SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh called the support of the San Francisco Giants for his football team "tremendous, tremendous," as he spoke to the media Friday prior to departing on a 10-day road trip.
After it came to light on Wednesday that quarterback Alex Smith nearly received a 15,000 fine last season for wearing a Giants baseball cap following games, Giants manager Bruce Bochy wore a 49ers cap for his Thursday press briefing. On Friday, there were 49ers hats in each Giants player's locker before the game.
The 49ers play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The team will then spend the next five days in Youngstown, Ohio, before making the short flight to New Jersey to face the New York Jets on Sept. 30.Here is the transcript of Harbaugh's meeting with the media (courtesy of the 49ers' public relations department):Is this time away going to be rough on you, the new dad?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, away from the family. But, with our other family here, we're with our 49er family. And a lot of opportunity there. A lot to look forward to. But the main thing is we're focused on this game. The all importance of winning this ball game. That's it. That's what these young guys are saddled with, to do. And they accept that challenge and that burden. And prepare for it and do whatever they can to put themselves in a position to be successful."The availability of WR Ted Ginn Jr. and RB Brandon Jacobs?
Harbaugh: "Yeah. They're making the trip. They've been working out with the team. And they'll be listed today as questionable for the game."With Ted, will we see him fielding balls before the game and make that decision then?
Harbaugh: "Possibly."Are you satisfied with your coverage units on special teams?
Harbaugh: "Satisfied is one of those words. That's one of those words, satisfied. Never satisfied with anything in football. That's one of those words in football that's always confused me. Given me great confusion. Doesn't resonate. Satisfied is not a word that I associate with football or coverage units."Last year you kept a couple guys on the roster solely for special teams, LB Blake Costanzo and S Colin Jones in particular. Does it hurt those units not having guys who are just solely focused in on that aspect of the game?
Harbaugh: "We've got the right guys out there. We really believe that. We know we've got the right coach, the right blend there. And it's not like any other part of our game, and part of our football. We're striving for excellence, that's what we're doing. Or striving for perfection really and you hope to catch excellence along the way."LB Eric Bakhtiari was part of those units in the preseason, could he just kind of step in and be part of the coverage units these next few weeks?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, it's definitely a possibility for us. There's a possibility of that in this game, stepping in." QB Alex Smith and offensive coordinator Greg Roman talked about how there are worse things than taking a sack. A sack is not the end of the world, it might kill a drive, but mostly, when you're losing a game it's turnovers. I assume that's your philosophy too. Taking a sack is OK?
Harbaugh: "I hate being one of the masters of the obvious, kind of guys, stating something obvious. But that is. Are there worse things than taking a sack? Absolutely." Is that something you talk to him about? When in doubt, tuck it, take a sack, run it, throw the ball.
Harbaugh: "Yeah, times when they become their own check-downs. We've talked about that many times, where they use their legs and they become the check-down. Try to move the chains. If we can get that done efficiently, I think that's beneficial for our ball club."Do you teach a guy how to take a sack, to prevent injury? I mean, is that even possible in football? He kind of knows the sack is coming, do you teach them how to take a sack?
Harbaugh: "No. That's something that we've never coached."From the tape that you've seen of the Vikings, what have you seen what have you implied from their defense?
Harbaugh: "Good defense, good defense. They are an attacking, aggressive defense. They are a blitzing defense, a multiple-coverage defense. Very aggressive up front. It's a defense that's trying to get you into bad plays, bad situations and they've got the talent and scheme to be able do that."What was your reaction to the San Francisco Giants, their outpour of support, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy wearing the Niners hat Thursday?
Harbaugh: "That was tremendous, tremendous. Bruce Bochy wearing the Niners cap because, we follow them. I personally follow the Giants and I know that myself, including a lot of the guys on the team here have gotten a lot of inspiration following the club this year. The come-from-behind wins, the close games. They're a team that just never gives up. They're always fighting and they're coming back. It's a never-say-die type of team. I just love watching them and mostly going to the park. Since we started football, I've been only catching them on the radio. But, late at night I'll be driving home, just about every night it seems like, they'll re-broadcast the game and I'll catch it there. So I just loved it, Dave Fleming and all those guys doing the call of the game. Just exciting, winning with numbing repetition. It's been a real inspiration for me personally. I just want to salute them. Just a congratulations. I know they'll probably clinch the pennant here before we come back. But we'll be following them. It's been a great season."Can you recall a more unique walkthrough that you've had than behind the Holiday Inn in Youngstown?
Harbaugh: "Probably as unique as some we've had. We've done a lot of parking lots, at Stanford, and USD, even here with the 49ers. A lot of times you'll be at a hotel and you try to get out there to the parking lot, if say a ballroom is not available that's big enough to have a walkthrough. The USD parking garage was outstanding because you had shade, plus nobody could see what you were doing. That was a great site." Do you feel a little exposed in Youngstown?
Harbaugh: "We're always on our toes. We'll have men on the perimeter. Manning the perimeter (laughing)."