Editor's note: 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to media from Santa Clara on Monday. Below is a transcript of his comments.
When Carolina Panthers DE Greg Hardy was inactive for the Panthers, did that cause you guys to reevaluate DT Ray McDonald’s situation at all whether he’d play or not?
“No. We didn’t compare the two situations.”
You talked last night about QB Colin Kaepernick making good throws. When you look back on it, were you happy with the throws? Were you happy with his reads throughout the game?
“There was a lot of good play, really offensively, defensively, special teams. We had plays that weren’t. That’s things that we’ll address.”
Both weeks, both games, you’ve had a significant number of penalties. How do you get ahead of that and control that? What’s going on with that?
“Yes, it’s a big factor and we have to, individually, players and coaches teaching and addressing it and coaching it. We’ll try to be better for it. That’s something we’ll work on.”
Did Colin tell you why he thought maybe or not that he was flagged for that unsportsmanlike conduct, what was said or not said?
“No. No, I didn’t overhear that.”
Did you ask the officials at all?
“No. They didn’t come back and tell me.”
On Colin’s first two interceptions it looked like, to the observer, that he had it in his mind where he was going to throw at the snap or before the snap. I’m sure there are times when he has that idea and he completes passes. But, I guess, would you agree with that assessment and if so is that an issue?
“Well, first of all, you have an intent before the snap. But, no I can’t say that he was going there no matter what. He read the play and felt that he had a window to get the ball in and darn near did. It was a tremendous play that [Chicago Bears S] Chris Conte made on that ball. So, that was unfortunate for us.”
Is there error, if there is one, just on the placement of the ball then and not on the read?
“He’s the one back there. He’s the one that’s gauging it and he felt like he had a window and made a heck-of-a throw. Chris Conte made a heck-of-a play, broke on it and diving, laid out and made a great catch on the ball. Those things are going to happen.”
Two weeks now where you guys have gotten off to pretty sizeable leads in the first half. From a coaching standpoint, has your mentality changed to protect those leads going into the second half?
“I really didn’t think so. I didn’t think that was the case. I don’t think it changed.”
Some guys were talking about keeping the foot on the accelerator. I think RB Frank Gore used the term, “closing the game” or “killer instinct.” Looking back on it, do you think there’s things that could have been done to quote, “keep the foot on the accelerator?”
“Nobody feels real good about it. It’s a bad feeling to lose a game, no matter how you lose it, what circumstances there were. Being ahead in the game and not finishing the game with a win leads to very bad feeling after the game and today, etcetera. The foot on the accelerator analogy, I’m not sure exactly what you’re saying there. Yeah we would have liked to score more points. I don’t feel like - could we have called a different play? You referred to it (last night), oh you ran a running play. It didn’t work. Could you have used a different play and that could have worked? Yeah, we’d love to go back and try the different play now. But, that’s in all these situations when you look back - one worked, one didn’t. Sure you’d like to try the other, but you’re not in that position. So, that’s how I’d answer that.”
Is there a silver lining losing this early in the season, kind of a humbling approach there a little bit for the team knowing how well you played coming off of Dallas, how well you started the game yesterday?
“I don’t know about any linings, silver or other. We have to come back to work today and the guys are. They’re over there. They’re working out. Coaches are working, studying. That’s part of the game. I’ll make a boxing analogy. You’ve got to get off the canvas. We’re in the business of winning your next game and doing everything possible that you can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That’s the mindset.”
Do you typically get a lot of players in here on a day off doing that kind of thing?
“I never make the official count. Saw some guys doing work and making their bodies feel better. That typically happens.”
You mentioned getting back up. This team is 8-2 after a regular season loss in your tenure. Does that carry over? Do you think this team is that same team that has that ability to bounce back?
“That’s the mindset that we approach it with. You’re in the business of winning your next game. Very much want to be about that. That’s the situation we’re in.”
Did you guys dodge a bullet with TE Vernon Davis?
“He’s getting looked at right now.”
“Yeah, he’s getting scanned.”
Do you expect any resolution in the Ray McDonald case this week?
“It could be. I know there is an investigation that’s going on, continuing today.”
You mentioned your decisions based on facts. Have more facts come to light for you and do you believe he’s going to be exonerated?
“I can’t comment on that. There’s the legal process that’s going on. As you’ve noticed, I haven’t inserted myself into it to try to sway it one way or the other. As we said from the beginning, we’re waiting for information, waiting for facts. I can’t predict or insert myself into it.”
Do you believe that he’s innocent?
“Again, that’s asking me to insert myself into it. I trust the process.”
The NFL Network quoted a source with the 49ers saying that the team believes him. Is that not correct then? Is that too far?
“The reason I’m not answering is because I’m not inserting myself into the process one way or the other. And I think that’s the right thing to do. Respect the legal process. Respect the due process. The authorities are at work.”
So, you will not change your decision until the authorities make a decision?
“We’ve been pretty clear on how we’re going about this. Change what decision?”
Change his status, whether you’re playing him. So, I’m sorry, the change would be the only way you would not play him is if he is either charged or something changes in his legal status? That’s my question.
“The facts and the information, that’s what we’ve said from the beginning, yes.”
What’s your reaction to the Lieutenant Governor’s statement yesterday basically saying, he and his wife saying that you should bench him?
“I’m not aware. The Lieutenant Governor?”
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome and his wife issued a statement yesterday saying, calling on you, to bench, or the team to bench, McDonald.
“OK. Well, you’ve seen there’s been a lot of public speculation and people weighing in with their opinion, whether it’s a public figure or people through social media. Our response would be, we have two principles at play here. One is respect for due process and we’re not going to flinch based on public speculation.”
The league announced today the hiring of a team of domestic violence advisors to work at the league office. Based on all that you’ve gone through and some other teams, do you think it’s a good idea to have that resource in the league?
“I don’t know about that. I have no information on what you’re talking about.”
How do you think T Jonathan Martin played yesterday and in these two games?
“We could talk about a lot of guys. There’s some really good things and things that we’ll look to improve on. We all kind of fall into that category right now after this game. We all feel like we have fingerprints on it. Some really good things were done by Jonathan Martin, by our offense, by our defense, by our special teams. Other things we need to improve on.”
How close is T Anthony Davis to coming back?
“We’ll see as the week starts.”
Any plans for him to practice this week?
You mentioned that Vernon is having an MRI. Did he have x-rays last night?
“I’m not aware of x-rays last night.”
So, just an MRI?
“He’s getting evaluated right now, so I have no information to share other than that.”
Did Colin require any kind of evaluation after he got hit on that fumble? He was slow to get up, so I’m just double-checking.
“No, not that I’m aware of.”
WR Stevie Johnson got a lot more snaps than he did in Week 1. How did you evaluate his performance?
“Did some really good things and made some big plays again and as well some things that we can improve on. But, pleased with the way Stevie’s coming along.”
How is DB Jimmie Ward’s mindset? Were you able to talk to him yesterday? Because he had a pretty tough go yesterday just with the matchup, that’s a tough matchup for anyone.
“Yeah, I don’t know what his mindset was after the game.”
You didn’t have a chance to talk to him?
What was your experience like with the stadium, the first regular season game, crowd noise, the field, all of that?
“Thought it was good. Field looked more than good.”
What about the atmosphere? Louder, not as loud as Candlestick? What would be your assessment?
“I don’t know that I’d compare them. I noticed at times it was good and loud, yeah. And other times it could be improved.”
You had some more play clock issues, several times where you were ready to call a timeout, couple of them when you did. Was it just a recurrence of the same things that were kind of going on sometimes last year?
“No, I don’t think it was. We had the one delay of game and there was no time – Kap did call one timeout.”
There were a couple times I saw you were about ready to when the time was running down. Specific problem there at all?
“When we get a penalty, that’s a problem. But, I don’t think it was. I think we’ve been pretty good. I think we’re much improved in that area.”
Couple of the guys said after it was sort of a wakeup call this game, not that you needed one, but you get your first division game this week. Can you just talk about, the Cardinals always seem to play you guys tough. A different animal playing them there than maybe here. Just maybe your first impressions of the Cardinals?
“We’re going to have to be at our absolute best in all phases. So, that’s my impression. They’re a very good football team and we know that. Played them twice last year and they’re off to a heck-of-a-good start this year.”
Regarding Ward, Bears WR Brandon Marshall’s three TDs came in the slot against Ward. Do you have to look at that - matchups against bigger receivers - with him in the future, see if that’s, might have to change something there?
“I think that’s part of looking for growth again this week. But, he’s doing some really good things as well. But, yeah, we’re going to look, we’re going to coach, we’re going to grow. That’s our objective.”
Back to the Kaepernick penalty with the inappropriate language. Colin said yesterday he didn’t say anything. The Bears player that was next to him said he didn’t hear Colin say anything. So I’m curious, are you interested in seeking out more information on this from the official or is this bygones?
“Yeah, we’d like to find out about it.”
You’re 1-3 in Week 2. Early in the season, still feeling out your team coming off the preseason where guys don’t play a lot together. Is there a common thread with these Week 2 losses that you can point to over the last four seasons?
A logistics question about the new turf; it looked a little tore up in the video that I saw, how’s it performing?
“I thought it was good.”