Harbaugh on A.J. Jenkins: “I don’t think it’s fair to bully or label a young player.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.

Q: Jon Baldwin practiced yesterday. What was your initial reaction to him and how he’s fitting in?

HARBAUGH: Just one day, but good so far.

Q: Can you tell what skills he has and how he could potentially fit into your offense?

HARBAUGH: I think most people can. He’s somebody with great athletic ability. He already has a résumé. Very good.

Q: Is two weeks enough time to evaluate him or are you going to have to assume some things with him when you get to the cuts?

HARBAUGH: I think we do (have enough time). Sometimes there are players who are traded in the middle of the season after six or seven games and they get up to speed.

Q: Will B.J. Daniels be the No.2 quarterback against the Vikings this Sunday?

HARBAUGH: I think it will be Colt.

Q: And then Daniels third or fourth?


Q: Which one?

HARBAUGH: We’ll make that decision.

Q: What do you like about Marlon Moore?

HARBAUGH: He’s doing a very good job and he’s worked extremely hard this entire offseason. He’s got very good production in training camp. He’s been very positive.

Q: Is there something about Moore’s mentality you like to see in a football player?

HARBAUGH: Yes. There’s the physical and the mentality. That’s a great word that you used. You need both. He’s a talented player physically. He’s also tough mentally. Those things are very good combinations.

ME: Why was Colin Kaepernick wearing a black jersey yesterday in practice?

HARBAUGH: There was a play the day before where we were going against our Ones and I felt like as the defense was running a stunt, Ahmad came free and was a little too close to Colin. So, a way to reemphasize, “Stay away from Colin Kaepernick” so we don’t get anything freakish happen in practice.

Q: Is B.J. Daniels getting fewer reps at running back and wide receiver? Is he focused now on quarterback?

HARBAUGH: Offensively, it’s been strictly quarterback as of late but he’s still taking special teams reps.

Q: When A.J. Jenkins, he got a lot of snaps in these preseason games. Who’s going to fill that void now in this upcoming game?

HARBAUGH: There are a lot of options there. I’ve been really impressed with our receiving group, the way they practice, they way they perform. Any number of guys will be getting those reps – Collie, Hawkins, Baldwin, Hall, Lockette. Probably missing a few.

Q: Three of those guys you mentioned – Collie, Hawkins and Baldwin – obviously haven’t been here as long as the others. Do you feel the need to get those guys as many reps as possible just to get enough analysis of them?

HARBAUGH: I sure would like to, and they’re very competitive guys. They want them. There are quite a few receivers we have who are healthy and champing at the bit to get them. Hopefully, that works out that way this week that our receivers all get a real good look.

Q: Is Baldwin familiar enough with the terminology that you could plug him in on Sunday? Do you expect him to play Sunday?

HARBAUGH: I expect him to play Sunday.

Q: On paper, McCoy’s numbers in preseason don’t look good. How much of that is him still learning the system?

HARBAUGH: It’s definitely a factor. Good improvement this week. He’s working at it very hard. It means a lot to him and it does to us, too. We’re coaching him up the best we can. Keep striving for improvement each day.

Q: How much have you seen from Nnamdi Asomugha?

HARBAUGH: What I’ve seen is talent, improvement, it means a lot to him. He’s an ascending, improving player since he’s been here on our roster, and that’s extremely positive.

Q: Ian Williams has gone from an undrafted free agent to possibly your starting nose tackle. What has he done to exceed your expectations?

HARBAUGH: Exceed our expectations? He’s doing a great job. He’s very athletic and he’s very strong. There are some nose tackles who are bigger than Ian, but he makes up for it with a lot of heart and speed and quickness and athletic ability. His growth continues weekly. We’re seeing really good things from the starting of this offseason, from the start of this camp when we put the pads on, things that we had seen in the past but getting better. We’re very excited about it.

We’re very excited about Glenn Dorsey as well. A proven football player, got a very good track record. And here’s Ian Williams playing right there with him. In our opinion, both of those guys really shore us up inside at the nose tackle position.

Q: With Demarcus Dobbs out for Week 1, do you start giving Williams and Dorsey practice reps at end?

HARBAUGH: I was just thinking about something else, could you repeat the question?

Q: (Repeats it).

HARBAUGH: That’s a possibility. We’ve got some pretty good ends, too. There’s Tony Jerod-Eddie who’s doing a really good job in battling for a spot on the team. Will Tukuafu as well. That competition rages on as well. Will both of them make it? Will only one make it? It’s real competitive there.

Q: Do you feel like Kendall Hunter needs to play in the preseason?

HARBAUGH: Yes. Kendall is ready to go. Our medical staff and strength staff cleared Kendall. He’s been back in action at practice. When you dive back into the action, your senses and instincts come back. He appears to have that.

Q: Is Vance McDonald someone you hope to see or expect to see play in the next preseason game?

HARBAUGH: Yes. Vance was back practicing yesterday. Looked good. Didn’t look like he had any lingering effects from what kept him out, but a little rust. There was a little rust there from being out seven to ten days. Definitely expect him in the game this week.

Q: Was it a hamstring that kept him out?

HARBAUGH: He was working through something.

Q: Do you expect Kendall Hunter to play on Sunday?

HARBAUGH: Yes, we expect Kendall to play on Sunday.

Q: Could Baldwin win the No.2 receiver job by Week 1 of the regular season given how short of a time he’s been here?

HARBAUGH: Anything is possible. There are some guys with a little bit of a head start, now. We’re talking about what’s possible. Kyle Williams, Marlon Moore have a bit of a head start in that regard, but we’ll take it day-to-day. Excited about Jonathan being out there again in today’s practice. Feel like he’s got a heck of an opportunity.

Real excited for both Jonathan Baldwin and A.J. Jenkins. I know a lot of people have been making some sport of A.J. and Jonathan and my comments and that type of thing. I feel the same as I did a year ago when I made those comments. I don’t think it’s fair to bully or label a young player. I fully understand that people are entitled to their opinion and their perspective, however I prefer that the criticism – I would appreciate that the criticism was directed toward me. I’m responsible and I certainly accept that. Actually, welcome it.

Q: You said people who said Jenkins wasn’t going to be a great receiver were “clueless.” Do you regret saying that?

HARBAUGH: Like I just said, of course I’m going to defend a young player when I believe he’s being bullied or labeled before even his first practice.

Q: You thought Jenkins was being bullied?

HARBAUGH: Yes. And labeled, yes.

Q: You said you’re responsible. What are you responsible for?

HARBAUGH: I’m responsible for helping pick the draft picks and fully responsible for coaching the players up. I willingly accept those responsibilities.

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