Jim Harbaugh on his offensive line’s breakdowns: “It was circumstances.”

Here’s the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday conference call.

Q: After watching the film, what was your general impression of the breakdowns and why they occurred and what you can do to get it all fixed?

HARBAUGH: First of all as I said last night it was a competitive game. Thought it was very evenly matched. The game turned on every play of the game, but there was also some big plays that swung the game. You never point to one or two or three or six plays, but there was a couple big ones – the touchdown that comes off the board on us. We throw a long touchdown pass to Ted Ginn and we get a penalty. They throw a long pass, we intercept it, and again we get a penalty. In those situations luck wasn’t with us. Those two really big, key plays in the game. And there was others. Felt that we were playing hard, we were playing well, but we didn’t get points, didn’t get the breaks that we needed to win that game.

Q: You mentioned after the game that you felt the refs made the correct call on the chop block penalty. After reviewing the film do you still feel that way?

HARBAUGH: I said technically it was probably the correct call. We had fingerprints – literally, that’s what Chilo had on the block. He had maybe six fingerprints on it. He was blocked, and when I looked at the tape it looked like his fingers. Thought that it was wet, he was already going down and Chilo got his fingerprints on him. Wished a couple things. Wished he wouldn’t have gotten his fingers on him, and wished Frank would have stayed up on the block. It might have made a difference. It was just a very unlucky set of circumstances for us there.

Q: What about the deep ball that Tarell Brown intercepted but got flagged for pass interference? Was that borderline?

HARBAUGH: There’s quite a bit of…you know, you see the receiver put the hand on T. Brown first – it almost looked like T. was going to get it off of him – and right at the point where it was looking like it could be…you know, we got grabbed, he grabbed and then the flag came out. That kind of stuff happens all game, and sometimes it gets called and sometimes it doesn’t. Again, an unlucky, unfortunate situation that we got calls in that situation.

Q: After watching the film, what did you learn about the offensive line? What happened there, and what can be done better going forward?

HARBAUGH: Well again, it was circumstances. If you took the nine sacks in the game, probably three of them we got beat on the protection call – rolled the dice with a protection and they had a better blitz than what we had called in the protection. Probably three other times where physically we got beat and it wasn’t any one player. Each probably took a turn there. Maybe two other ones where Alex could have gotten the ball out quicker. And then that doesn’t count where we, where Alex – there were probably three or four of them where Alex was slippery as heck and got out of there, avoided the pressure, avoided the sack, picked up yardage with his feet or got the ball thrown away. You go back and you look at what we could have exploited better, what we can learn from it in terms of scheme and play calling, etc., so they’re all good learning experiences.

Q: But what did you learn about as a coach that you could do differently?

HARBAUGH: Yeah, some different plays we could have called. Some things we could have exploited in the ball game.

Q: Did the short preparation make it difficult to get ready for what the Ravens were going to bring on the defensive line?

HARBAUGH: Well, in terms of the short week, both teams were under the same set of circumstances there. The fact that we were the road team and we had to travel across country, that put us at a competitive disadvantage – that’s just the truth. It’s not whining, it’s not making excuses, it’s just the truth. But we knew it, we had to overcome it and we weren’t able to. And that was a good football team. And I think it will make us stronger going forward. Can’t say that was….and I’m not saying that it was the short week, or that we were the team that had to fly across the country on the short week. That could have been the outcome had it been a Sunday game. But if you ask me, that was a competitive disadvantage, yes.

Q: If the Adam Snyder injury is prolonged, do you open a competition at right guard? Would Alex Boone get a shot there?

HARBAUGH: We believe in Chilo Rachal. We feel good with him at that position. If it’s prolonged with Snyder than Chilo will step up.

Q: You haven’t lost in a very long time – did you see what you wanted to see on the plane ride home? Did you want them to feel bad or did you want them to feel okay about this one?

HARBAUGH: I think not everybody feels the same. Everybody’s different. I’m not a psychologist, and I wouldn’t go around checking the whites in everybody’s eyes to see how bad they felt or didn’t feel. The men put a lot into it and they were disappointed. That I could see. But they’ll bounce back. This is a resilient team and we’ll learn from it.

Q: Why weren’t you more aggressive in bringing multiple pass rushers instead of four?

HARBAUGH: I thought we were pretty darned effective on defense. Thought our defense did a heck of a job. Really effective in the red zone again – after the interference penalty, second and a half a yard, we keep them out of the end zone and they’re losing yardage and they have to kick a field goal. Really there’s only two other drives, well maybe three, in the game that the Ravens moved the ball on us. One, the touchdown drive, and they had to come up with three and four and five third down conversions to do it. And the drive at the beginning of the game where they drove it down into that red area and we held them to a field goal, but I thought our defense was effective with the scheme that we were using.

Q: I was referring to the six third down conversions there at the start of the third quarter. Was it just that the speed of the Ravens wide outs, you didn’t want to role the dive and be susceptible to the big play?

HARBAUGH: Did you say scared?

Q: No, I said, “To be susceptible to the big play.”

HARBAUGH: No, we were able to take that away in the game. There were those third downs, they were just kind of hitting them at the sticks – they’re throwing the ball in front of the coverage, and we could have…we had opportunities to make tackles before the line to gain. And they made the plays, you know? Like you said, it’s easy to second guess, we felt like we were playing pretty darned good.

Q: Do you fear that Snyder’s injury could be prolonged? Where does that stand at the moment?

HARBAUGH: I don’t know exactly where it stands at this moment. But no, I don’t fear it. He’s a guy that bounces back quick and Chilo’s up and ready to go.

Q: Are you happy this week is over? Was it a difficult week on you?

HARBAUGH: No, it wasn’t a difficult week. It was a fast week, it was a game planning week, it was practice and getting the players ready to play. I think it was tougher on the ball players on both sides, on both teams to get ready for this game. Disappointed that we lost. It was an exciting game to be in, one that I think will make us stronger and achieve our ultimate goal. It was a very competitive football game.

Q: Are you going to talk to your brother at any point soon and reflect on this game or just kind of set it aside and wait until the end of the season?

HARBAUGH: Don’t have any plan one way or the other there.

Q: Can you Alex Smith fully in a game like that? How do you think he played given that he was under constant pressure?

HARBAUGH: I think the first thing that stands out is just how slippery he was in this ball game, I think he does a great job at avoiding pressure. He was very strong in the pocket. It’s a team effort – we all understand that. You feel like you wish you had a little more for him, wish we could have held up a little better at times and executed and made the plays that would have led to more first downs and third down conversions and getting the ball into the end zone, so….

Q: What day do you usually talk to John to rehash your week?

HARBAUGH: Sometimes it’s a Sunday, sometimes it’s the next day, sometimes it’s two days later.

Q: Okay, but no need to do that this week is what you’re saying?

HARBAUGH: I don’t think I said that.

Q: Okay, do you plan to talk to him then in the next couple days?

HARBAUGH: I said I didn’t have a plan.

Q: Were there open receivers that Alex couldn’t get to just because the pressure against you guys?

HARBAUGH: That’s the thing, you know. There were times where they were coming open and he just got flushed. Even the throw to Braylon, it’s an either or side. He could have gone to Braylon or over to Ted’s side, and he looked to Braylon, and in hindsight, you know, wish he would have gone to the other side and threw it up to Ted the way the coverage unfolded. But we didn’t get that break. We didn’t get that right set of circumstances. It didn’t fall our way – that’s the best way I can put it. And there were times we were under pressure and we didn’t run the right route. We didn’t get all the call in the huddle – receiver only heard half the call and didn’t run the correct. It was just a lot of little things like that and we’ll look to improve on them.

Q: Are you guys off for the rest of the weekend and regroup on Monday?

HARBAUGH: Back on Monday.


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