49ers Blog and Q&A

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January 17, 2013
Harbaugh transcript: from Chris Berman to Barney the dinosaur


Thanks to Matt Kawahara's speedy transcriptionist skills, here's the media session with Jim Harbaugh from earlier today. Prepare to be riveted:

Q: Any interesting guests this week?
A: "Uh...no."

Q: Sometimes you do.
A: "Yeah, sometimes. Ah, Chris Berman was here yesterday. He said a few words to the team."

Q: How do you feel about the preparation this week?
A: "It's been good."

Q: Justin Smith said the feeling is a little different this year. Do you agree?
A: "As I said, the preparation's been good. Not gonna attempt to dissect the attitude of every single guy. We'll do what we always do, and speak for myself. Pack a toothbrush and a great attitude and get ready to play football."

Q: Your Dad advised you "get ahead and stay ahead." Is that a new one?
A: No, he's said that one often, going back several years. Breaks it down Barney-style. Great advice.

Q: He let you interpret "get ahead" however you want?
A: "Yeah."

Q: When did you start looking at the Falcons in earnest?
A: "In earnest, after they won the game."

Q: Didn't start much before that?
A: "Yeah, there was computer breakdowns on all the possibilities, all the possible teams we could play if we advanced. That's a standard element to our preparation."

Q: Did you save Frank Gore a bit for the playoffs?
A: "No.Every week, we were going into it as that game being the most important game. I wouldn't say there was an eye toward the playoffs on that, specifically, with Frank."

Q: How important is it to have him playing healthy and fresh?
A: "It's very exciting to hear. I know that Frank has mentioned that a few times this week, a few times last week, that he feels great. Body feels great, his mind feels good. There's great attitude. So, that's a real positive for us."

Q: Happy with how LaMichael James has stepped in?
A: "Yeah, we're all happy with the way LaMichael has stepped in and has really given us a boost. It's been good."

Q: Does James do a good job of selling the fake hand-off?
A: "Yeah, I would say he does. And all our backs do. That's part of the fundamental of the play."

Q: Have you ever been fooled by which player has the ball?
A: "Yeah, momentarily."

Q: What goes into a sound tackling?
A: "The list of all those things. The one that stands out, that's probably an easier one to answer, No. 1 is contact courage, seeing how fast they can get from point A to point B and go hit somebody."

Q: Does James make the grade as a blocker?
"Yes, there's real good evidence there LaMichael has good technique, good contact courage, as a blocker. He has proven that."

Q: What is Gore's knowledge of the game like?
"It's top shelf. Not to categorize it, but I know I have learned a lot from Frank, as well as the other running backs on our team. He sees it, he sees the big picture, he sees the whole picture, he sees it slowed down and he's got a very quick mind. He's able to make quick-minded decisions."

Q: Your take on your assistant coaches being considered for head-coaching jobs elsewhere?
A: "Well, I feel any team would be lucky to have them as head coaches. That time will come. I'm very confident of that."

Q: Any recollections of playing at Atlanta?
A: "No."

Q: How much time goes into game planning for the Falcons?
A: "As far as the amount of time in the day, you use every minute that you can. You're just exhausted and have to go to sleep. That's pretty much every week. If they created more hours in the day ... "

Q: But more time needed because you aren't as familiar with the Falcons as, say, the Seahawks?
A: "Yeah, there's definitely that element there."

Q: Do you sleep in the office?
A: "A little bit."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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