Skip to main content

Coach's Notebook: Dec. 5



Jim Harbaugh addressed the media on Wednesday as his team prepares for a Sunday contest against the Miami DolphinsYou're probably tired of answering this question, but how did you get your hair so perfect on the Saved by the Bell episode?**"A lot of people have been mentioning that lately. Don't know why that's become so popular. My wife told me about it and a few of the players did, so they're making quite a bit of sport out of me over that."

Can you finish the line? "People think I'm a hero…" Can you finish it?"No."

"But I wouldn't be anything without my teammates.""That's right."

Did you write that yourself?"No."

But you can apply it."It's good, yes. Spot on, spot on dialogue."

Did you do any other TV shows during your NFL career?"I did The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr."

Any video of that?"Is there video on that? I don't know. I don't know if there is."
Was Terry Bradshaw in that?"He was, Terry Bradshaw was in that. My brief acting career. It's all been downhill since then."

Do you remember – was it nerve-racking to go through that process?"No, it was fun. Meet some new people and see how they do things."

Got to meet Screech."Screech, yeah absolutely. It's a highlight. Everything's been downhill since then." 

Did you recall that you shook his hand really hard and slapped him on the back?"Did I really? It just shows you, it's just how you do it, you know."

History has a way of repeating itself."There's the evidence, it was just a normal handshake.

Opening Statement:"It feels good to be back. When you come off a tough, tough loss, you want to get right back to work and make darn sure it doesn't happen again. That's our team's mindset, back together working, getting ready for the Dolphins."

Do you sense that the team, you guys have had two wins, loss, two wins, there's sort of a pattern. Once you have that, the tie or the loss, do you sense kind of a redo, emphasis or focus for the team to get back to work?"I feel that every week that you have that. I don't feel like it's been very much different whether we had a loss or a tie or a win the previous week."

So that pattern of win, win, loss or tie is purely coincidental, I guess?"I can't say that for sure. Noticed it."

You said that penalties, obviously an issue, but offensively over the past two weeks, a lot of holding penalties have been called. What can you attribute that to? Are defenses showing more motion?"Showing what?"

More motion."Oh, motion or movement. We have had some big ones that have really stopped some drives. Some of them were really, really were questionable, in our opinion. What can you do to correct it? Keep the hands inside, the hands were inside with [T] Joe Staley. Can run his feet more, that's something we can do. We're looking at it. There have been some big ones that have stopped drives or extended drives for the other team. That's not the way we want to play. That's not the 49er way of playing football."

With QB Colin Kaepernick's ability to move around and extend plays, obviously these guys have to extend blocks. Could that be part of it?"Well, only really one of them could have been that. The week before, when we played New Orleans, where Colin got outside of the pocket and we had a holding penalty. Again, very close."

Is that frustrating in early December? Or is it just something that you know you need to clean up?"Yeah, you've got to work to do your best and clean it up. Some of them have been frustrating, that they've been called holding penalties, yes."

One of your penalties was the intentional grounding. Has the league gotten back to you on that, whether they messed up on that call?"They tell us not to relay any communications that we have with them, per their instructions."

What about the rule in general? You've got a scoring play that can't be reviewed. It seems to be contradictory to the rules. Do you think that needs to be reexamined by the competition committee in the offseason?"Yes, I think so. Whether it's a penalty that results in a scoring play or whatever it is, it's a scoring play and you have video evidence at your disposal. So seems normal, seems right, fair to use that video evidence."

What kind of player was Dolphins T Jonathan Martin for you at Stanford and how did he handle playing left tackle last week?"Good player for us at Stanford. He's been doing a good job his entire rookie year, and to make the switch from right tackle to left tackle, he's adapted and doing a good job. With losing their left tackle, he'll be called on this week."

As far as Colin Kaepernick goes, starter again this week. Are you in a position or place where you can commit to him as your starter beyond this weekend? Or is it still just a week-by-week basis?"Well, we've got faith and trust in Colin and the way he's played. Therefore, another start this week."

How quickly can he learn and develop as an NFL quarterback? How quickly can he develop and learn in the line of fire playing? Is that a good way for a guy to develop, taking snaps in a game like that?"Think so, I think it's the best way."

And what have you seen, in just the brief time that you've seen him play for you, have you seen him develop a lot? What has he done that's gotten a lot better in your mind?"There are several things. He's proven, before you don't know until you actually see him out there in that fire. Situations to run the team, to have mental toughness, after a couple tough plays last week, to come back the way he did. We always knew he had that, but then to have the chance to display that. He's done a great job of getting out of trouble and extending plays. Been very accurate throwing the football and done a lot of good things."

What makes that flip, and that obviously that's a turnover, that's a play you guys try to avoid, he makes that flip. What is it that you guys talk about right away and how much of a teachable moment is that for a coach to quarterback?"Teachable in a lot of ways. We all have something to learn there. Like we said, I take the greater share of that responsibility. You don't put your team in that position. That's the responsibility of the head coach, to put them in the best possible position to be successful and win a game. But also, I think managing a bad play for Colin, that's something that he'll learn. The play we called in the huddle was a loser and we didn't have an audible for that play. But also, once the play's going bad to try not to make it any worse. It's a good thing for him to learn, too."

The Rams, I don't know if they did anything revolutionary, but do you expect that the stuff that they had success with you'll see more of that, he'll see more of that this week and going forward?"Yeah, I think you definitely have to be prepared for that and expect that."

It seemed like they were forcing you into a short passing game quite a bit. Has he evolved in that since you've had him? It seems like that was maybe an issue when he first got here, not a lot of touch on the short passes?"Yeah, I think he's shown good touch on the short passes and the ability to see the field and see the check downs."

When you talk to him, he's usually kind of a quiet guy and doesn't expand too much. When you're doing film review with him, what are his emotions like, what are his reactions like? Does he talk a lot or get too high, get too low, what's he like?"The same that you see him. Very focused, very concentrated and competitive. He wants to, even in the film study, he wants to learn and get better and improve. But he's on it. Communicates what he saw, what he was thinking."

On the pitch play, it seemed like the snap was a little bit low, it wasn't perfect. Has that been an issue on some of his mistakes this year, that he's having to look down to get the ball and then looking up?"That's an issue. We want to improve that. It's tough for a quarterback, even on a pass play, to go down below the knees to get a ball and then come up and get his eyes focused on where they need to be. So, we're working on correcting that." 

Coach, I was wondering, have you been working on different defensive schemes as far as compared to man-to-man and zone defenses? It looks like last week you had, it was just a little disruptive in zone defense for Colin."Yeah, we work on all those, zone, man, zone blitz. Miami is a team that has an assortment of coverages. They get a lot of things taught. Their players understand a high volume of scheme and that will be very important this week."

Do you see DT Justin Smith continuing that All-Pro play the last couple weeks? A few sacks, always good against the run. How's he just been this entire season for you?"He's been great. This past game was one of his best. For Justin that's a consistently good, great performer. Somewhat overshadowed with the amount of tackles he had and the sack and his play because we didn't win the game. But I'd say it's been consistently great all year."

On the pitch play, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher had said he didn't know what you, the 49ers, were trying to accomplish there. Did he do that as a jab or as a coach who was honestly quizzical?"Yeah, probably quizzical. The way it turned out, that's some low hanging fruit, 'what the heck were they doing?' Again, you learn from it. It feels like somebody just reached into your chest and stomach and started pulling the innards out without using any anesthesia. But all you can do is learn."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.