Jim Harbaugh addressed the media upon completion of the 2012 NFL Draft. The session gave us an inside look at exactly what Coach Harbaugh thought of the players he drafted, as well as his mentality prior to and throughout the draft. His intensity is everlasting and it showed during the draft and also during the media session. From his time with the media there were a few things that certainly grabbed my attention.
Media: Was there a guy in this class that you had been eyeing all along, that you ended up getting that you're really happy about?
Jim Harbaugh: "Yeah, I'm happy about all of them, I really am. Starting with [WR] A.J. Jenkins. Just great tape, great young man. I defy anybody to look at that tape and tell me that there's something wrong with it, that there's something that he doesn't do well.
The San Francisco 49ers baffled some fans with certain players taken early in the NFL Draft. I, for one, had never even heard of A.J. Jenkins being connected with the 49ers in any way, shape or form. The wide receivers we heard about were Rueben Randle and Stephen Hill - both second round picks - and the 49ers selected Jenkins instead. Apparently the team was targeting players all along instead of going with what was the "best available". That speaks a lot to both Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke knowing what they want out of their football team.
M: In this offseason, you guys have added some speed dimension to your offense, both in the draft and in the free agency. Talk about how important that was to add that to give Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman something else to work with, more weapons to work with.
JH: "Well, you want to be bigger, you want to be faster. You want to be stronger, tougher. You're always looking for those talents. And we're a big, strong football team right now. We don't want to lose that. And we're not going to lose that. And we've definitely added some speed, but those players, we didn't just take guys who were just speed guys. Not just work out warrior-type guys, but football players.
The 49ers definitely added some speed and strength with players like Jenkins and LaMichael James in the draft. As stated, those players were taken by the design of Harbaugh and Baalke. They wanted to remain a fast, physical football team and the players they were able to add - not just in the first two rounds - definitely give the 49ers the look they desire. Speaking on James in particular, I think his versatility is what drew the team's attention. His attributes played strongly into the 49ers' hands in terms of what they wanted and he will certainly be a valuable asset to offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
M: What made Looney's interview at the Combine so impressive? Why did he jump out to you?
JH: "Oomph, pizzazz. Really bright guy. Really smart, smart person. Not only book smart, but street smart, football smart. Everything matched up. Everything that you'd heard about Joe and all of our research that we did on Joe at the school. You cannot find a person on that campus who has anything less than glowing things to say about him. Professors, coaches, trainers, equipment managers, from faculty to football to everybody that comes in contact with him there literally not a negative word.
The 49ers apparently were able to make targeted picks early on because they knew they wanted Joe Looney from Wake Forest -- and that they could possibly get him later in the draft. They were able to grab him in the fourth round and use the earlier rounds to get deeper at the wide receiver and running back positions. From this pick and what Harbaugh says, he obviously wants players with character and football talent - not just the latter. Looney is expected to compete for the starting right guard job with Alex Boone and Daniel Kilgore. I would like to think that Harbaugh's prediction of Looney starting for the 49ers would not only come to fruition, but benefit the team greatly.
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
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49ers.com. Coach's Notebook: April 28. NFL 2012
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