting to the schedule change.”
Were you able to get a lot done out there?
“Yeah. It was good focus. We did get a lot done. Could rain Sunday, so, it was good to get that work in the rain as well.”
I noticed 49ers security coordinator Mike Hughes was out there.
“Great to have him back.”
Did you get a chance to deliver the ball to him?
“Not yet, no. As you know, we dedicated the game ball to Mike for the New Orleans game, and dedicated it to him before the game. Guys did a great job of getting that win. Dedicate a ball to somebody, dedicate a game to somebody, then, boy, you better win it.”
Risky, isn’t it?
“[Laughter] You got to win it if you’re going to dedicate one to somebody. Great to see Mike back. Looks good. That’s a big boost to have him back.”
We saw T Anthony Davis go into the weight room. Does that mean he’s progressing through the concussion protocol better than a week ago?
“Yes. He was doing cardio today and will lift today.”
Did T Joe Staley come out for practice?
“No, he wasn’t feeling good. Throwing up [laughter]. Had a bug.”
After Thursday’s game, did you sense this team’s confidence was shaken after that game?
“I sensed everybody was unhappy about losing the football game and that’s the case.”
Is it something that you’ve had to build back up this week? Do you notice a change in their mindset?
“No, the mindset is to win the next game. They’ve done a good job in that regard. You can’t do anything about that one.”
You said time and again that your focus this week is on this week’s opponent and getting things right, fixing the things that need to be fixed. But back at the alma mater, your alma mater, there’s a job opening there, and not that you’re even thinking about that, but any thoughts on what’s happening back with Michigan and what’s happening there?
“I think about only my job. Went through a lot of those types of questions on Monday. Concentrating on what effects our football.”
I guess it’s just interesting that the Michigan job opened up yesterday after Monday’s presser, so.
FB Bruce Miller said we like the check downs for first downs and touchdowns. And when I looked at the game a second time the other day, there were a couple of opportunities that QB Colin Kaepernick had to check down and didn’t see it for one reason or another. Is that something that you want to accentuate more or that you’re working with him on because it seems to be maybe one thing that could help him get over the hump a little bit?
“We’re going forward. Probably a lot of things that you could pick up, pick out from the last game. We didn’t play our best football. We’re moving on without excuse or apology. Going to make it right this week. That’s our intention.”
How does Colin go back and look over that last game? Does he really dig into the game film on that for a day or two or does he quickly review it and move on to the Raiders?
“Reviews it and moves on to the next game.”
Do you do it with him?
Last week you talked about how well he’s playing and everything along those lines. But do you think that, he came out in 2012 and played so well just from the beginning, that maybe he just set the bar so high as far as expectations that people expect him just to get better and better and better statistically every season?
“His approach and ours, he does a great job. Our coaches do a great job, our players do. It’s the work. That’s our approach.”
Do you pay any attention to that, to the statistical data, completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, passes per attempt? Do you look at that? Do those numbers mean anything to you?
But what means more? For you, is it just the eyeball test and how he’s performing to certain plays? How do you evaluate a quarterback such as Colin?
“Doing his job.”
Is there a decision or a strategy with him to do less pistol, less read-option this year, more keeping him in the pocket? Is that a kind of concerted effort to change him from a quarterback that runs?
So, is it just coincidental?
“All those options are open.”
But why not use it as much this year as in previous or are you using it as much as in previous?
“No. It has not been a concerted effort.”
On television it looked like you called the plays during the second half Thursday night. Was that the case?
From watching the Raiders and getting prepared for them, what stands out about just what you think about how they’re going to present as a challenge?
“Stingy. On the defensive side of the ball, they’re a stingy team for every yard. They’ll fight you for every single yard. Very physical team. They run extremely well. They’ve got some outstanding players. [Raiders LB] Khalil Mack is an outstanding football player. [Raiders DE] Justin Tuck is playing extremely well. You can see the leadership that he’s providing. [Raiders CB] Charles Woodson, 17 years in the league. He is running, he’s hitting, doing a great job of undercutting routes. It’s a very physical, good defense.”
What do you see out of Raiders CB Tarell Brown?
“Same. He’s doing a very good job at diagnosing routes. He’s very good at having the instincts to play the route. He’ll sit on routes. He gets involved with the breakups and he’s looking to be in position to get interceptions. A lot of respect for his game. And [Raiders CB DJ] Hayden’s a very good corner as well. Great makeup speed, great speed and ability.”
FB Bruce Miller said Monday that defenses aren’t reacting to all the motions and switches as they have in the past three years when you guys were more successful in the running game. How do you guys overcome that at this point? Do you continue to focus on one-on-one battles or do you guys need to changeup what you’re doing?
“Both. Focus on one-on-one battles?”
“Yeah and as a unit. Both of those things are critical.”
Is your success in the running game, how much of that was dependent on rhythm that you were able to gather throughout games last year? It just doesn’t seem like the rhythm has been there offensively this year.
“Like I said, there’s probably a lot of things that you could pick and point to and we’re working to get it right.”
You spoke on Monday about what you need to do better as a coach. What are those things, adjustments, you make week to week?
“What you control. Preparing the team for the football game this Sunday. And players preparing themselves to put themselves in a position to have success on Sunday. Those are the things that you can control.”
Will WR Bruce Ellington, is he back at full-strength and will he resume his role as punt returner?
“It looks that way. He looked good today, had a good practice.”
How do you think he’s done in that regard so far this season?
“Good. He’s done a good job. First year doing it he’s had a knack. He’s had an instinct for it. He’s made some very good decisions.”
Speaking of controlling what you can control, I was driving down from Marin and I heard your name once or twice on sports talk radio. Have you been able to keep that turbulence out of the room? Are you sensing that you still have the player’s full attention?
“Yeah. And we really talked about a lot of that on Monday. And now that’s what we’re doing.”