Jim Harbaugh did his best Rasheed Wallace impersonation on a conference call with Seattle reporters this afternoon.
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - The biggest plus the Seattle Seahawks have in preparing for the San Francisco 49ers on a short week is that they are a division rival.
The Seahawks head to San Francisco to play the 49ers on Thursday night and the familiarity of a divisional opponent will help the Seahawks to prepare. Seattle played the 49ers twice last season, which gives the players and coaches an increased familiarity with their scheme.
Seattle knows everything the 49ers will do offensively revolves around the running game and RB Frank Gore and that he will be the most important thing for them to try and stop.
Doing so on the other hand will still be a massive chore.
"He hits the hole right where it needs to hit every time, and he’s going 100 mph every time," defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. "If you’re not in your gap, it’s like a couple of years ago in 2009 he had like 190 yards rushing against us, one was for 70 and one was for 80, he hit it just perfect and if you’re not on it he has the ability to break a big one at any time."
Both Bradley and LB Leroy Hill said that one thing San Francisco does to make things so difficult is they use many different types of runs out of many formations. They may see a run only once on tape but they have to prepare as if they'll see it during the game and that means more preparation.
"It's a wide variety or runs," Bradley said. "Usually you sort all your plays and you can see here's power, power, power, power... ok, they're a big power team. Well. they rarely run the same play twice. With 18 different personnel groupings and all these different runs and things that they have, in a short period of time it's a big challenge for us. We're throwing a lot at our players in a short period of time."
"They have all kind of onesie runs that they only did one time so that you still have to prepare for it and everything," Hill said.
CB Walter Thurmond said he is not taking part in practice this week with the team having so little time to prepare for the 49ers on Thursday. He is expecting to be back at practice next week.
DT Clinton McDonald returned to full participation in practice after missing last week's game with a groin injury suffered against the Carolina Panthers.
S Kam Chancellor was limited due to an ankle injury, but he finished the game on the field defensively for the Seahawks against the New England Patriots on Sunday and likely will be able to play.
CB Byron Maxwell did not practice with a hamstring stain.
- Harbaugh being Harbaugh
The YouTube video above references a post-game press conference Rasheed Wallace had while a member of the Portland Trailblazers. It was one of the first things I thought of after partaking in Harbaugh's teleconference today.
Coaches are required by the league to have a media availability with media from the opposing team each week. No one expects coaches to be entirely forward about their team or what they plan to do but Harbaugh took the exercise to another level.
Harbaugh gave short answers and answer nearly every question in the most general cliches possible. Quite frankly I found it hilarious. It was quite obvious this conference call was well down the list of priorities for Harbaugh.
Here's a sampling of some of his responses...
(On what he’s seen from Seattle’s defense and what he expects to see Thursday…) "I expect to see a very talented, fast, aggressive defense."
(On his evaluation of Russell Wilson and what he’s seen on tape…) "Same thing I think everyone’s seen. He’s doing a fabulous job."
(On if he had a chance to evaluate him before the draft and what did you see from him then…) "He’s a very good, winning quarterback, who’s very competitive, and other attributes that he has too."
(On if the Seattle Seahawks are built similarly to his team with the great defense as well as the emphasis on running the ball…) "They’re a very good football team, I think that’s the highest compliment you can give a team. They do multiple things very well, including special teams."
Oh Jim... On the other hand, 49ers TE Vernon Davis gave some good responses when discussing the matchup with Seattle. Davis said he thought mistakes were the biggest problem for them in their two losses to Minnesota and the New York Giants.
"Just the mistakes, the penalties, the offsides, all of those things play a big role in losing games," Davis said. "In this game you have to minimize mistakes in order to win games because everybody is good on any given Sunday, or Monday or Thursday."
He also talked about the maturation of QB Alex Smith.
"I always knew he had it in him," Davis said. "Whenever I looked into Alex’s eyes in the past, I’ve always saw dedication and a guy that wants to be successful and also someone who’s determined. It just had to happen for him. It’s not his fault that he’s had numerous offensive coordinators come through here, but since he’s been under Jim Harbaugh you can see that he’s improved drastically just in one year. He knows that he has to continue to work and to keep getting better."
San Francisco 49ers
Did Not Participate
K David Akers (illness)
WR Mario Manningham (shoulder)
T Joe Staley (concussion)
RB Brandon Jacobs (knee)
P Andy Lee (hand)
QB Alex Smith (right finger)
LB Tavares Gooden
G John Moffitt
Did Not Participate
CB Byron Maxwell (shoulder)
S Kam Chancellor (ankle)
DT Clinton McDonald (groin)