The talking is over, as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh met the media Saturday for the final time before Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The following transcript from his press briefing was provided by the 49ers public-relations department. (Some of the less-pertinent questions and answers were omitted.)Has Joe Staley been cleared to participate?
Harbaugh: "He was cleared to participate today without contact."Does that mean that he won't play in Monday's game?
Harbaugh: "No, that doesn't mean that."
So Joe will have another chance to be cleared?
Harbaugh: "He's on a progression. Progressing well."Are you going forward as if you really don't know when Patrick Willis will come back because of the hamstring strain? It could be Monday, it could be two weeks, it could be the playoffs?
Harbaugh: "You don't know. We'll see. I don't want to give you any information that's not true and then come back and say that I misled you somehow. You just don't know. You don't know, really, until you see how they react from today's practice, in some of those cases. See how they feel on game day. You don't know until you fill out that paper."You had a big prime time game in Baltimore, didn't win it. Is there some sense that you're getting on another national stage and you don't want to go 0 for 2 on those big stages?
Harbaugh: "We want to win the next game. That's what this is all about. This is what we prepare for. This is what we do. That's what we have to do. That's all we have to do. That's easier said than done, but that's the challenge. That's where the pressure comes from. That's what you embrace. Look forward to going out there and putting it on the line. That's what these guys do: they go put it on the line. Just like you guys do. Just like we all do. You write a column today, you've got to put it out there. You've got to put it on the line. That's what these guys do. That's the pressure. That's the excitement of it."Are you expecting to have to deal with noise when you're on offense, given how well the Steelers fans travel? That there could be noise, atypical noise on Monday?
Harbaugh: "Could be. I anticipate the way our fans have been, the excitement level, the turnout, I think it will be to our advantage, in our favor."You pumped crowd noise in today during practice. Why?
Harbaugh: "When opposing offense is on the field, our crowd will be making noise. There's communication that has to be made by the defense. So, we practice with that."You had indicated RB Frank Gore was not at 100 percent on Monday. He's not on the injury report. Is he just dealing with the typical, as he said, nicks and bruises that come to a running back in the NFL?
Harbaugh: "Usually when the guys go through the game, they're not going to be 100 percent on Monday. You can pretty much take that to the bank. I never know what the percentage is. We've debated that in the past. You don't know. I knew it wasn't 100 percent on that Monday after a physical NFL football game. That's the case with most of these guys that are playing this game."Who gets the dot on defense when Patrick's not in?
Harbaugh: "Larry Grant."After the defense gave up three touchdown passes in Arizona, did you have to go approach some of the defensive backs to boost the morale or confidence or chew them out?
Harbaugh: "No. Like what was said, we're not changing. No need to be any different than who we are and that's the same in the secondary. Those were tight plays. Could have been six inches stretched out. Twelve more inches, we would have knocked those down, we would have intercepted."