Harbaugh Q&A: 'Some crazy, wild calls'


Harbaugh Q&A: 'Some crazy, wild calls'

HOUSTON -- Coach Jim Harbaugh had some issues with replacement referee Wayne Elliott's crew in the 49ers' 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday night.

There were some "crazy, wild calls," Harbaugh said after earlier saying he had been instructed not to comment on the officiating. Harbaugh later said of the calls, "A lot of them didn't seem like they were in the ballpark."

Here's what Harbaugh had to say in his post-game comments:
Can you give us an update on the severity of Brandon Jacobs' injury?
Harbaugh: "He's going to miss a little time. I don't think it's anything . . . the ACL is good. The patella is good. It'll be some time, but we'll see. It's not the you-don't-come-back-from variety."Anything on LaMichael James?
Harbaugh: "Things look good, X-ray-wise, and it's calming down for him."How do you assess this game, as far as the maturation process of what you want this team to be?
Harbaugh: "That's a great question. I don't know that I really have the answer for us. Was it us? Was it them? Was it . . . things I've been instructed not to comment on, so I won't comment on. So don't even ask me. I don't have a feel for that right now. I wish I had a better feel."Any concerns about the protection that Alex Smith received?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, there really both missed assignments. One by . . . uh . . . I'm not going to go into detail about. But we will with our team."What did they give for an explanation about the final seconds of the first half?
Harbaugh: "That they made a mistake."Was it their only one of the night?
Harbaugh: "Per instructions, I will not be commenting on the officiating."What did you like in this game? Were there bright spots?
Harbaugh: "I think there were. There were bright spots, guys competing. Guys were going against a good football team. There was good play. We'll see how much of it -- how much penalties there really was and wasn't. But there's always good. There's always some bad. Just keep climbing. That's the thing we need to do right now. Maybe we'll have more answers after really assessing it. Right now, I don't have a feel for whether it was the Texans? Was it the 49ers? Was it other things?"Do you view this as a step back from last week?
Harbaugh: "No, everything is . . . I don't have the answer for you. Was it a step back? It's a step. It's our second game, so it's part of the process we're going through. We'll assess it and see. Step forward, step back. We'll figure it out."You mentioned this week that Colin Kaepernick has emerged as the No. 2 guy. Do you still feel that way? Does tonight performance sway you one way or the other?
Harbaugh: "I don't come out of it feeling like anything's changed because of the way Colin played. I thought he played pretty darn good."Frank Gore made his first appearance of the exhibition season and had a big carry the first time he touched it. Does he look ready to go right now?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, he does. He's having a good camp. He looks spry as ever. I think we're right on track with Frank."Was Kendall Hunter one of the bright spots tonight?
Harbaugh: "He is. He ran effectively and had a nice kickoff return. One pass protection issue, but I think it was a real good night for Kendall."The fact that you didn't have either outside linebacker Aldon Smith or Ahmad Brooks, how big of an impact did that have in the pass defense?
Harbaugh: "I'm sure it has an impact. We're a little low on numbers at that position. But next guy up. You got to go with the guys you got and don't worry about the other stuff."Eric Bakhtiari played the entire game, are you impressed with his effort against the run?
Harbaugh: "Eric plays all-out every snap. I was very impressed. He had a couple that he'd like to have back, but it's a good step forward for him. It was good competition for a lot of our guys who were in there. It's tough to look at it as a step back. I have a hard time agreeing with that. Good play. Good competition. Good step. We'll learn from it and move on."Randy Moss had a catch on the first three drives. Was that part of the plan?
Harbaugh: "He's part of what they do. All our receivers. When you're running on every play. Everybody alert, everybody running. You can't really script it to say who's getting the ball. 'We're going to get Randy more balls than anybody else.' Maybe some teams do that, but it's not the way we do it."Did you have a nice angle on the Josh Johnson-to-A.J. Jenkins catch on the far sideline?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, pretty good."What did you see?
Harbaugh: "Good throw. Good catch. A.J. got a step and made a nice catch and kept his feet inbounds. Made a great route on the next play and it should've been a touchdown. I thought he did some good. Again, good competition. Good night to compete. Great things to be learned and gleaned from this."Were you pleased with the way the first-team defense allowed only one field goal tonight?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, they're never in until they're in. Our guys, as they do a lot, they tightened up toward the red zone and held them to field goals. Big interference call in third quarter was some big yardage on that drive. I don't know. It's interesting. I don't have the pulse on this game. What was it exactly? Us? Them? Some crazy, wild calls. Were they accurate? Weren't they? We'll see. I have a headache (from yelling), though. I have a darned headache. A lot them didn't seem like they were in the ballpark."

Jim Harbaugh: I deserve a medal for lasting so long under 49ers ownership

Jim Harbaugh: I deserve a medal for lasting so long under 49ers ownership

In Kyle Shanahan’s first breath after being introduced as 49ers head coach on Feb. 9, he mentioned Jim Harbaugh, along with Bill Walsh, George Seifert and Steve Mariucci.

The head coach of Michigan was listening, and he appreciated the gesture.

“It was very flattering that he said nice things about us at his news conference, and I appreciated that,” Harbaugh said on "The TK Show," a podcast from Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.

“Now, I don’t think I was there long enough to be compared with Bill Walsh or Coach Seifert, etc. But I think did – and correct me if I’m wrong – I think we did set a record for coaching there the longest under the present ownership, if I’m not wrong.”

That is correct.

Since John and Denise York took over control of the 49ers in 2000 from Denise’s brother, Eddie DeBartolo, the 49ers have employed eight head coaches. Mike Nolan was fired after seven games of his fourth season. The two coaches who followed Harbaugh -- Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly -- were fired after 5-11 and 2-14 seasons, respectively.

Harbaugh’s teams advanced to the NFC Championship Game in each of his first three seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance. He and the 49ers “mutually parted ways,” the club announced, immediately after the team finished with an 8-8 record in 2014.

“I take pride in that,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe there should be an endurance medal, a courage medal, for that.”

Shanahan mentioned Harbaugh during his opening remarks at the introductory press conference earlier this month:

“I’ve got to start out thanking Jed and the whole York family. Giving me this opportunity is, it’s a dream come true and it’s not just an opportunity to be a head coach, but to be a head coach at a place like this where you talk about Bill Walsh, you talk about George Seifert, Steve Mariucci, Jim Harbaugh and you can go down the line with the coaches.”

Said Harbaugh, “Just appreciated it. Appreciated it, and not just for me personally, but appreciated that for all the wonderful players we had and the wonderful coaches and the effort that was put in. People poured their hearts and souls into those years. It’s just appreciated that Kyle would make that comment.”

Harbaugh said he has deep respect for Shanahan and new 49ers general manager John Lynch, whom Harbaugh asked to speak to his Stanford teams during his four-year tenure as head coach.

“Yeah, I would’ve loved to have worked for John Lynch,” Harbaugh said. “He reminds me a lot of the athletic director we have here Warde Manuel, who’s also a former player and a teammate of mine. Common sense guys who are team guys, just the way they go about their business always speaks volumes.

“I thought John took note when they were going through the process. e didn’t want his name mentioned and I think that’s . . . I don’t know if a lot of people noticed that, but I think that’s a profound thing. I think that speaks volumes for who he is as a person. He wants to do a good job and it’s for the right reasons. He’s a competitor at the highest level, so I have great respect for that.”

Kawakami also asked Harbaugh about whether he believes quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still capable of being an NFL starter.

“There’s no doubt he can be an NFL starting quarterback,” Harbaugh said.

“I’m sure Kyle, the coaching staff there and John will meet on it, they’ll think about it, they’ll watch, much like we did when we got in there in 2011. And they’ll make the best decision they can for the team and the organization and it’ll play out the way it’s going to play out.”

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

During the month the 49ers had no general manager or head coach, Tom Gamble was the next-highest-ranking football official and was charge of the personnel department on an interim basis.

But CEO Jed York made it clear from the beginning Gamble, whom Trent Baalke promoted to assistant general manager just prior to the start of training camp last summer, would not be considered for a promotion to general manager.

John Lynch, with no front-office experience, was hired over Arizona’s Terry McDonough and Minnesota’s George Paton. Before Lynch’s introductory press conference, he hired two top lieutenants in the personnel department to usurp Gamble on the organization's power structure.

On Wednesday, the 49ers announced what had become inevitable: Gamble was leaving the organization.

“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” Gamble said in a statement. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Lynch’s first move as general manager was to hire Adam Peters away from the Denver Broncos to serve as 49ers vice president of player personnel.

Lynch worked alongside Peters when Lynch took part in Broncos meetings and prospect evaluations, which included a trip to the NFL scouting combine, prior to the 2013 draft.

“That month, month-and-a-half, I actually sat next to Adam every day,” Lynch told CSNBayArea.com. “Those are long meetings. I’d listen to him and we’d talk in between about players. I just saw way back then, he’s a guy who’s highly respected in the league. I firmly believe in two, three years, he would’ve been a GM. He was on that track, at least.”

During Lynch’s introductory press conference a week later, he announced the hiring of Martin Mayhew as senior personnel executive. Lynch and Mayhew were teammates in the secondary for Lynch’s first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mayhew spent seven seasons as Detroit Lions general manager. Mayhew should be able to provide Lynch with valuable counsel as learns on the job after spending the past eight seasons as a TV analyst on FOX.

“Martin has sat in the seat as a general manager and his experience will play an integral role in helping us locate the type of football player we want representing this organization both on the field and in the community,” Lynch said.

Gamble recently completed his 29th NFL season and his 10th with the 49ers in two stints. After he was fired as Philadelphia Eagles vice president of personnel late in the 2014 season, and came back to the 49ers in the 2015 offseason.

While with the Eagles, Gamble was one of the few individuals in the front office who worked well with Chip Kelly. Gamble played an important role in speaking up for Kelly and bringing him to the 49ers last offseason.

Kelly and Baalke were fired after the 49ers' 2-14 season, and the 49ers promoted the ability to create a fresh start when a new coach and general manager. While the 49ers were expecting Gamble to remain with the organization through the draft, his spot with the organization was going to be tenuous with a new regime.

“He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him,” Lynch said in a statement. “After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities.”