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Coach's Notebook: Feb. 20 at Scouting Combine

Posted Feb 20, 2014

Jim Harbaugh spoke about Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Tank Carradine, Jonathan Martin and others on Thursday.

On whether he sees more quarterbacks like Kaepernick being available in recent years...
Wow. That's… I rarely like to compare people, players. It seems like whenever you start comparing two players somebody gets diminished. And that would be unfair to any college player that's coming in right now to compare to Colin Kaepernick.

On the increase in athletic quarterbacks...
There's always been great athletes that have played the quarterback position. Therefore we can expect great athletes to continue to come into the league.

On advantages of knowing some of the players in the draft from his own college coaching experience...
It helps. I feel like it still does. There are players that are now in this class – I didn't coach them, I recruited them – and some I did coach. So I continue to know guys that went to other schools. I remember recruiting them. In my case, some Stanford players that we did coach.

On Frank Gore and the running game...
I thought Frank was, once again, Frank Gore. A-plus, plus. Played all the games and our other running backs, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon all provided a very strong backfield for us. And very excited about all of those players and the addition of Marcus Lattimore getting into the mix this offseason and competing.

Can he put his finger on why the 49ers have not drafted a Stanford player since he became head coach?
Well, I can put a finger on that. You watch the tape you evaluate at the combine here and you can see most all the good players, and there's a lot of them. The biggest problem is that you watch them, you see how good they are, and then you realize, 'We're going to be playing against them.' Because you only get one pick every 32 picks. So the great majority of these players play against you. And you know it's coming, you know how good they are. And in the Stanford player cases, 'I'm sure not looking forward to playing Andrew Luck.' But you realize you're gonna. And sure enough you end up playing him and he does pretty darn well. So, yeah, that would be the one thing I put my finger on.

On the Jonathan Martin situation…
Well, I wasn't in the locker room there. I can't really comment on that. No, I have not spoken to him. I think you know what I think of the whole situation. It's pretty well documented in reports and commented on it before.

On maintaining a strong locker room…
“I always avoid answering those questions when the question is tied to a situation, especially the situation you're referring to that was in a different locker room on a different team. So for me to stand up here and answer that question, you would then link that back to another situation. So I prefer not to comment on something I really don't have – other than looking into the keyhole – any knowledge. But if you want to ask that question at a different time when it's not related to that situation, I'd be glad to get into that discussion.

More on Martin, re: continuing his career…
You have my quote on that. That was also in the report. I do believe that, yes.

On Tank Carradine's progress…
Expectations will be very high. Tank had a procedure done after the season that took out a mass of scar tissue. He wasn't able to straighten out his leg before that. Then they took that out and his leg went straight. He looks like a different guy now, since that procedure. Just with what we saw when he did practice with our football team and now this procedure that's been done, I'm even more excited. I think he's going to have a great offseason and look forward to his progress very, very much.

On the competition in the NFC West…
It's obvious, A plus, plus in our division. Very competitive.

On whether he'll see his brother, John…
I already have. We had lunch at Shula's restaurant, and we'll visit again during the combine.

On chances to spend time with John…
Yes, this is one of three times we have a chance to get together, owner's meeting in Orlando next month. And sometimes we'll see him on vacation. But haven't, didn't last year. I missed my niece, Alison. She's not here. I get to see her at the owner's meeting. But, yes, the schedule – I don't get to see my niece enough. But it's great seeing my brother when we're here at the combine.

On how tough it is to get to know a player via the interview process at the combine…
It's one piece of a getting-to-know-a-player process that's in the entire process of the NFL combine. I don't have a percentage for you, degree of difficulty. I certainly enjoy it. It's one of my most enjoyable experiences of the year, getting knee to knee with these youngsters and talking to them.

On the strength of the team's inside linebackers…
Well, it's good to be good in the middle. Just like in baseball, you need to be good up the middle, center – catcher, pitcher, shortstop, second base, center fielder. In the same way you want to be built that way on defense inside – nose tackle, your two linebackers, your safeties.

Has he watched Johnny Manziel?
Yeah, I have.

What'd he think?
Impressed.

On whether he'll succeed in the NFL…
Yes, I think he will. He's very competitive, he's a winner. I think those qualities translate very well to the NFL.

Back to the strength in the middle of the defense…
It's the core of your unit, both offensively, defensively, closest to the ball. Same on offense, center quarterback, running back.

On Kaepernick…
We played our last game and I went into the facility and his car was already in the lot when I got there. He worked out the next week, and now he's down in Florida working out again. I've never had any questions about Colin Kaepernick's work ethic and his desire to be great. He already is pretty darn good. So I don't know that there'll be dramatic increases when you're that good, but he'll find a way to get a mph faster. That's just the way he trains and the way he thinks.

On going back to Michigan to avenge losses to Ohio State…
We'll see about next year now. Don't underestimate the Wolverines.

Did he watch the Super Bowl?
No, did not get a chance to watch the game live. But have seen the tapes.

Surprised by one-sided affair?
Yeah, I think it did.

On Jonathan Martin and his desire to play…
Again, you really have all my quotes on that. It's been very well-documented.

On tight end evolution…
It’s always been a valuable position in football and continues to be.
 

2014 SCOUTING COMBINE:
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