There were no bombshells during Jim Harbaugh’s interview with Murph & Mac this morning on KNBR, but there were a few tidbits worth passing along. Thus, this blog:
• After praising Alex Smith’s character with Padres announcer Dick Enberg on Sunday during a Padres-Nationals game, Harbaugh avoided discussing Smith specifically. The NFL sent the 49ers a memo last month asking them to not discuss their players not under contract.
Harbaugh was asked two Alex-related questions and, in response, he didn’t mention Smith by name.
Asked about “Camp Alex” – last week’s players-only offensive minicamp led by Smith – Harbaugh spread the love to the team. There were around 20 offensive players practicing daily during the four-day camp.
“Obviously you don’t get that many guys out there, if what I read is correct, by just one guy,” Harbaugh said. “That’s a lot of guys making plans, changing their schedules and making the effort to be there. So I think it’s a sign of character guys that winning is important and being prepared is important.”
Later, Harbaugh was asked about separating Smith’s sterling character and work ethic from his on-field performance. Harbaugh, again, responded in general terms without invoking a certain free-agent quarterback.
“When it comes to performing on the field, that will be determined when we get all our players in here and we practice and start playing games and we find out who our best players are,” he said. “Right now, we don’t know who our best players are. We’re figuring that out and we’ll figure that out when they get in here and start practicing.”
• Harbaugh was under no such restrictions when discussing another player making headlines recently: Michael Crabtree. Harbaugh dismissed the notion that Crabtree’s character would be a problem, terming the wide receiver “a good guy and a good football player.”
“From my experience being around him, I think he’s a guy who’s about us and about the team being successful,” Harbaugh said.
• Harbaugh said his optimism regarding the NFL lockout wasn’t based on inside information. During his interview with Enberg, he said he thought the lockout could end in early July.
“I don’t know anything more than what you read in the paper and what I read in the paper,” he said. “I choose to be optimistic and prepared.”
• Harbaugh seemed to believe last week’s minicamp will prove beneficial, whenever the lockout ends.
“What a neat thing that is,” he said. “You know, where character guys can really get a leg up on some of the competition … It’s just been interesting for me to watch and read that our guys are getting together and I think that could really bode well for us.”
• What’s the coaching staff been doing since the draft? Harbaugh said they’ve been game-planning, organizing training camp – every minute has been accounted for, he said – and breaking down their first opponents.
“Not only the preseason ones,” he said, “but also Game 1, Game, 2, Game 3 and Game 4.”
The 49ers are schedule to open the regular season against the Seahawks, Cowboys, Bengals and Eagles.