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."

49ers add former first-round draft pick


49ers add former first-round draft pick

Former first-round draft pick Datone Jones has signed with the 49ers, he announced on social media late Monday night.

“I’m very thankful & honored to be joining the 49ers,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Thankful to be back home in California.”

Jones, 27, a Compton native whom the Green Bay Packers selected with the No. 26 overall pick in 2013, started just seven of the 59 games in which he appeared for the Packers over four seasons.

Jones (6 foot 5, 288 pounds) recorded 73 tackles and just nine sacks while seeing action at defensive end and outside linebacker.

The Packers declined to pick up the fifth-year option for Jones, making him a free agent this year. He signed a one-year contract with Minnesota in March and remained with the Vikings until he was released off injured reserve in September after sustaining a shoulder injury.

He signed with the Detroit Lions on Oct. 10, but was released just eight days later after not appearing in any games.

Jones started the final 28 games of his college career at UCLA and moved up draft boards with a 12.5-sack season as a senior in 2012.

Mailbag: Are 49ers trying to win or develop players?


Mailbag: Are 49ers trying to win or develop players?

After five consecutive close losses and some reason for optimism, it all came crashing down for the 49ers on Sunday.

Rookie Trent Taylor fumbled a punt just one minute into the game. Ninety seconds later, the Dallas Cowboys scored.

And it was over.

The Cowboys steamrolled the 49ers, 40-10, providing a slap across the face to anyone who believed this rebuild of the franchise was trending consistently upward without any complications.

The team appeared to be moving along harmoniously. But on Sunday, there was an incident in which Jaquiski Tartt, Ahkello Witherspoon and Ray-Ray Armstrong were seen jawing at each other. Things got heated. The optics in a home blowout loss were not good.

There are plenty of questions, and here are some of the questions from The Day After that were submitted on our Facebook page:

What is the philosophy? Are we trying to win or develop players? Cause it seems you can't do both? (Frank Vega)
The 49ers are definitely trying to develop players. They are also trying to evaluate players. They are looking to the future, and they are not deploying a win-at-all-cost approach this season. They do not want to win an extra game or two this season at the expense of possibly making the team worse for the future.

That is why the 49ers, almost invariably, went with younger players at any position in which there was competition . . . Eli Harold over Ahmad Brooks; Trent Taylor over Jeremy Kerley; Raheem Mostert over Tim Hightower; etc.

It’s why the 49ers made the decision two weeks ago to part ways with NaVorro Bowman, who had expressed dissatisfaction over his reduced role. Bowman was still the 49ers’ best linebacker at the time. But he would not have been on the team next year, so the decision was made to release Bowman now and go with the other less-accomplished players. (The Raiders, by the way, say 'Thank you.')

Rookie C.J. Beathard is now the starting quarterback. Cole Hikutini has moved into the No. 2 role at tight end behind fellow rookie George Kittle. Ahkello Witherspoon is being weaved into the action at cornerback, splitting time with Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson.

The 49ers did not want to create a mirage. They did not want to win any games this season that would be the result of a veteran rent-a-player approach. In that respect, the 49ers have succeeded. The 49ers will be picking near the top of every round in the 2018 draft.

The risk, of course, is that the young players get beaten down so badly that they lose their confidence and their edge.

What do you make of Eric Reid’s move to LB? Is his time with Niners nearing the end? (Peter Chan)
The 49ers no longer use a “nickel” defense. They go straight from their base defense to six defensive backs whenever the opposition puts more than two wide receivers on the field. It’s not a true linebacker position Reid is playing. It’s considered more of a “big nickel," designed to give the 49ers more speed on third downs to cover and run to the ball.

Reid is no longer a starter. What it shows is that the 49ers are sold on Jaquiski Tartt being a long-term answer for the 49ers secondary. The 49ers view Tartt and Jimmie Ward as the starters for 2018. All things being equal, Reid will have a chance to go somewhere else next season and be a starter.

The 49ers are not committed to re-signing him on a deal that extends beyond this season.

Is it a coincidence that the two worst teams in the NFL have the most cap space? (Gary Staebler)
That is no coincidence at all. It is the very reason the Cleveland Browns and 49ers are the only two winless teams in the NFL.

The Browns have $61.6 million in cap space. The 49ers are currently $61 million under the cap. Next year, with carryovers of unused space, the 49ers and Browns are projected to both have more than $117 million in cap room, according to Overthecap.com.

Bad teams do not draft well.

Teams that do not draft well, do not sign their draft picks to lucrative second contracts.

Therefore, teams that do not draft well cannot spend a large portion of their cap space to retain their own players because they have no good players worth retaining.