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Harbaugh appreciates, reciprocates support of S.F. Giants

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Harbaugh appreciates, reciprocates support of S.F. Giants

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)."

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

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Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.

An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

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An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

If the 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are unable to reach a multi-year contract extension by March 6, the 49ers have no other choice but to designate him as their franchise player.

The estimated one-year salary for the franchise tag would be $23.307 million, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry, whose work now appears at CBS Sports. (That is assuming a 2018 league-wide salary cap of $178.1 million per team.)

There is a lot to consider for both sides as they look to enter into a long-term contract. Corry said if a deal is struck, he would expect it to be in the neighborhood of Derek Carr’s five-year, $125 million deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason.

“And then there’s the other dynamic, which I would not undersell or I think may not be appreciated as much as it should be,” Corry said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “(Garoppolo’s agent) Don Yee has a reputation – no fault of his own – of doing team-friendly deals.”

Yee also represents New England quarterback Tom Brady, whose average of $20.5 million annual pay ranks 15th among NFL quarterbacks. Brady is underpaid by design, Corry said, because one of the great quarterbacks of all-time realizes it helps the Patriots to maintain a strong supporting cast.

“That’s because Tom Brady dictates, ‘I want to do something good for the team, take less money so we can improve the roster to win Super Bowls.’ That’s not Don Yee who wants to do that,” Corry said.

“The agent works for the player, so he’s executing Tom Brady’s wishes. But he gets that held against him in recruiting. So this is his opportunity to erase that perception if Garoppolo allows him to do his job and gives him latitude to strike the deal that he feels is appropriate.”

For more on the potential negotiating strategies of both sides, listen here to the 49ers Insider Podcast.