Harbaugh: 'I believe every coach should have a whistle'

Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole calls Kaepernick 'special'

Harbaugh: 'I believe every coach should have a whistle'
January 28, 2013, 10:00 pm
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NEW ORLEANS -- Coach Jim Harbaugh was in entertaining form Monday at the 49ers hotel.

Harbaugh answered questions for more than 18 minutes at his daily press conference at Super Bowl XLVII. Here is the transcription of his meeting with the media:

On being prepared to go against the Ravens pass rush:
Harbaugh: "It's a big challenge and a big task against the Ravens pass rush. They are really good football players and have a really good scheme. They do a great job of locating those down linemen and locating those outside backers as well. They have 10 guys that are rotating in there. In their first two playoff games, I think they were in there 92 or 94 plays each of those games and they were up tempo games against Denver and New England. They have talented players to rotate in there and it's going to be a challenge task for us."

(on if a lack of defensive rotation for his defense will lead to any fatigue:
Harbaugh: "I really believe our team and defense, our down on the line guys and our front seven guys, have a very high capacity for work. They are built that way. I have seen our defense get stronger in the second half of games."

On the evolution of the pistol offense with Colin Kaepernick:
Harbaugh: "Well it was combination of each, but mainly something that our staff believes in, quarterback driven runs. It's something that have done at Stanford and something that we did with Alex Smith and Colin, and definitely it's been more with Colin."

On if they drafted Colin Kaepernick to run the pistol or he just fit that better:
Harbaugh: "That would be more of the order there. Colin Kaepernick is tremendously gifted at that part of the game."

On how his parents feel this week:
Harbaugh: "I know they are excited. I have talked to them a few times and I know they are very much looking forward to the game."

On President Obama's comments about not being sure if he would let a son play football and if he agrees:
Harbaugh: "Well I have a four-month old, almost five-month old son, Jack Harbaugh, and if President Obama feels that way then there will be a little bit less competition for Jack Harbaugh when he gets old. It's still early. Like I said, Jack is only five months old. He is a really big kid. He has an enormous head. We don't have a forty on him yet, but his wingspan is plus one and as soon as he grows into that head he is going to be something. It's early, but expectations are high for young Jack."

On running evenly to both sides:
Harbaugh: "We feel pretty good running to either side. I think those numbers may be more of a coincidence than a mindset."

On the importance of having an outstanding tight end in football:
Harbaugh: "We have always believed in that, a tight end and a fullback. When I got my first coaching job at the University of San Diego, I called my coach Bo Schembechler and told him that I was the coach at the University of San Diego. Before he said congratulations he said, ‘Tell me you are going to have a tight end that puts his hand in that ground on every snap. Tell me that you are going to have a fullback that lines directly behind the quarterback, and a halfback in the I-formation.' ‘Yes coach we will have that.' ‘Good, congratulations on getting the job.' We have really good tight ends, there is no question about it. The importance of the tight end in the league is twofold, in the passing game and key in the running game to set the edge in our offensive formations and running the path. Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, and Garrett Celek, I am really happy with Garrett's emergence as an ascending player. Vernon is arguably the best tight end in the National Football League because he is a great pass catcher, a tremendous route runner, and he is blesses with 4.2 or 4.3 speed. Delanie Walker is kind of like our swiss army knife. He can do just about anything in terms of block, catch, run, motion the formation, change formation. We are really blessed to have those two."

On wearing the pen around his neck during the game:
Harbaugh: "Well, I take great offense that you call it a necklace. It's a whistle. It's a coaches' whistle that coaches have long worn around their neck. I believe every coach should have a whistle. It's hard to imagine going out to practice without a whistle. Then I just put a pen onto the whistle string. It's not complicated at all. If I need a pen it's just right there."

On the importance of Aldon Smith and Justin Smith:
Harbaugh: "Aldon has had a tremendous year for us and a tremendous two years for our football team. The players and coaches have voted Aldon our most valuable player for this past year. I think that speaks volumes to the kind of impact that he has on our team. That was an internal vote. Justin Smith is one of the greatest players to ever play in the National Football League. He is the kind of player that everybody should have a Justin Smith on their team. He is a great talent, great character, great leader, and really along with Patrick Willis is the core and fabric of our leadership on defense."

On how much Bo Schembechler as a coach is a role model to him:
Harbaugh: "Next to my dad, right on the same level as my dad is Bo Schembechler. He is one of the greatest coaches to ever coach the game. I have also studied Woody Hayes quite extensively. I believe those two men, along with my dad, in my mind, young mind and old mind today, the three coaches that I try most to emulate."

On the impact the loss to the Giants last year had on this year and the success:
Harbaugh: "Life is full of bitter disappointments, and that was one. We were not defeated. You can kill a man but you can't defeat him, not as long as he has hope. We started from ground zero to approach a new season."

On the importance of bringing Vic Fangio with him to San Francisco:
Harbaugh: "It's tremendous. Vic Fangio and Greg Roman, and if you look at our teams and us, our lives have gone nowhere but up since those two have joined our teams both at Stanford and the San Francisco 49ers. I really believe them to be two of the best coordinators in all of football. Greg Roman is the best of the best. He is the best coordinator in football. I really believe that. He is innovative and has changed a lot about football this season in terms of brining the trap back to football and bringing counters back to football and bringing wham plays back to football with some of the formations that we use. He has a creative mind and he is a tremendous football coach. Vic Fangio along with Greg are two of the best."

On Jack Harbaugh winning the 2002 National Championship (Division I-AA) at Western Kentucky:
Harbaugh: "I watched that in Oakland and it was the best game on TV that I have ever watched. It was the best football game that I can ever remember watching on TV. I was just really proud of my dad and his coaches and his players."

On what he sees in Joe Flacco:
Harbaugh: "Outstanding quarterback. Winning quarterback. Tremendous habit of success and he's left a trail of that behind him and he continues to do so. Tremendous throwing action, arm talent and a winning quarterback. I mean, he's a football player, I don't know if you can give a guy a higher complement than that. He certainly is."

On Alex Smith's role in practice and involvement in game planning:
Harbaugh: "Really it's been said. He's prepared and been involved in the game planning, in preparations, he's prepared himself as the starter each week. That's what he's done, that's what we expect of him and that's what he has delivered. Another person really to credit in Colin's success because Alex has really helped coach Colin and has been right there by his side. Sitting there in meetings every single day. He coaches Colin now more than I do, and that speaks high of the kind of person and teammate that Alex Smith is."

On a lack of sacks by Aldon Smith in recent games:
Harbaugh: "A couple things I think, Justin not being in there probably plays a part in that. We love having Justin in there but the player of all that has been really good, Aldon, got a game ball from our team off of his performance in the Falcons game, a number of pressures and hurries and really played the run extremely well. He recovered the fumble and did an overall thorough and very good game from Aldon and even though we don't have the sacks there, that low hanging fruit for people to see, they don't always see the things that Justin is doing or Aldon is doing game in and game out. These players are very high level to us and that's why he's probably our most valuable player."

On temptation of New Orleans:
Harbaugh: "It's something that some of the players have addressed and we have talked about very little. We trust our team. I saw that some people commented on the fact that our team wasn't taking pictures or video cameras when they were coming off the plane last night. That was not addressed by anything, no media, nobody talked about that. That was something that our team didn't do for some reason. Suffice it to say, we just trust our team."
Transcription courtesy of the National Football League

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