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49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh Interview


Q: With no offseason, how impressed were you that guys were able to buy into you and be successful right off the bat?

A: I was really impressed with our players. It's a great group of character guys and a lot of people describe it as a great locker room. They're just good, strong, mighty, down to earth guys. Team means a lot to them. Team players, up and down the roster and that makes it fun to be around them, makes it fun to coach them. [I'm] lucky to coach them.Q: Can you talk about how the 49ers and David Baas parted ways?

A: We parted ways when he signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants.

Q: Did you guys have an interest in bringing him back?

A: Heck yeah. Told David that. Especially thrilled to meet him, both of us being graduates of theUniversity of Michigan. I was looking forward to having another Michigan man on the squad. Have a lot of respect for David and his game. In our conversation, David said that he was going to do what was best for his family and for himself and explore the free agent market. I respect that.

Q: Why has Frank Gore been so dynamic?

A: I think the why is Frank, he's just a phenomenal football player. One of the real greats that has played the game, just blessed with great instincts, tremendous vision, physical attributes that I've never seen in a running back to where he can get into the narrowest of holes, sometimes lower to the ground than I've ever seen a running back run at his rate of speed, that low, patience, so many things. It's hard to describe it. The great ones, I think they crawl out of the crib having those kinds of instincts to run the football.

Q: What kind of challenge does Eli present to your defense?

A: A huge challenge. Eli has long been one of the top quarterbacks in the game. He has an excellent receiving corps and a great offensive line – a really good, good offensive unit. They play at a really high level and they play well together. It's a huge challenge,a mighty challenge for us and our team.

Q: The talking heads on ESPN had a discussion over which Harbaugh they would want. Do you have fun with that?

A: I don't know anything about that. I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know anything about that.

Q: The Giants have allowed opposing rushers to run for 100 yards, but have still won games. Is that an anomaly?

A: No. They're playing very good defense. I haven't seen the struggle part that you're referring to. It's a fantastic front four, good linebackers, tight coverage in the secondary, play very disciplined as a unit. They tackle. They rush the passer. They do a great job taking on blocks, using up-blocks. I haven't seen the struggle that you're referring to. I think they're really good.

Q: When you watch Eli, what do you see?

A: Tremendous arm talent. He has great stature in the pocket. Tremendous vision. Plays very cool. Makes great decisions and does a really good job buying time and gives himself more time to make those cool-headed decisions. Finds quiet spots in the pocket and makes throws that only the best ones in the game can make.

Q: What was it like going through that week with all of the attention of the handshake? Was that pretty crazy?

A: No.

Q: Did you think something like that would blow up?

A: It was irrelevant. That little mini-controversy, that was an irrelevant one.

Q: Do you have any thoughts on 'Suck for Luck'?

A: No.

Q: Do you have any thoughts on Joe Paterno stepping down?

A: I've read what you've read. The allegations are gruesome. I don't think it's my place to talk about them today. Really don't have anything further to say about that.

Q: Do you think something like that can taint what Paterno was able to accomplish?

A: Again, I don't think it's my place to talk about it and don't have anything further to say about it.

Q: How's Anthony Davis been for you this year?

A: AD has been improving rapidly, dramatically. His pad level and his finish, just in so many areas – hand placement, knowing what to do, how we works with the unit – he's been doing a really good job. It's his second year and he's making progress.

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