Harbaugh: 'The kind of environment where iron sharpens iron'

Harbaugh: 'The kind of environment where iron sharpens iron'
August 9, 2014, 3:00 pm
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The most special practice player I’ve ever seen. None better than him.
Jim Harbaugh on Anquan Boldin

Editor's note: Jim Harbaugh spoke from the 49ers-Ravens joint practice in Owings Mill, Md. Below is a transcript of the San Francisco head coach's comments. 

You had a couple roster moves today. Tell us about the new wide receiver you’re bringing in.
“Well, first of all I just want to say that what a pleasure it is to be here. Always feel like you can make a lot of progress as a football team between the first game and the second game. Couldn’t have a better place to do it. Tremendous facility. Appreciate the Ravens. Looks like they’ve gone to a lot of expense and effort to make sure that we have a first-class environment here. So, we really appreciate that and look forward to great work.

Look forward to good practice with a first-class organization. We have tremendous respect for the Baltimore Ravens, their team, their organization, their coach. Definitely want to beat them when we play them, but always cheer for them when we’re not playing them. Just a great environment for us to be in and we anticipate great work.

[RELATED: 49ers add free-agent wide receiver]

 

We did make a roster move, [WR] Lance Lewis, signed him. [WR] Chuck Jacobs tore his ACL unfortunately, and we made that roster move this morning. Tough deal, tough break for Chuck. He’s been the type of guy who never has an injury. First injury of his life. He can run all day and he’s like the unbreakable man. Got in a tough situation on the boundary the other night on the kickoff return and unfortunately tore his ACL. It’ll be all healing from here and anticipate fully that he’ll be with us this season and going forward.”

Do you guys have to do anything on the defensive line? Are you thin there? Will you have some guys back today?
“Thin still and will be through the weekend and until we get back next week. We’ve got some reinforcements coming next week, from our own team.”

[RELATED: 49ers expect return of injured D-linemen, receivers soon]

Will FB Will Tukuafu do a little bit more defensive line?
“He can. He can. That’s available to us. We’ve talked about that, yes.”

We deal a lot with your brother over here. Do you come up with as many different slogans and mottos that he does? From ‘One Accord’ to ‘All In,’ ‘The Mighty Men,’ he’s come up with different T-shirts over the years, and I’m just wondering if you’re doing a similar thing out West.
“I don’t have that list in front of me.”

Nothing similar?
“There’s some similar. Oh yeah, there’s some similar. Sure. Raised in the same house. Ate the same food. Came from the same mother. Lived in the same room for 16 years. There’s bound to be some similarities I would think.”

Can I follow up with that and ask you about the fact, does it irk you that he’s now 3-0 against you, but has never played at your place?
“Yeah, we want to win those games. Like I said, I have great respect for their team and how they do it. When we don’t play them, we root for them. Definitely want to get good work this week. That’s the objective. Great opportunity to get that work with their ball club and look forward to three great days.”

Are you getting much family time together away from the field?
“Yeah, one which is rare. It’s so rare that you get the whole family together, but we spent a couple hours last night at John’s house. Joanie, my sister’s birthday was yesterday and Allison, John’s daughter’s birthday is today. So, my wife made sure I delivered those presents and just a wonderful family to be a part of. I was there last night, our parents were there and uncle, aunt, cousins, and wonderful, wonderful to be a part of that family. Very, very, very fortunate.”

You only played in Baltimore for one year. Do you have any special memories from that time?
“Oh yeah, very special memories. People that I met and games that we played.”

What’s WR Anquan Boldin brought to your team not necessarily just from on the field but his personality, his leadership?
“A-plus, plus. The most special practice player I’ve ever seen. None better than him. Just the way he competes to make the tough catch in practice, in games.

[RELATED: Boldin trade still a painful memory for John Harbaugh]

Great leadership. Any player, any coach could watch him and know that’s the way it’s supposed to be done. Very serious about winning. Very serious about being good. He just showers us with all those qualities daily, hourly.”

How do you think he’ll approach these practices against his old teammates? You said, you know, he’s a great practice player. How do you think he’ll --
“The same. He enjoys it. He enjoys getting into that position to make the tough catch. I think he thrives on that. He loves to practice. I know there’s other great practice players, there’s no question about it, but I‘ve never seen any better than Anquan Boldin when it comes to that. And he’s the same way on the field on game day.”

How did you evaluate how TE Vance McDonald did the other night?
“I thought Vance played really well. It was plus, plus with Vance. Did a very good job catching the football, blocking. A really good night for him.

You said that your guys are going to treat the Ravens like your own – protect each other during the practice. Is that something you and Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh talked about? Did you get assurances that the Ravens would approach practice the same way you guys are approaching it?
“Yes. We’ve talked about it. We feel like it’s in the best interests of both teams to do that. We want to take care of the Ravens, we want to be safe out here, and we need them to do the same for us. That’s the kind of environment where iron sharpens iron. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for good practice work. These aren’t games out here. This is practice. This is drills. Expect really good practice.”

You’ve kicked some players out of practice for fighting. If there’s fights out here, will players get kicked off?
“We don’t anticipate that. I know there will be many cameras assembled, gathered, and I’m sure that’s what everybody’s going to be looking for.

[RELATED: John Harbaugh takes swing at media over coverage of skirmishes]

That moment when you can capture the negative. We don’t anticipate that.”

Did you use the tablet the other night? Some of the new technology they’re letting the coaches use?
“Yeah, we did. Some of our coaches did.”

Did it work?
“It did.”

So unlike the New England head coach Bill Belichick thing. Did you think it was advantageous? Did it help?
“Yeah. At times it did.”

How so?
“There was a clear picture. It was good. Didn’t have any problems with it.”

[RELATED: Ward holds onto 49ers' nickel job with solid debut]

Are WR Michael Crabtree and WR Brandon Lloyd going to get back on the field?
“Soon. Today? No.”

You had three new offensive linemen with that starting unit. How did G Joe Looney and T Jonathan Martin and C Daniel Kilgore do in the game?
“They did good. I was really especially proud of the group to play that whole second half and part of the first half. I thought they really battled well.

[RELATED: Sources: Multiple teams interested in trading with 49ers for Boone]

Again, you look for improvement from Game 1 to Game 2, but it was good to be back out in a game-type environment. I thought Jonathan Martin played extremely well. Very effective. Some things to clean up. Had a false start, had a couple of plays he’d like to have back. Joe Looney the same. Got high on a few plays. It was good work and things that are fixable, things that are correctable. Look forward to getting that done between our first game and our second game.” 

It’s now pretty deep into training camp, do you have to kind of looking ahead, assume you won’t have G/T Alex Boone?
“No, not assuming anything.”

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