Harbaugh says McCoy is Kaepernick’s backup

SAN FRANCISCO – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said at the podium after Sunday night’s preseason game, courtesy of the 49ers.


Was that about everything you wanted to see for the third exhibition game?

“Yeah. Saw a lot of good football and pleased with the way our guys worked, practiced all week and then came out and played in the game. I thought there was a lot of good football out there.”


Is QB Colt McCoy your backup quarterback now?

“Yeah, yes he is. I thought he played very well. Thing that’s been very encouraging is he’s progressed and gotten better every week. Tonight, just down after down, consistently good, that’s what we’ve been looking for.”


Did the momentum of the game determine why not all five quarterbacks played in this game?

“Yeah, sometimes you got a plan and then you have a feel. So, I felt like we were getting good work and Colt was, he’s probably set a record for being, starting a drive inside the 10 yard line in the preseason. Colt McCoy, quarterback, starting a drive inside the 10 yard line. Backed him up to the one, the two, the eight, it was really encouraging to see the second offense step up the way they did and put 17 points on the board and move the football consistently. That was very encouraging.”


There was a report that you guys were looking to trade Colt McCoy, any validity to that?

“Well, as you know we never talk about the things that appear on the internet. ‘If it’s on the internet it must be true’ type of speculation. Very pleased with the job that he did. I thought [QB] B.J. [Daniels] did very well as well. And then, the receiving corps, [WR] Quinton Patton, thought he stepped up. I got very excited about him tonight, strong player. He’s been showing that in practice and to see him take that to the game, that was also really encouraging. [WR] Marlon Moore as well. Good to see [TE] Vernon [Davis] involved. I thought, so many guys, [DT] Justin Smith was, he had a burr up his saddle or something tonight. He was Justin Smith, it was great. [S] Eric Reid, I thought he played well. [LB] Ahmad Brooks and [LB] NaVorro Bowman. And then just our defense in general, just talk about the, they’ve done a fine job all preseason. Finally gave up a touchdown on the short field.”


The competition now at quarterback is for the number three job going into the season? Is that accurate to say?

“Yeah, I feel real good about right now that Colt’s the backup.”


What about your new wide receiver Jon Baldwin? Did you get him as much, as many snaps as you wanted?

“Yeah. He’s had a nice command of the offense. The very short time that he’s been here he has shown that he absorbed it real quick and put him in some situations where he hadn’t practiced. Some of the things he did there tonight showed that he was taking mental reps and the one’s he was in, that was real encouraging. He pays attention and has real good physical ability. Everybody likes him. He’s fit in real well.”


Were you happy with QB Colin Kaepernick’s series?

“I was. I thought Colin did a fine job. I felt the line protected very well with the first group, it was very encouraging. We got off blocks in coverage team, that was real encouraging. Had some coverage tackles inside the 20 on the kickoff and it was good.”


Was this a test for Colt McCoy that if he didn’t play well he wouldn’t have gone on with this team?

“No, not at all. Everybody’s under the, it’s a challenge, there’s a test so to speak. You can say that about every player that’s out there playing this game. Like I said, the thing that stands out to me is just the improvement weekly. And tonight, just consistently good the whole night. I thought he was real accurate with his throws. The command of the offense was good. He’s getting better. So, I thought he was plus-plus tonight.”


Are you able to make any assessment on Eric Reid in his first NFL start?

“I thought he was good. He was deep when he was supposed to be deep, made tackles, showed up on special teams, did a fine job. Another guy that just continues to get better.”


WR Lavelle Hawkins had a couple of nice plays, he also followed them up with penalties. I guess, in the final assessment, did he hurt his chances tonight by what happened after those plays?

“Especially, after you point it out, one strike, two strikes, probably the two-strike level. He did score a touchdown and had a big catch. He’s definitely got to do a better job of not getting emotionally high jacked after doing something great.”


I think I know the answer, but another report was that Colt restructured his contract. The assumption is because of that he’s going to stay on the team. Is there any validity to that?

“Again, just always felt it’s best to not talk about contracts publicly. That would be with all players. You’ve never heard me do it before and I’m not going to start now.”


How are RB LaMichael James and LB Cam Johnson doing?

“LaMichael and Cam Johnson. LaMichael, Cam Johnson.”


Two injuries, sorry. Both of them left with injuries, what’s their status?

“I think LaMichael’s fine, LaMichael’s fine. He’s going through a little something with his elbow. Cam, I’m not aware of his status right now.”


You obviously saw a lot of Quinton Patton in the offseason, but not a lot of him catching the ball and moving with the ball. Was that impressive to you how quick he was after he had the ball in his hands?

“We saw a lot of him catching the ball prior to July 23, then he had the injury and was out for three weeks. But, he wasn’t really out, because he was still out there practicing. But, yeah I think he’s a good physical player. I don’t think that the big stage bothers him, and it doesn’t make him nervous. He’s a competitor, you notice that. Boy you hate to say too much more about a rookie player. See if he can’t just keep getting better.”


Has CB Nnamdi Asomugha taken that lead role for that number three cornerback job?

“There’s quite a bit of competition still there.”


You had him in that third role tonight.



Was that just to see how he’d mesh with that first unit?

“Well, there’s a very competitive role between [CB Tramaine Brock] T-Brock and Nnamdi at that position, and it’s good for our ball club that both those guys have stepped up. They’re both ascending players and both improving players. That’s good for us.”


Can you talk about the play, Ahmad Brooks came out hot in the first couple series and just how, what you’ve seen from him this exhibition season?

“Guys jumping out. Right off the bat with Justin and [DT] Ray [McDonald] and Ahmad and NaVorro were playing. They were leading us. That group of guys. You’ll have to talk to them, there was something good, it was special, I liked it.”


It seemed like something kind of clicked with Kaepernick on the third series when he converted on that 3rd-n-10, is that what you saw too?

“Yeah, on that 85-yard drive there was a lot of things that were clicking. Vernon, good to see Colin and Vernon. I know a lot of people talk about that, the chemistry between those two and how that’s progressing. I thought that the series before, the first series, we had the ball at the 12 and wasn’t able to get it into the end zone and the second series ended with Colin kind of getting his arm grabbed as he was throwing. I felt like he got into a good rhythm and had an opportunity to make plays on that drive whereas in the first two series there wasn’t anybody really open on the first drive when he was throwing and the second one he got the arm grabbed. So, when he was able to have a good chance to make a play he did.”


RB Kendall Hunter had a 15-yard run, did that look like his familiar burst to you? Is he kind of where he was before the injury or not?

“He looked like it ,yeah. He’s looked like it in practice as well. A lot of the fellas have been talking about how he seems faster. So, I can’t say that I disagree with that.”


We see a lot of different philosophies from coaches around the league. Manning threw 34 passes in the first half yesterday. Why do you manage Colin the way you do with, he only played one quarter today, that’s the most he’s played in these first three games?

“Just feel like probably what’s best for our team. They probably feel what’s best for their team. I think pretty much we’ve always done it that way. They play what they play each preseason game. There’s no emphasis on any other, the third game is no magic third game.”


Will Colin play next week?



He will?

“Yeah. I think. Don’t hold me to that. Subject to change. How about that? Subject to change. That he will play next week will all be subject to change.”

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